"Banks of the Ohio" (Laws F5, Roud 157) is a 19th-century murder ballad, written by unknown authors, in which "Willie" invites his young lover for a walk during which she rejects his marriage proposal. Once they are alone on the river bank, he murders the young woman. It is also known by the longer title "Down on the Banks of the Ohio". Olivia Newton-John recorded an arrangement of the song by John Farrar and Bruce Welch in 1971, for her album If Not for You. It was released as the second single from the album and was successful in the UK, peaking at number six. It was her first number one hit in Australia but failed to reach the top forty in Canada and the US, peaking at number sixty-six and ninety-four, respectively. The distinctive basso backing vocals were provided by English musician and vocal session arranger Mike Sammes.
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