Let the River Run

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"Let the River Run"
Single by Carly Simon
from the album Working Girl (Original Soundtrack Album)
Released 1989
Format 7" Single
CD Single
Recorded 1988
Length 3:43
Label Arista
Writer(s) Carly Simon
Producer(s) Rob Mounsey
Carly Simon
Carly Simon singles chronology
"All I Want Is You"
(1987)
"Let The River Run"
(1989)
"Better Not Tell Her"
(1990)

"Let the River Run" is a song first featured in the 1988 film Working Girl, with music and lyrics by Carly Simon.[1] The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989.[1] 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.

The Working Girl soundtrack also contained a choral version featuring The St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys of New York City.

Composition and commercial performance[edit]

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.[2]

As a single, the song reached peak positions of #49 on the Billboard Hot 100[3] (her last charting song as a solo artist on this chart to date), and #11 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary[4] chart in early 1989. The song remains one of Simon's best remembered and most recognizable hits. As of June 2014, views on YouTube stand at over 2.8 million.[5]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA Charts) 91
UK Singles Chart (Official Charts Company) 79
US Billboard Hot 100 49
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 11

Legacy[edit]

Simon at the 61st Academy Awards (March 1989).

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 2001, the song was used for an advertisement for the United States Postal Service in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

In 2004, the song was used in the end scene of the film Little Black Book, Simon herself appeared in the film also. That same year, the song was ranked at #91 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs[6]

In 2009, Simon re-recorded the song for her album Never Been Gone. On September 11th 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.[7]

In 2014 Simon released a single of the song covered by Damian McGinty.

References[edit]

External links[edit]