Endless river songs

Isn’t there a seemingly endless list of songs about rivers?

(Yes, you might want to read the title again. I’m being naughty, looking for a reason to exercise the mind and compile another song list, so please excuse me for teasing you with a misleading, capitalised title.)

The new Pink Floyd album, out next month, as everybody knows, is called The Endless River. The title is taken from a line in ‘High Hopes’, off the last Pink Floyd album, largely recorded on David’s houseboat studio – Astoria – which floats on the River Thames.

I trust you’re enjoying the audio clips over at PinkFloyd.com.

How many songs there are about, or including, rivers. How inspirational the river has always been in the music and other art forms we cherish most dearly. Not surprising when you consider that the river has been used so many times as the ultimate metaphor for life itself.

I thought I’d include some of my favourite river-related songs, starting with this one from Billy Joel from the album of the same name, a hit single back in 1993. Sing along now.

We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams

Possibly my favourite of all Neil Young songs is ‘Down By the River’ (and least favourite, ‘Cripple Creek Ferry’). Led Zeppelin’s ‘When the Levee Breaks’, with its haunting backwards harmonica and drumming of the highest order, is arguably their finest moment.

One of the all-time great opening lines – the Beatles’ ‘Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds’ – mentions a river:

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies

There are plenty of famous rivers named in song, too, such as Gerry & The Pacemakers’ ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Mississippi’. I’m sure you can think of many more.

There is, of course, ‘Moon River’, recorded so many times by so many different people, I can’t choose whose version I’m fondest of (oh, fine, it’s probably Sinatra’s), but Louis Armstrong and more recently The Killers have covered the old Breakfast at Tiffany’s number particularly well. What an exquisite song it is.

There have been rivers of many colours; Christie and later Elton John sang of a yellow one, Elvis recalled a blue one (as indeed most people would), Midnight Oil’s ‘River Runs Red’ reminds us of man’s determination to destroy the planet with a simple yet effective chorus:

The river runs red
Black rain falls
Dust in my hand
The river runs red
Black rain falls
On my bleeding land

Ocean Colour Scene, in ‘The Riverboat Song’, wanted to know when it might run green. The Doobie Brothers gave us a (bluegrass) ‘Black Water’, while The Grateful Dead’s river was both black and muddy – a song of such poignancy.

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And listen to the ripples as they moan
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own

Most of the songs featuring a river in some shape or form, in fact, seem to be rather sad. Make that desperately sad. Taking away the familiar themes of water to cleanse and renew, because that’s the positive note we absolutely must finish on, many focus instead on loneliness, futility and regret.

Take Peter Gabriel in ‘Washing of the Water’:

River, show me how to float
I feel like I’m sinking down

Or Eric Clapton in ‘River of Tears’:

It’s three miles to the river
That would carry me away

Or, similarly, Joni Mitchell in ‘River’:

Oh, I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

If their anguish hasn’t moved you, there’s always the despair and ultimately resignation in Patti Smith’s ‘Pissing In a River’.

In ‘River Guard’, Smog/Bill Callahan (himself very fond of the old river motif), imagines himself as a prison warden observing the prisoners. It’s undoubtedly one of the gloomiest songs I ever heard.

Soon we will all be back in the yard
Behind the wall, living hard
Dreaming of cool rivers and tall grass

After that, how we need uplifting. Some of Pete Townshend’s most inspiring words can be found in ‘The Sea Refuses No River’ (which features our very own David and his red Strat on 1985’s Deep End Live! concert, you might not already know), its message one of hope for all of us, however we have sinned.

The sea refuses no river
We’re polluted now
But in our hearts still clean
The sea refuses no river
We tried not to age
But time had its rage
We’re washed over stones
From babes into clones of the mean
The sea refuses no river
Won’t deny the sulphurous stream

So many great songs incorporating the river; which are your favourites?

I wasn’t being completely insensitive in my choice of heading, by the way. I know what you really want as the release date draws ever nearer, so here’s another morsel to savour until the next one is thrown.

Chris Evans will play a track from Pink Floyd’s The Endless River on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show tomorrow morning, so be sure to listen from 6.30am (UK). If that’s too early for you, the show should be available later on demand thanks to the wonders of the internet.

