Let the River Run
|"Let the River Run"|
|Single by Carly Simon|
|from the album Working Girl (Original Soundtrack Album)|
|B-side||Turn of the Tide from the 1988 Democratic National Convention as well as Free to Be... a Family|
|Carly Simon singles chronology|
"Let the River Run" is a song first featured in the 1988 film Working Girl, with music and lyrics by Carly Simon. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989. The song also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song at the 46th Golden Globe Awards, tying with "Two Hearts" by Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier from Buster, in 1989, and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television in 1990.
Composition and commercial performance
Simon has stated that she found inspiration for the lyrics by first reading the original script, and then the poems of Walt Whitman. Musically, she wanted to write a hymn to New York with a contemporary jungle beat under it, so as to juxtapose those opposites in a compelling way. The phrases "Silver Cities Rise" and "The New Jerusalem" seem to have taken on a new meaning for many people, but the song was not originally composed with any particular political and/or religious overtones, although English literature and history majors, as well as most UK residents, will recognize the allusion to William Blake and 19th-century English history.
As a single, the song reached peak positions of #49 on the Billboard Hot 100 (her last charting song as a solo artist on this chart to date), and #11 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in early 1989. The song remains one of Simon's best remembered and most recognizable hits. As of May 2015, views on YouTube stand at over 3.5 million.
|Australia (ARIA Charts)||91|
|UK Singles Chart (Official Charts Company)||79|
|US Billboard Hot 100||49|
|US Billboard Adult Contemporary||11|
"Let the River Run" is the first of only two songs to have won all three major awards (Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy) while being composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist – the other being "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen from Philadelphia. Barbra Streisand shared the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born)" which she composed and wrote with lyricist Paul Williams (for which she also won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance). Annie Lennox won all three awards – for "Into the West" from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, sharing all three with co-composer and lyricists Fran Walsh and Howard Shore. More recently, Adele received the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy for her "Skyfall" theme, co-written with producer Paul Epworth for the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall.
In 2009, Simon re-recorded the song for her album Never Been Gone. On September 11 of that year, Simon performed the song with her children, Sally Taylor and Ben Taylor, at the World Trade Center site to honor the lives lost in the destruction of the Twin Towers eight years earlier.
In 2014 Simon released a single of the song covered by Máiréad Carlin and Damian McGinty which was Derry (Northern Ireland) City of Culture anthem. McGinty and Carlin sang the song with Simon during the Oceana Partners Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Ca.
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