Old Man River – Fingerstyle #Ukulele with Chords and Lyrics

The lyrics to “Ol’ Man River” were written by Oscar Hammerstein (with music by Jerome Kern) for the 1927 musical “Show Boat.” The song contrasted the struggles of African-Americans with the constant flow of the Mississippi River.


This song was written in 4/4 time and every recording I listened to was in 4/4 time, but to me it sounded great in 6/8 time, so that’s what I went with. If you’re familiar with my Hallelujah tutorial, the F to Dm change so prominent in this song is identical to the C to Am change in Hallelujah, the only difference being that I played this song in the key of F and Hallelujah in the key of C. If you want a detailed explanation and slow demonstration of the picking pattern you can find it at the 3:30 mark of the Hallelujah video just after the song. I’ll include the Hallelujah video below for reference.