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.
|"Let the River Run"|
|Single by Carly Simon|
|from the album Working Girl (Original Soundtrack Album)|
|B-side||"Turn of the Tide from the 1984 Democratic National Convention as well as Free to Be... a Family"|
|Carly Simon singles chronology|
- Vivian Cherry - vocals (background)
- Kacey Cisyk - vocals (background)
- Mickey Curry - drums
- Frank Filipetti - mixing
- Frank Floyd - vocals (background)
- Gordon Grody - vocals (background)
- Lani Groves - vocals (background)
- Tim Leitner - engineer
- Rob Mounsey - keyboards, producer
- Jimmy Ryan - guitar
- Frank Simms - vocals (background)
- Carly Simon - producer, vocals
- Vaneese Thomas - vocals (background)
- Kurt Yahjian - vocals (background)
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. A statement on Simon's official website acknowledges that "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." However, the phrase "new Jerusalem" has been recognized by other observers as an allusion to the works of William Blake.
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.
|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 had been the anthem for Derry~Londonderry's UK City of Culture celebrations. McGinty and Carlin sang the song with Simon during the Oceana Partners Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Ca.
In January 2019 the song was the subject of an episode of BBC Radio 4's Soul Music, examining the song's cultural influence.
In October 2019 the song was used behind the closing credits of Season 31, Episode 2 of the Fox TV show The Simpsons.
In October 2019 as well as being the episode title, the song was used during several key moments during the first episode of season 2 of Castle Rock
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- And did those feet in ancient time
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- "Soul Music - Let the River Run". BBC Radio 4. 23 January 2019.