Hope you like it. Do let us know.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

111 thoughts on “Endless river songs”

  1. R.E.M.’s Find The River comes to mind. From the album Automatic for the People, a personal favorite of mine.

    “The ocean is the river’s goal
    A need to leave the water knows
    We’re closer now than light years to go”

  2. Jimmy Cliff sounding every bit as good as when he first recorded Many Rivers to Cross.

    Cry Me A River made famous by Ella Fitzgerald but I was surprised to discover Aerosmith did a cover in 1985!

    Shenandoah, Bob Dylan did a version Fed.

    Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you
    Look away, you rollin’ river

    Song of the Clyde (especially for our Scottish bloggers).

    ash

  3. Boney M, do they count? The Rivers of Babylon.

    And I’m on the River Tyne in the morning, spot of fishing.

    Damian

  4. Usually I wait on these lists so I can have a few contributions. But I will just dive in with one off of the top of my head: “Take Me To The River” by Talking Heads.

    I will think of a few more or look online. Usually they are already named. Such clever bloggers. And, of course, your list FEd is very detailed, as always.

  5. I loved Louder than Words. I thought High Hopes was a fitting ending, but this sounds way warmer. Looking forward to TER.

    “River running right on over my head…”

  6. Louder Than Words sounded simply sublime.

    My hometown band The Chevin have this track, Gospel which flows rather well.

    Apologies for missing your birthday FEd hope you had a great day.

    Happy half century to Tim today.

    1. Thank you – you are too kind.

      I’ve spent some of it watching the Nick Cave biopic “20,000 days on Earth” (I’m at a mere 18,250) which I thoroughly recommend …. thought provoking and in the relatively few performance sequences quite startling.

  7. Fog on the Tyne this morning. It’s a little big coloured, and a little bit big, I’m putting down my rod and rolling a cig.

    Damian

  8. I just listened to Louder Than Words twice and loved it. A genuine Pink Floyd song with fine lyrics. Can’t wait for the album!!

    My choice of river songs will have to wait for later, when I’ll be at my laptop.

    Cheers

    Taki

  9. A few years ago I wrote a song for my band. It was about following a river back to its starting point, a metaphor for finding our way back to simpler times.

    “A river runs the ocean wide, just like a teardrop from my eye. I’ve got to find my own way. The city’s fun but now I’m done, so I find out where the river runs. Something is calling me away.”

  10. Lovely interview on Radio 6 with Matt Everitt-

    ME: “If this is the end, it’ll be a beautiful ending.”
    DG: “Yes, it’ll do.”

    1. Yes, come on, Ken. What’s keeping you so long? 😉

      Nobody’s mentioned ‘Ol’ Man River’ yet… Another excuse for another Ol’ Blue Eyes rendition, although this, from Sammy Davis Jr, is rather special.

    2. Just to whet your appetite, here’s some random songs (other than High Hopes) that actually feature the phrase, Endless River…

      Leonard Cohen – The Stranger Song (That they are building on some ……. …..)
      Donna Summer – You To Me (Our love is like an ……. …..)
      Three Fish – Hummingbird (Like some ……. …..)
      Kenny Price – Greener Grass To Walk On (I’m like the water flowin’ in an ……. …..)
      Rush – Ceiling Unlimited (Winding like an ……. …..)
      Spiritualized – All Of My Tears (An ……. ….. to wash away all of my tears)

      A to Z to follow…

  11. Good morning Fed and the extended family.

    I think John Martyn also had a song called The River too. I really like Nick Drake’s River Man from way back (John Martyn is said to have written Solid Air for him). There’s the opening line of David Sylvian’s song of the same name; ‘I see your eyes light up like fire, its medicine to me’ which is a great way to open a song. Also a lyric from Bob Dylan’s things have changed that you’ve got to love; ‘lot of water under the bridge, a lot of other stuff too’.

    Good hear things a humming along nicely on the blog. Got to listen to ‘Louder Than Words’ earlier on a Dublin radio station, just left me wanting more….

    All the best,

    Tom B – Dublin

  12. The River: Bruce Springsteen – Love the haunting harmonica!

    Take me to the River: Commitments – Andrew Strong looking like a bulldog chewing a wasp but with the voice of angel.

