FILM

Man of Constant Sorrow revived in the Coen brothers' classic

Man of Constant Sorrow is a traditional American folk song first published by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky.

The song was originally titled Farewell Song in a songbook published by Burnett around 1913. An early version was recorded by Emry Arthur in 1928 under the title Man of Constant Sorrow which eventually replaced the original name.

That piece was popularized by The Stanley Brothers who recorded their version in the 1950s. Later variations came from many artists including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Ginger Baker's Air Force.

Public interest in the song was renewed after the release of the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? in which it plays a central role in the plot. 

The song was also included in the film's highly successful multiple-platinum-selling soundtrack. George Clooney was originally intended to sing it himself, but due to the tight shooting schedule that couldn't allow room for proper rehearsals, the lead vocals were provided by Dan Tyminski instead.   

Another great track from this iconic Coen brothers' comedy:

Share this story
you may also like