I went down to the river, I set down on the bank. I tried to think but couldn't, So I jumped in and sank. I came up once and hollered! I came up twice and cried! If that water hadn't a-been so cold I might've sunk and died. But it was Cold in that water! It was cold! I took the elevator Sixteen floors above the ground. I thought about my baby And thought I would jump down. I stood there and I hollered! I stood there and I cried! If it hadn't a-been so high I might've jumped and died. But it was High up there! It was high! So since I'm still here livin', I guess I will live on. I could've died for love -- But for livin' I was born Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry -- I'll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die. Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
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- by (James Mercer) Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), "Life is fine", appears in One-Way Ticket, first published 1949 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Robert G. Patterson (b. 1957), "Life is fine", 2012 [ baritone and piano ], from American Pierrot: A Langston Hughes Songbook, no. 12, Great River Music, GRM-01037 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Elie Siegmeister (1909 - 1991), "Life is fine", published 1975 [ soprano, tenor, SATB chorus, and piano or orchestra ], from A Cycle of Cities [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-08-27
Line count: 27
Word count: 165