    Thursday 10am EST Q107 Radio Station – “Pink Floyd – The Endless River” and I’m in a meeting. 🙁

  13. A little aside. . . I saw a programme on BBC2 last night, one of a new series called Sacred Rivers.

    I like these sort of informative programmes and it brought to mind one or maybe several that I’d seen about the archaeological theories or discoveries surrounding the pyramids. We are all into pyramids here so I know you are with me. Anyway, my memory isn’t good on this but I seem to remember someone saying that holes that let light through in one of the pyramids, correlated to star positions, or that the lay out of several of the pyramids correlated with stars positions and I was certain there was mention of the Milky Way being likened to the River Nile. (Shaggy dog story, I know.)

    So, I googled and couldn’t find what I was looking for. However, in many far eastern countries, China, Korea for example, the Milky Way is known as Silver River.

    ash 🙂

  14. Classic 21 radio station just played ‘Louder Than Words’ this afternoon. Beautiful, so beautiful…

    I’m sorry if this interview of David and Nick has already been posted here or elsewhere, I don’t know, but it’s on the Classic 21 website today and I just wanted to share it. I enjoyed it very much.

  15. David’s comments on BBC teletext. He’s pretty certain the band’s latest album will be the last. David said Richard Wright was underestimated by the public, the media, and by the other band members.

    Damian

    1. And he also said that there was lots of material with Rick that could be used for his next solo album. 🙂

  16. One of my favourites …

    “Show me that river, take me across
    Wash all my troubles away
    Like that lucky old sun, give me nothing to do but roll around heaven all day”

    Frank, Louis, Aretha, … I do so love Ray’s interpretation.

    I was scared to listen to the BBC interview and clicked on the Louder than Words link … I’m feeling very nostalgic and a bit sad … perhaps sad isn’t the best choice of emotion … you know when your heart swells and you get that lump?

  17. The Band’s Up On Cripple Creek:

    “When I get off of this mountain, you know where I want to go?
    Straight down the Mississippi river, to the Gulf of Mexico …”

    One of my husband’s favourites –
    Jimmy Nail – Big River

    And one of mine –
    Scorpions – Life’s Like a River

    Oh, and Alan Parsons Projects’ Time is always beautiful:

    “Time, flowing like a river
    Time, beckoning me
    Who knows when we shall meet again, if ever
    But time keeps flowing like a river to the sea

    Goodbye my love, maybe for forever
    Goodbye my love, the tide waits for me
    Who knows when we shall meet again, if ever
    But time keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
    To the sea, to the sea

    Till it’s gone forever
    Gone forever
    Gone forevermore

    Goodbye my friends (Goodbye my love)
    Maybe for forever
    Goodbye my friends (Who knows when we shall meet)
    The stars wait for me
    Who knows where we shall meet again, if ever
    But time keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
    To the sea, to the sea

    Till it’s gone forever
    Gone forever
    Gone forevermore

    Forevermore
    Forevermore
    Forevermore”

  18. “Louder Than Words” had been played on German radio for the first time today, and I was overwhelmed! It almost made me cry having to think of Rick Wright.

    Can hardly wait for Nov 7th.

  19. Since we mentioned the river Styx in the previous blog post, maybe we could listen to ‘Boat On The River’ by Styx?

    Famous rivers named in song?

    – ‘The Nile Song’ – Pink Floyd
    – ‘River Euphrates’ – Pixies
    – ‘The Beautiful Blue Danube’ – Johann Strauss Jr (Does it count?)
    – ‘Across The River Thames’ – Elton John
    – ‘La Seine’ – Vanessa Paradis

    Some of my favourites:

    – ‘Sorrow’ – ‘High Hopes’ – Pink Floyd
    – ‘Following The River’ – Rolling Stones
    ‘Goodbye To A River’ – Don Henley
    ‘River Of Tears’ – Eric Clapton

    Bonus point for mentioning ‘Door To The River’ by ____________ ?

