Let the River Run

Last updated
"Let the River Run"
Let the River Run Carly Simon.jpg
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"
Format 7" Single
CD Single
Label Arista
Songwriter(s) Carly Simon
Producer(s) Rob Mounsey
Carly Simon
Carly Simon singles chronology
"All I Want Is You"
"Let the River Run"
"Better Not Tell Her"

"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, [2] and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television in 1990. [3]

<i>Working Girl</i> 1988 film by Mike Nichols

Working Girl is a 1988 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver. It was written by Kevin Wade.

Carly Simon American singer-songwriter, musician and author

Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 U.S. hits include "Anticipation", "You Belong To Me", "Coming Around Again", and her four Gold certified singles "Jesse", "Mockingbird", "You're So Vain", and "Nobody Does It Better" from the 1977 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.

61st Academy Awards

The 61st Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1988, and took place on Wednesday, March 29, 1989, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards in 23 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Allan Carr and directed by Jeff Margolis. Ten days earlier, in a ceremony held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Angie Dickinson.


The Working Girl soundtrack also contains a choral version of the track featuring The St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys of New York City. [4] The album peaked at #45 on the Billboard 200. [5]

<i>Working Girl</i> (Original Soundtrack Album) 1989 soundtrack album by Carly Simon

Working Girl is the soundtrack to the 1988 Oscar-winning hit film Working Girl.

Saint Thomas Choir School Private, church-affiliated boarding school in New York City, New York, USA

Saint Thomas Choir School is a church-affiliated boarding choir school in Manhattan, New York, founded in 1919. The school is supported by the nearby Saint Thomas Church, an Episcopal church, continuing the Anglican tradition of all-male choral ensembles. Saint Thomas is one of three choir schools that exclusively educate boy trebles of the choir, and where all boys are required to board at the school.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.


Mickey Curry American musician, rock drummer

Michael Timothy Curry is an American drummer. He is best known for his long-term collaboration with singer-songwriter Bryan Adams, although he has also worked with Hall & Oates, Cher, Tina Turner, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Sam Phillips, Tom Waits, Survivor, The Cult, Steve Jones, and other musicians.

Frank Filipetti is a 7x Grammy-winning music producer, engineer and mixer who was born in Bristol, Connecticut. Frank won 5 of those Grammys for The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Monty Python's Spamalot and Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida. He was one of the first engineers to embrace digital. His credits include mixes for such number one singles as Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "I Don't Want to Live Without You", the 1983 KISS album, Lick It Up and The Bangles' song, "Eternal Flame." Filipetti engineered and produced Survivor's 1988 album, Too Hot to Sleep. Filipetti also recorded and mixed albums for Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, George Michael, 10,000 Maniacs, Lauren Kinhan, Korn, Frank Zappa and James Taylor, whose Hourglass Filipetti produced, engineered and mixed, winning Grammy Awards in 1998 for Best Engineered Album and Best Pop Album.

Lani Groves South African musician

Lani Groves a musician by trade, she began playing the cello and singing at the age of five years. Groves performs regularly at musical events across the Gauteng region in South Africa.

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." [6] However, the phrase "new Jerusalem" has been recognized by other observers as an allusion to the works of William Blake. [7]

Walt Whitman American poet, essayist, and journalist

Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sensuality. Whitman's own life came under scrutiny for his presumed homosexuality.

William Blake English poet and artist

William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself".

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. [8] The song remains one of Simon's best remembered and most recognizable hits.

Single (music) Type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

<i>Billboard</i> Hot 100 Song chart in U.S

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Adult Contemporary chart is published weekly by Billboard magazine and lists the most popular songs on adult contemporary radio stations in the United States. The chart is compiled based on airplay data submitted to Billboard by stations that are members of the Adult Contemporary radio panel. The chart debuted in Billboard magazine on July 17, 1961. Over the years, the chart has gone under a series of name changes, being called Easy Listening(1961–1962; 1965–1979), Middle-Road Singles(1962–1964), Pop-Standard Singles(1964–1965), Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks(1979–1982) and Adult Contemporary(1983–present).


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


Simon at the 61st Academy Awards (March 1989). Carly Simon (1989).jpg
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 [9] – 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 .

Streets of Philadelphia 1994 single by Bruce Springsteen

"Streets of Philadelphia" is a song written and performed by American rock musician Bruce Springsteen for the film Philadelphia (1993), an early mainstream film dealing with HIV/AIDS. Released as a single in 1994, the song was a hit in many countries, particularly Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway, where it topped the singles charts.

Bruce Springsteen American singer and songwriter

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. He received critical acclaim for his early 1970s albums and attained worldwide fame upon the release of Born to Run in 1975. During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics and lengthy, energetic stage performances, earning the nickname "The Boss". He has recorded both rock albums and folk-oriented works, and his lyrics often address the experiences and struggles of working-class Americans.

<i>Philadelphia</i> (film) 1993 film by Jonathan Demme

Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.

In 2001, the song was used for an advertisement for the United States Postal Service in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks. [10]

In 2004, the song was used in the end scene of the film Little Black Book , [11] Simon herself appeared in the film also. That same year, the song was ranked at #91 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs. [12]

In 2009, Simon re-recorded the song for her album Never Been Gone . [13] 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. [14]

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. [15] [16]

In January 2019 the song was the subject of an episode of BBC Radio 4's Soul Music, examining the song's cultural influence. [17]

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  5. "Awards". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
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  7. And did those feet in ancient time
  8. "Carly Simon - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
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  10. Coloribus Creative Advertising Archive. "USPS "PRIDE" TV Commercial" . Retrieved August 21, 2014.
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  14. NBC New York.com. "9/11 Victims Honored at Ground Zero" . Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  15. "McGinty and Carlin represent Derry". Irish Music Daily. 16 January 2014.
  16. "Carly Simon Official Website - News". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
  17. "Soul Music - Let the River Run". BBC Radio 4. 23 January 2019.