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The Band - The River Hymn

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Music Video

The following Youtube video has been added by our user community for this The Band song:
The Band "The River Hymn" Music Video

Song Lyrics

(The | means a new measure and the / means the bass note on the current chord.)

[piano intro slow gospel thang]

starts 3/4

improv/no time

F |Bb |F/C |D- |D- /D /E |

The ladies would put the baskets on the table

F |Bb/C |D- |G- / F/A

And the men would sit beneath a shady tree

|Bb |F/C |D- |D-/C |

The children would listen to a fable

Bb |A- |4/4 G7 |/ | meter

While something else came through to me

|F Bb |F/C Bb/D |F Bb |F/C Bb/D

The river got no end, just roll around the bend

|F Bb |F/C Bb |F |Bb

Then pretty soon the women would all join in

|F |F

On the river hymn...

|C/G /E |/C / |F/A / |F/F / |

The whole congregation was standing on the banks of the river

C/G /E |/C / |F/A |C |F

We are gathered here to give a little thanks thanks

|3/4 Bb |F/C |D- |D- /D /E |

The voice of the rapids will echo

F |Bb/C |D- |G- / F/A |

And ricochet like an old water well

Bb |F/C |D- |D-/C |

Who d ever want to let go

Bb |A- |4/4 G7 |/ | meter

Once you sit beneath its spell

|F Bb |F/C Bb/D |F Bb |F/C Bb/D

It`s dark and wide and deep, towards the sea it creeps

|F Bb |F/C Bb |F |Bb

I`m so glad I brought along my mandolin

|F |F D |

To play the river hymn...

G |G C |

You can ride on it or drink it

F |/ / G G/B |

Poison it or dam it

C |/ / F F/A |

Fish in it and wash in it

Bb |C

Swim in it and you can die in it

|F |C |F ||

Run, you river, run

3/4 Bb |F/C |D- |D- /D /E |

Son, you ain`t never seen yourself

F |Bb/C |D- |G- / F/A |

No crystal mirror can show it clear, come over here instead

Bb |F/C |D- |D-/C |

Son, you ain`t never eased yourself

Bb |A- |4/4 G7 |/ | meter

Til you laid it down in a river bed

|F Bb |F/C Bb/D |F Bb |F/C Bb/D

If you hear a lonesome drone, it`s as common as a stone

|F Bb |F/C Bb |F |Bb

And gets louder as the day grows dim

|F |F

That`s the river hymn...

|C/G /E |/C / |F/A / |F/F / |

The whole congregation was standing on the banks of the river

C/G /E |/C / |F/A |C ||F |F ||

We are gathered here to give a little thanks thanks

Release History

The The Band song "The River Hymn" appears on the following albums:
A Musical History
27 September 2005

