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Harpaoke: Ol' Man River | Harmonica Tabs & Backing Track

Hello! This is a harmonica karaoke (or 'harpaoke'!) for the song 'Old Man River'. There's a demo followed by a backing track with full harp tabs for you to follow and play along.


Did you know? This song was originally featured in the 1927 musical 'Show Boat'.

The tab system

The song is tabbed out for diatonic harmonica (in any key). The symbols I use are pretty basic - positive numbers are blow, negative numbers are draw.


Learn more about my harmonica tab system


Ol' Man River - harmonica tabs:

6 -5 5 5 6 -5 5 6 -6 7

There’s an old man called the Mississippi

6 -5 5 5 6 -5 5 4 -4

That’s the old man that I’d like to be

5 -4 4 4 5 -4 4 4 -4 -5

What does he care if the world’s got troubles

5 -4 4 4 5 -4 4 -4 4

What does he care if the world ain’t free 3 3 -3// 4 -3// 3 3 -3// 4 Ol' Man River, dat Ol' Man Riv-er -4 5 5 -4 4 -4 5 6 -6 6 He must know somethin’ but don't say nothin' -6 6 6 5 -4 5 6 6 5 -4 5 4 He just keeps rollin', he keeps on rollin’ along 3 3 3 -3// 4 -3// 3 3 -3// 4 He don't plant 'taters, he don't plant cotton -4 5 6 -6 6 -6 7 7 -7 -6 And them that plants them is soon forgotten -7 6 6 5 -4 5 6 6 5 -4 5 4 But Ol' Man Riv-er, he just keeps rollin' along


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