    1. It’s not one of my favourites of theirs, but you can still have a bonus point. If you’d said ‘The View From Stow Hill’, however, you could have had two points. It does mention a river, but the best lyric has to be this one:

      The misguided tweets, the sad Facebooking
      Cheapness surrounds me but I’m not looking

      As for rivers, this comes to mind:

      Between the Tigris and Euphrates
      There’s a leisure centre now
      They’ve got all kinds of sports
      They’ve got Bermuda shorts

    2. I know it! It’s a miracle, another miracle…

      – Tigris and Euphrates mentioned in ‘Radio Baghdad’ by Patti Smith
      – River Nile mentioned in ‘Night Boat To Cairo’ by Madness
      – River Jordan mentioned in… ‘River Jordan’ by Janis Joplin

      Three bonus points, now? 😉

    3. Michèle, you picked one of my guesses with River of Tears. I absolutely love that song. Steve Gadd on drums at the end makes it with Eric’s guitar solo. Encore!

  20. Looking forward to the new album, FEd!

    You mentioned one of my favourite “River” songs (Mr. Young), and “Moon River” is another favourite, of course.

    Special memories of “The River” by Springsteen, in concert, and “Find the River” by R.E.M was the first song I truly loved!

    I’m now wondering which is the most covered topic for songwriters… Rivers… Or flying?!

  21. Hi folks,

    Just wanted to say this new track is growing rapidly on me. I’ve choked up at least 3 times listening to it, on cloud 9 right now with the new stuff just around the corner.

    I have a question though.. I’m sure I read somewhere that David is working concurrently on a solo project as well. Is there any truth to this?

    1. I’m sure I read somewhere that David is working concurrently on a solo project as well. Is there any truth to this?

      Probably.

  22. I’m cheating here a bit, but the track is so good I thought I’d throw it out there. He does refer to the sea twice, hey that’s water, and rivers eventually run into the sea.

    Anyway the track is called ‘Waiting For the Day’ by Gerry Rafferty, more widely known for the lovely ‘Baker Street’, but I think this one is better than that. Check this out if you haven’t heard it before.

  23. Creedence Clearwater Revival with ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Rolling on a River’.

    Have a good weekend
    Heather

  24. While Ken is beavering away on his list, I believe it is mandatory that I throw Radiohead lyric into the mix ..

    Pyramid Song

    “I jumped in the river and what did I see?
    Black-eyed angels swam with me
    A moon full of stars and astral cars
    All the things I used to see
    All my lovers were there with me
    All my past and futures
    And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
    There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt”

  25. Oh and I think we need to start shoe-horning Nick Cave into these things as well …

    “On the third day, he took me to the river
    He showed me the roses and we kissed
    And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
    As he knelt above me with a rock in his fist”

    Poor little Kylie …

  26. Hi all,

    rivers seem to be almost as common in songs as the colour black. I’m restricting myself to song titles from my collection only in the list below:

    Alice Cooper – Goin’ To The River
    America – Don’t Cross The River
    Billy Talent – River Below
    Bruce Dickinson – River Of No Return
    Chicken Shack – Fishing In Your River
    Django Reinhardt – Swanee River
    Jonny Cash – Big River
    Lemmy – Big River
    Motörhead – Ridin’ With The River
    Peter Green – Travelling Riverside Blues
    Queens Of The Stone Age – River In The Road
    Steve Miller Band – Wide River
    Talking Heas – Take Me To The River
    Uli Jon Roth – I’m A River

  27. Well, thought this might be an appropriate time to finally listen to The Final Cut. Never wanted to listen to it before now. Not a bad album by the Roger Waters band. Won’t be buying it though. It just isn’t Pink Floyd, is it?

  28. I’d add “The Unemployed Teachers” song from 2004, called “The River” with the line, “Young love grows while the hours flow by the River.”

    And of course, my wife and I danced to “Moon River” as the opening song at our Wedding.

    I’ve really enjoyed the new Louder Than Words song and am looking forward to hearing The Endless River on Vinyl! 🙂

  29. I heard Louder Than Words on Thursday and on the way home by luck or fate, who knows? Will look forward to Nov. 10th and hear Rick again.

    How about Green River by C.C.R.?

