I really never payed attention to the song “Ol’ Man River”. Versions I’ve heard previously were too slow and too long and emotionless. Then I came across Judy Garland’s version and, to me, her version is the epitome of how this song should be sung. The last part of the song she sang is the most emotion I’ve heard in a song ever. I felt it.
Naturally I’m a fan of Sinatra’s and Robeson’s versions of this song—heck, just about anyone’s version is amazing to me. I love this song, it’s hard not to do it justice.
But Judy’s version…God. She delivers this song in a way that I can barely comprehend. There is so much feeling and emotion, so much scarcely-controlled power. It never ever fails to give me chills when I hear it.