it was a purple purple sky and an orange orange moon
and everyone was whistleing the same damn tune
except Brian
Brian stared out across the field
and watched the horizon blossom to cop a feel
off of the edge of the world
the one they're all afraid to walk
rationale for why they're so high on the small talk
but Brian knows where the crows all go
to find the "ifs" and the "ands" and the "buts" and "alsos"

if i could run through the woods
and speed like the light
i'd find the answers to why
and be back by tonight
if i could fly through the fog
and look at this rock
i'd figure out how to keep hell off of my block
but as it stands i stay content
tryin to be the magic man and pay my rent
wishin that Brian would turn me on
to the secrets he sought
while we keep burnin the dawn
just to keep the day hot

if i could ask you one question, i'd ask where you went
you could teach me a lesson everytime i got bent
but the alcohol dont make me forget about it all
doesn't matter the season, the leaves can still fall
they slipped hidden messages within the cards that were dealt
i understand myself and all the sorrow i felt
for as simple as i am, how'd it get so complex?
got me studyin the margins and disregarding the text
i open the curtains and listen to the traffic go
but i still get nervous each time my piece passes go
the residue is thick, and the memory fails
i still laugh because the path feels a lot like a trail

if i could run through the woods
and speed like the light
i'd find the answers to why
and be back by tonight
if i could fly through the fog
and look at this rock
i'd figure out how to keep hell off of my block
but as it stands i stay content
tryin to be the magic man and pay my rent
wishin that Brian would turn me on
to the secrets he sought
while we keep burnin the dawn
just to keep the day hot

we used to be a couple of pimps walkin the hallways with pride
drunk or sober life was nothin short of rollercoaster rides
trip to the clubs nod the skulls to the rythm
all we wanted out of life was what was given
and when you passed i wanted to take back the time we wasted
i trade all the buzzes in for one more conversation
we could sit in the shade, discuss the meaning of sacred
cuz i cant see the garden no more just the aphids
but the wind still blows and the plants still grow
and i wish your name was on the guest list to my shows
i gotta believe that you can see me when i find my freedom
cuz you got to meet the Sun before you got to meet my son
and when i see lightning, feels like my buzz is hightening
everytime i feel the Sun, i can smell the love
and when i smell the air, i can hear a child trying
but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying
and when i see lightning, feels like my buzz is hightening
everytime i feel the Sun, i can smell the love
and when i smell the air, i can hear a child trying
but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying
everytime i think of you i know your laughing
(but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying)
when i think of you i can know your laughing
(but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying)
when i think of you i can know your laughing
but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying
(when i think of you i can know your laughing)
but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying
(when i think of you i can know your laughing)
but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying
but everytime i hear a river i think a mother is crying


Lyrics submitted by SuperFeen, edited by damonta

The River song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentAs a genuis on youtube posted: the beauty of slugs art is that it is so interpretive, it could be about a multitude of things to anyone person, you can find yourself in these lyrics and make it personal to you and at the same time he is saying something very personal about him, in a live performance of this song he gets choked up and you can hear him rapping through his tears, its beautiful. its probably a hard find but its worth it.

    I woner if its possible to be so deeply caring and loving for a rapper that I have never met.....
    ashluggoon June 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentreferencemark was right about Nothin' But Sunshine. In August I went to an Atmosphere show FINALLY at the Kah-Bang Festival in Bangor, Maine. They never come to Maine so I was more than willing to drive 2 hours to catch Atmos, Print, Ev, and Prof during the vacation tour. It's a festival so at like 1 PM Evidence and Blueprint hop out of their vans and I'm just going crazy talking to them and stuff and got some pics. Met Prof after his performance and got a pic with him as well. Anyway, Slug wasn't around until like 6 and I finally scoped him out from across the entire place and was blessed to talk to him for at least 25 minutes about his music. As much as I hated to ask from hearing him break down performing the river live, (you can find it on youtube), about what the song was about he told me it was about his friend Brian who drowned to death. Now Slug is a sly person in this sort of thing because you don't know if really it's a metaphor or what but after listening after him telling that, all the pieces start to come together. The title "The River" and the LIVE quote "The memory [drips], and the residue fails, I still laugh because the path feels alot like a trail". It's very much important to listen to the live version to understand the message, emotion, and power really. I learned a lot more from him if you would like to know some other fun and not so fun facts.
    SlothSlaysAllon December 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthow come no one commented on this...this is his one of his best work...where he spits so raw..fucking sick
    WerdzHertzon June 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of my favorites. added to the list of so many other great tracks by him.
    ~earthworm~on April 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've seen atmosphere live a few times, and slug always dedicates this song to this girl who died.
    I did some research on it.. and found out the story.
    Apparently this girl, Marisa, from i think it was like new mexico or something, was at an Atmosphere concert.. she was underage, and apparently this bouncer convinced her that if she gave him head he would take her to meet Slug. Well, he ended up murdering her and locked her in a bathroom, then pushed a vending machine infront of the door...
    they found her body like a week later due to the smell...
    it's a tragic story.
    ithis song was written before any of this happened, but he has dedicated it in her memory every time i've heard him perform it live.. which i think is really sweet. and it's just a great song anyways
    xheartbreakerxon January 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyea this song is kickass. sad. melancholy.
    DubC4Lifeon March 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah...the song he actually wrote for her is That Night
    kkaylovesuon January 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line isn't "cuz i cant see the dark no more just the ?ages?."
    It's "'Cause I can't see the garden no more, just the aphids."

    I'm not really sure how you would go about fixing that, but someone should.

    Great song by the way. Sounds like it's about an old friend that died.

    And yeah, kkaylovesu is right.
    enRAGEd91on June 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely not about the raped girl. Could it be about something as simple as a dead friend named Brian? He started crying after singing this one at one of his shows. He normally doesn't get that emotional.
    Tray Dubon November 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinatly not the song about the girl... that song is called That Night.. this sounds like its about a guy who died.
    g0alpost1on December 13, 2008   Link

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