A Musical History

  1. Across the Great Divide (2:54)
  2. Ain't Got No Home (3:25)
  3. Katie's Been Gone (2:46)
  4. Life Is a Carnival (3:55)
  5. Who Do You Love (2:40)
  6. Ain't No More Cane on the Brazos (3:59)
  7. Rag Mama Rag (3:03)
  8. Share Your Love With Me (2:55)
  9. When I Paint My Masterpiece (4:18)
  10. You Know I Love You (2:45)
  11. Didn't It Rain (3:20)
  12. Don't Ya Tell Henry (3:14)
  13. Further on Up the Road (3:09)
  14. The Moon Struck One (4:09)
  15. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (3:32)
  16. Forever Young (4:57)
  17. Nineteen Years Old (4:15)
  18. Tears of Rage (5:20)
  19. The River Hymn (4:41)
  20. When You Awake (3:15)
  21. Don't Do It (4:35)
  22. Honky Tonk (3:05)
  23. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (3:37)
  24. To Kingdom Come (3:22)
  25. Up on Cripple Creek (4:33)
  26. Bacon Fat (2:40)
  27. Caledonia Mission (3:23)
  28. Highway 61 Revisited (3:58)
  29. In A Station (3:33)
  30. Whispering Pines (3:56)
  31. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (3:42)
  32. Ophelia (3:32)
  33. Robbie's Blues (3:37)
  34. Smoke Signal (5:09)
  35. The Weight (4:33)
  36. Acadian Driftwood (6:42)
  37. Get Up, Jake (2:18)
  38. Leave Me Alone (2:38)
  39. Unfaithful Servant (4:15)
  40. We Can Talk (3:04)
  41. It Makes No Difference (6:31)
  42. Jemima Surrender (3:49)
  43. Long Black Veil (3:05)
  44. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (3:13)
  45. Uh Uh Uh (2:22)
  46. Chest Fever (5:16)
  47. Daniel and the Sacred Harp (4:13)
  48. He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart) (2:38)
  49. The Genetic Method (7:32)
  50. Twilight (3:15)
  51. Christmas Must Be Tonight (3:28)
  52. (I Want to Be) The Rainmaker (Sketch) (2:59)
  53. Lonesome Suzie (3:00)
  54. Time To Kill (3:26)
  55. All La Glory (3:33)
  56. (I Don't Want to) Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes (4:31)
  57. The Saga of Peptone Rouge (4:15)
  58. The Stones I Throw (Sketch) (1:07)
  59. This Wheel's On Fire (3:54)
  60. I Shall Be Released (3:13)
  61. Livin' in a Dream (2:52)
  62. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (3:34)
  63. The Shape I'm In (4:00)
  64. The Stones I Throw (Will Free All Men) (2:06)
  65. Endless Highway (5:26)
  66. Forbidden Fruit (5:41)
  67. Go Go Liza Jane (2:13)
  68. Stage Fright (3:40)
  69. Yazoo Street Scandal (3:56)
  70. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (3:38)
  71. Home Cookin' (3:45)
  72. I Ain't Got No Home (3:47)
  73. Move Me (2:57)
  74. The Rumor (4:16)
  75. Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast) (3:18)
  76. Out of the Blue (3:22)
  77. Slippin' and Slidin' (3:13)
  78. Tell Me, Momma (4:06)
  79. Two Piano Song (4:13)
  80. Baby Lou (3:40)
  81. Don't You Do It (3:48)
  82. Evangeline (3:12)
  83. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (5:38)
  84. Mystery Train (5:40)
  85. Long Distance Operator (4:34)
  86. Strawberry Wine (3:47)
  87. Words and Numbers (Sketch) (4:13)
  88. Key to the Highway (2:24)
  89. Rockin' Chair (3:42)
  90. You Don't Come Through (Sketch) (2:03)
  91. Beautiful Thing (Sketch) (1:41)
  92. Bessie Smith (4:17)
  93. Look Out, Cleveland (3:35)
  94. 4% Pantomime (4:36)
  95. Caledonia Mission (Sketch) (2:29)
  96. Odds and Ends (1:49)
  97. Ferdinand the Impostor (4:07)
  98. Ruben Ruben (3:15)
  99. Will the Circle Be Unbroken (0:55)
Across the Great Divide
15 November 1994

Across the Great Divide

  1. Tears of Rage (5:20)
  2. When I Paint My Masterpiece (4:18)
  3. Who Do You Love (2:40)
  4. Do the Honky Tonk (live) (2:59)
  5. The Moon Struck One (4:09)
  6. The Weight (4:33)
  7. He Don't Love You (2:37)
  8. I Shall Be Released (3:13)
  9. Life Is a Carnival (3:55)
  10. Chest Fever (5:16)
  11. Katie's Been Gone (2:46)
  12. The River Hymn (4:41)
  13. Bessie Smith (4:17)
  14. Don't Do It (live) (6:18)
  15. In A Station (3:33)
  16. Caldonia Mission (live) (3:22)
  17. Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast) (demo) (3:18)
  18. To Kingdom Come (3:22)
  19. Ain't No Cane on the Brazos (live) (4:26)
  20. Lonesome Suzie (3:00)
  21. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (live) (3:53)
  22. Get Up Jake (live) (3:21)
  23. Rag Mama Rag (3:03)
  24. Slippin' and Slidin' (live) (3:14)
  25. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (3:32)
  26. This Wheel's on Fire (live) (3:55)
  27. Twilight (3:15)
  28. Back to Memphis (live) (5:58)
  29. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (3:42)
  30. Share Your Love With Me (2:55)
  31. Mystery Train (5:40)
  32. Rockin' Chair (3:42)
  33. Too Wet to Work (live) (2:30)
  34. Acadian Driftwood (6:42)
  35. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (live) (3:26)
  36. Whispering Pines (3:56)
  37. Don't Ya Tell Henry (live) (3:24)
  38. Ophelia (3:32)
  39. Up on Cripple Creek (4:33)
  40. Across the Great Divide (2:54)
  41. Endless Highway (live) (5:10)
  42. It Makes No Difference (6:31)
  43. Livin' in a Dream (2:52)
  44. She Knows (live) (3:23)
  45. Unfaithful Servant (4:15)
  46. Evangeline (feat. Emmylou Harris) (3:12)
  47. Shape I'm In (4:01)
  48. The Saga of Pepote Rouge (4:16)
  49. Daniel and the Sacred Harp (4:13)
  50. Out of the Blue (3:22)
  51. Right as Rain (3:49)
  52. All La Glory (3:33)
  53. The Weight (feat. The Staple Singers) (4:36)
  54. Stage Fright (3:40)
  55. The Last Waltz Refrain (1:32)
  56. Theme From The Last Waltz (Orchestra) (3:25)
To Kingdom Come
18 September 1989

To Kingdom Come (The Definitive Collection)
19 December 2006


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