  30. For fun, who knows the song ‘Эй, ухнем!’?

    Эх ты, Волга, мать-река,
    Широка и глубока,
    Ай-да, да ай-да,
    Aй-да, да ай-да,
    Волга, Волга, мать-река

    1. Haven’t got a clue but that’s Russian and since the topic is rivers, it must be the Volga?

    2. Gagné!

      It’s a traditional Russian song that we call ‘Les bateliers de la Volga’ here, ‘The Song of the Volga Boatmen’ in English. There’s also an oil-on-canvas painting called The Volga Boatmen.

    3. I know that song quite well. I used to sing it in camp during campfires a long time ago.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  31. I really enjoyed listening to Louder than Words and what a way to hear Richard Wright play for his last time. Thank You David and Nick for making this record happen. Plus to Polly, thank you for the wonderful lyrics for Louder than Words, it’s so fitting.

    Pink Floyd will truly be missed.

    Take Care, Thomas

    1. Pink Floyd will truly be missed.

      I don’t care what David said. . . . it’s not the end. . . . they’ve still got some of Richard’s work and anyway, David’s never going to stop playing. 🙂

      ash

    2. Thomas, did you see what Nick said in the Rolling Stone article that Fed tweeted a link to?

      As for Mason, you get the feeling he would be happy to go on tour tomorrow. “If David resigns, that leaves me in total control of Pink Floyd,” he says. “I’ll go out on the road playing the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon, just the drum parts. It’ll be quite dull. Please know that I’m joking.”

      Still, the drummer refuses to give up hope that Gilmour will change his mind one day. “I believe when I’m dead and buried,” he says, “my tombstone will read: ‘I’m not entirely sure the band’s over.’

      I’m with Nick. 😀

      ash

  32. Enigma – Rivers of Belief
    Stone Temple Pilots – Where the River Goes
    Enya – The River Sings

    “Now as the river dissolves in sea,
    So Neptune has claimed another soul.” – from Firth Of Fifth (Genesis)

    Jethro Tull – Silver River Turning
    Nazareth – Child In The Sun
    Tangerine Dream – Pear River

    And this … (it’s not Rush Lorraine, I promise 😉 ).

    Don’t want to post any more since I know Ken is going to do us all proud with an A to Z, right Ken?

    1. I’m a bit worried about Ken – the pressure – I can see him walking into a river with ‘a pocketful of stones’ …

    2. Sorry for keeping you all waiting.

      No Tim, I haven’t been up the creek trying to source another flowing A to Z.

      After coursing through the banks of Floydian group and solo tracks for mentions of RIVER, I decided to channel my stream of thought in the same vein to complete my latest effort.

      A Pocketful Of Stones – David Gilmour (In the ….. and on the ground)
      As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs – Genesis ( Like the ….. joins the ocean)
      Breathe (The Body) – Roger Waters (….. and fool)
      Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel ( Following the ….. of death down stream)
      Cirrus Minor – Pink Floyd (In a churchyard by a …..)
      Close To The Edge – Yes ( Close to the edge, down by a …..)
      Delta – Crosby, Stills & Nash (And the ….. seems dreamlike)
      Eyelid’s Mouth – Soundgarden (Who let the ….. run dry?
      Fat Old Sun – Pink Floyd (By the ….. holding hands)
      Flickering Flame – Roger Waters (Where all …… run to the sea)
      Four Sticks – Led Zeppelin ( Oh, Baby, the …..’. red)
      Gentle On My Mind – Dean Martin ( By the …… of my memory)
      Gnome (The) – Pink Floyd (Look at the sky, look at the ….., isn’t it good?)
      Grantchester Meadows – Pink Floyd (And a ….. of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees)
      Hazard – Richard Marx (We used to walk down by the …..)
      High Hopes – Pink Floyd ( The ……. …..)
      Home – Roger Waters (Could be a cabin by a bend in the …..)
      Hot ….. – Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports
      I’m Ready – Tracy Chapman (Wanna go where the …… are overflowing)
      Jewel – T.Rex (Her hair’s like a …..)
      Kiss The World Goodbye – Kris Kristofferson (By the ….. one more time)
      Lady’s Bridge – Richard Hawley (Take me with you when you go down to the …..)
      Moonchild – King Crimson (Dancing in the shallows of a …..)
      North To Alaska – Johnny Horton (They crossed the Yukon ….. and they found the bonanza gold)
      O
      Paris Is A Lonely Town – Judy Garland (….., ….. won’t you be my lover?)
      Queen Of Memphis – Confederate Railroad (That old muddy ….. was my witness)
      Roll Away – Dusty Springfield (Roll away it’s only time and the …..)
      See Saw – Pink Floyd (Sits on a stick in the …..)
      Sorrow – Pink Floyd (A man lies and dreams of green fields and …… & Time pass, the ….. rolls & And he talks to the ….. of lost love and dedication)
      Till – Shirley Bassey ( ‘Til the …… flow upstream)
      Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers (Lonely …… flow)
      Valentine’s Day – Bruce Springsteen ( Of the skies and the …… the timberwolf in the pines)
      Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks (Dirty old …..)
      Where We Start – David Gilmour (Along by the ….. we feed bread to the swans)
      Xanadu – Rush ( To seek the sacred ….. Alph)
      You Can Call Me Leisure – The Beautiful South (When will the shiver of this ….. turn to sea ?)
      (Jay-)Z – The City Is Mine (In the ….. of darkness)

