Ben Platt singing ‘I wish I had a river’ on The Politician has fans learning about a classic artist

David Corenswet and Ben Platt from The Politician
David Corenswet and Ben Platt from The Politician. Pic credit: Netflix

The Politician is officially on Netflix and it’s just as strange, quirky, and ruthlessly paced as the trailers promised.

The series, created by American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, stars Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect) as a high school student named Payton Hobart with intense ambitions of one day becoming president of the United States. But first, he aims to become class president of his high school by any means necessary.

As discussed previously on the site, Platt is actually a singer in real life and even has a record deal. The actor has done his fair share of Broadway productions as well. So, it’s no big surprise Platt would inevitably showcase his vocals on The Politician.

On the show, Platt sings the chorus “I wish I had a river to skate away on” at an event. Now, fans are seeking to find what song it is.

Who is the original singer of the song titled “River?” Here is the artist and where you can play the song online.

‘I wish I had a river’ song title and where to find it

Spoiler alert for The Politician: In the sequence, Platt’s character Payton is attending a memorial service for his deceased ex-lover, tutor, and rival River Barkley, who committed suicide.

Hobart’s pain is echoed through the auditorium as he serenades the crowd with the heartfelt chorus from above. What most people will be surprised by is the song is of a different time and artist.

And that artist is Joni Mitchell. But who is she?

Joni Mitchell’s website explains that she is one of America’s beloved jazz singers, winner of multiple awards including numerous Grammys, and is still intensely popular today. She once earned the Century Award from Billboard Magazine, one of music’s highest honors. To top it off, this female powerhouse was given a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She continued to earn respect in the music world, even into the late 90s, and remains an icon for fans and musicians everywhere.

The song “River” comes from her 1971 album Blue and it can be heard below. Check out the song from one of the industry’s most timeless artists.

Ben Platt’s rendition of Mitchell’s track is extremely cathartic and well-performed by the incredibly diverse actor/singer. The moment from the series will be the talk of everyone throughout the weekend.

The Politician is now streaming on Netflix.

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