Let the River Run
"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
Carly 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.
As a single, the song reached peak positions of #49 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #11 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in early 1989. The song remains one of Simon's best remembered and most recognizable hits.
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.
In 2004, the song was used in the end scene of the film Little Black Book, Simon herself appeared in the film also.
In 2009, Simon re-recorded the song for her album Never Been Gone.
In 2014, Simon released a single of the song covered by Damien McGinty, previously of Celtic Thunder and Glee.