    3. Oops!!

      Omitted O and had a couple of Floydian slips.

      Only The Brave – Runrig (The lunar ….. winds)
      Apples and Oranges – Pink Floyd (Down by the ….. side)
      See Emily Play – Pink Floyd (Float on a ….. for ever and ever, Emily)

  33. Speaking of rivers. We went to see Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet at the Sage Gateshead last Saturday and he sang a fabulous rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

    Damian

  34. Oh there are some fine examples here I just could not compete. You lot are seriously sad!! But nobody has mentioned The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset? Doesn’t that mention the “dirty old river”?

    Rock on 9 Nov 14.

  35. Hi FEd and friends,

    I haven’t been able to listen to Louder Than Words yet for one reason or another, but am fine with waiting until the release. Listening to the album in its entirety will be so much more satisfying, I think, without having listened to bits and pieces beforehand. 🙂

    Lots of great ‘river’ songs mentioned above. Some that haven’t been mentioned so far, and are favorites of mine, would be:

    Roll On Columbia, Woody Guthrie
    A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
    See My Friends, The Kinks
    Five Feet High and Rising, Johnny Cash
    Ballad of Easy Rider, The Byrds
    Whiskey River, Willie Nelson
    Watching the River Flow, Bob Dylan
    River of Deceit, Mad Season
    Matamoros Banks, Bruce Springsteen
    River of Sorrow, Antony and the Johnsons

    And, lastly, a traditional Macedonian folk song (you know how I love folk music, in general, but especially Eastern European folk music): Tose Proeski – Jovano, Jovanko

    The Vardar is a river that flows through Macedonia:
    You sit by the Vardar, bleaching your white linen,
    Bleaching your white linen, my dear,
    Looking at the hills.

    Jovano, Jovanke,
    I’m waiting for you,
    To come to my home,
    And you don’t come, my dear,
    My heart, Jovano.

    And this, though not specified as river-related, I can envision a river running through it. I think the guy on electric guitar is a fan of David’s work. 😉

    Set, set bright sun,
    Set, blackout
    And you clear moonlight too
    Run away, drown yourself

    Sad forest, sad sister,
    Let’s be sad together
    You- for your leaves, forest
    Me- for my youth.

    Your leaves, forest – my sister,
    Are going to get back to you
    My youth, forest – my sister,
    It’s not coming back.

    Music … what would we do without it? I can’t imagine.

    Peace ‘n’ Love,
    Gabrielle

    1. ‘See My Friends’ is one of my favourites, too. I’d forgotten about that. Silly, considering that the river is only mentioned about half-a-dozen times and features in almost every verse. D’oh! 🙂

  36. Going a bit further back… The Blue Danube – Johann Strauss.

    Can’t wait for the new release. And Happy Birthday, FEd.

  37. I don’t think that “A Horse With No Name” by America has been mentioned yet. It speaks of a dry river bed. But nonetheless a river is mentioned.

    “Black Water” by The Doobie Brothers.

    “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” is a happy little tune that speaks volumes.

    And now we all have just a short while to wait for our journey down “The Endless River”. I am sure it will be a beautiful journey…

  38. RIP Raphael Ravenscroft.

    Really great news: Wilko Johnson cured of cancer. Unbelievable. He was given ten months to live and even went on a farewell tour.

    Damian

  39. I’m going to traverse with the same song on both sides of the Atlantic. See if you remember this one.

    In the 1960s, The Standells released a song called “Dirty Water” which mentions Boston and the River Charles.

    Then in the hey day of the punk revolution in the late 1970s, The Inmates covered “Dirty Water” and replaced it with London and the River Thames.

    Great song if you haven’t heard it. (I would be shocked if FEd didn’t know this song.)

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    PS – I am not going to get on a band wagon looking for a tour but I will suggest that David and Nick entertain the idea of a listening party for the release. Maybe in London and NY? Maybe in London with a satellite broadcast to a NY location? That could be pretty cool.

    1. In the 1960s, The Standells released a song called “Dirty Water” which mentions Boston and the River Charles.

      Great call, Andrew. I haven’t heard it in years. The Inmates’ version is probably one of the best Mick Jagger impersonations I’ve ever seen.

    2. Thank you Andrew… you reminded me of a song by the Fed’s favourite band, Status Quo. Dirty Water from their 1977 album Rockin’ All Over The World. 🙂

  40. Sorry Fed. Today a young 24 yr. old soldier from Hamilton, Ont. is gunned down in Ottawa while on duty with an unloaded rifle commemorating Remembrance at a Cenotaph of all places. Why????????????? Makes you shake your head.

    1. It really does, Frank. Words fail me after each of these shocking attacks. They know how to get to the heart of the matter in order to stoke up the strongest of feelings, I’ll give them that.

      Another little boy left without a father.

      Imagine no religion, as John Lennon wanted us to.

  41. I got to thinking about folk songs and remembered an old North American classic (the jury is out as to whether it’s American or Canadian) – Red River Valley – covered by so many.

    This is rather interesting: Stevie Nicks & Chris Isaak.

  42. I’ve been back in the UK for 8 weeks now and I’m loving it here. I enjoyed my 6 years in Canada (including 4 years living in Ottawa) but I now feel as though I’m back home. On saying that, my heart really goes out to the people of Ottawa and particularly the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

    1. …..and you too. I hope you’re well and I’m pleased to see they finally built that bendy pier in Burlington!!

  43. From Rolling Stone today:

    But Pink Floyd fans do have something else to look forward to: a new Gilmour solo record. “It’s coming along very well,” he says. “There are some sketches that aren’t finished, and some of them will be started again. There’s a few months’ work in it yet. I’m hoping to get it out this following year. Then I’m hoping to do an old man’s tour, not a 200-date sort of thing.”

    1. A tour! Thank you for posting this Chris. 😀

      David, if you are reading this, start on cod liver oil capsules now! Get away somewhere to top up your Vitamin D, stay fit, eat properly. 100 (Ash ducking and running for cover) dates should be do-able. Anyway you’re not old, 60 is the new 40!

      (Symphony Hall in Birmingham is a great venue, you could do 5 nights here, lots of people could travel here no bother. Areas around Brum have lots of interesting places to visit, nice hotels, ask Nick!)

      ash (hoping I don’t get banned for pleading and nagging) 😀

    2. I read that also and started dreaming about how magical a couple of nights at the Beacon Theater in New York would be *sigh*…

    3. And don’t forget Fed, I’m sure we can squeeze David and 1500 specially chosen fans into the UEA LCR. 🙂

  44. Oceans – Pearl Jam
    The River – Bruce Springsteen

    Townshend’s music has a recurring theme as rivers, oceans, and water are all redemptive qualities.

  45. Review of ‘The Endless River’, from Rock&Folk magazine (I wish everyone could understand):

    Puis il (Andy Jackson) appuie sur ‘Play’. Pas de tracklisting. On s’immerge. dans cette première écoute, sans chercher à comprendre. Le son, des bruits, des voix qui montent, un souffle organique et divin, un drone. Des goutelettes de guitare passées à l’envers, une sorte de paradis en 3D, un cinéma sonore, on fait face au grand écran plongeant et incurvé, à l’électricité des claviers.

    Un changement de tonalité, puis un autre: Pink Floyd libère sa splendeur. Là, on dirait l’orage. Quel temps fait-il dans l’espace? Des cris de coyote dans la nuit martienne, entre Star Wars et quête tribale.

    A mi-écoute, les yeux se ferment, mais tous les sens sont en éveil. On est aspiré dans un trou sans fond, ballotté d’un côté de la stéréo à l’autre, à genoux dans la neige… ou l’écume des nuages de Wright. Le rythme ralentit, la pluie faiblit. D’épaisses sequences nourissent le delay, les harmonies partent en spirale. Il y a des accords plus tristes que d’autres. Certains sonnent jazz, Mason joue le rock qui résonne comme dans une église. Des serpentins de piano au service de la mélancolie sont à ses trousses. quelques voix, une histoire d’hommes, des gens ensemble pour le meilleur et pour le pire.

    ‘The Endless River’ est une ode à l’abandon de soi, mais pas des autres. Un mode d’emploi pour sauter d’une falaise pas plus haute q’un trottoir, mais c’est l’ivresse et le geste qui comptent. Un disque pour sortir de la fournaise, du givre aux tempes.

    Tandis qu’on regagne la route, on réentend dans sa tête les vers de la chanson ‘Louder Than Words’, ô combien explicites: “On rouspète et on se bat/ Mais cette chose qu’on fait ensemble/C’est plus fort que des mots/ La somme de nos parties/Le battement de nos coeurs/C’est plus fort que des mots.”

    Dans cette chanson, dans ce nouveau Floyd, au-dessus de la barque de la pochette, posée sur une mer de nuages, qui vogue vers l’aube ou le crépuscule (à chacun de décider), flottent les âmes de cinq musiciens indissociables les uns des autres,de leur oeuvre gigantesque et d’un public dont ils ont contribué à rendre la vie plus belle. La mort et les querelles ne parviendront pas à les séparer.

    Avec ‘The Endless River’, une histoire d’eau et une affaire de coeur, Pink Floyd sonne la cloche du rassemblement et s’offre l’éternité.

    Wow! Can’t wait!

  46. Many of those already mentioned are great songs indeed! For reasons unexplored, the following songs resonated with me and would like to add them to the list:

    Fish (ex-Marillion) – Perfume River
    Simple Minds – She Is A River
    Simon and Garfunkle – Bridge Over Troubled Waters

    Thank you for a great article!

  47. …just the thing at the moment I think:

    ‘Rowers gliding on the river
    Canadian geese crap along the bank
    Back wheel of my bike begins to quiver
    The chain is wrapped around the crank

    Old ladies, who must be doggie training
    Walking, throwing balls, chasing all the sheep
    While the farmer stands around, and he’s complaining
    His mad cows are being put to sleep

    And I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

    Smoke signals from the brewery
    Like someone in there found the latest Pope
    In a vat of beer that keeps pumping out with fury
    While the churchbell ringer’s tangled in his rope

    There’s a temple on an island
    I think of all the Gods and what they feel
    You can only find them in the deepest silence
    I got to get off of this big wheel

    And I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
    I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

    And I’ll be swimming until I can find those waters
    That one unbounded ocean of bliss
    That’s flowing through your parents, sons and daughters
    But still an easy thing for us to miss

    Blades go skimming through the water
    I hear the coxon shouting his instructions about
    With this crew oh it could be a tall order
    Have we time to sort all of these things out?

    Sometimes my life it feels like fiction
    Some of the days it’s really quite serene
    I’m a living proof of all life’s contradictions
    One half’s going where the other half’s just been

    And I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
    I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul’

    George Harrison, ‘Pisces Fish’ (‘Brainwashed’ yet fantastically timeless).

  48. just my feeling in listening this music…

    warm, sweet, profound, melting, moving….something indefinite, therefore of freedom, till infinity…especially music number 12, totality of silence and dynamism…simply perfect.

    thanks.

  49. As someone has mentioned above, there is that wonderful ’60s ballad, ‘Unchained Melody’, although for me one of the best would be ‘Time’ from the Alan Parsons Project.

    But did anybody listen to the wonderful one by Bruce Hornsby, ‘The River Runs Low’…? I couldn’t find it, but I found this other one, which I didn’t know, and it’s also fantastic.

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