"The River" as written by Francis Stephen Michael Johnson and Robin Smith....
High water carried her down stream
She watched the water's living things
She thought, it's not a mound with six planks of wood
The cardinal points to hold you up
Or a mountain where a shed self could

Feed the roots and honor the tongues of the animals
Drift into the moss and bloat where the peat bog pulls

Rolled like a felled tree
With arms as useless as such
Death's panic came, a calmness stayed, you couldn't do much
Just watch the water chip away at the bank eroding
Cut and crumbling through the spate

It took a father, it covered a daughter
Took her down, down, down
With the glass bottles, books, a tire
Collected hair tufts in the weeds
Snagged and wrapped in the peats
Dammed and trapped

You said, is this the ceremony?
I don't know, well I don't mind
The way we all fall in and roll down
Pushed through the veins and trafficked byes
And when your ears sit under
Head is half submerged down below
Pooling all accounts of peace while passed beneath the canopy glow

Lyrics submitted by kbav

The River song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentCopied from Anathallo's blog at yourhappymakesmegooldies.blogspot.com/2008/10/…

    "Here are the lyrics for 'The River.' Erica and I wrote them after hearing about an experience that her mom had while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. She was crossing a river and the current swept her away. Due to the weight of her pack, she couldn't get to a bank and was certain that she was going to die. Upon that realization, she leaned back, calmed her senses and enjoyed what she thought would be her last living moments... she observed everything with a concentrated mindfulness as she passed underneath the glow of light pouring through the canopy of leaves. This is a half fictional retelling. (She was saved - just so you know)"
    blalondon December 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI know that the band posted the actual meaning of the song on their blog, but I thought I'd mention anyway that this song reminds me of Ophelia in Hamlet. The idea of floating down a river... "the tongues of the animals," kind of like Ophelia being crazy before she drowned, speaking gibberish... "It took a father" could mean Polonius, who died earlier in the play and whose death is what caused Ophelia to go crazy. If the river is death (or the natural course of life, which flows toward death), then it makes sense that it took her father, and then took her.

    I dunno, just an interesting little resonance that I found personally.
    curbyourentropyon March 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the harmonies and instrumentation in this song (:
    So good.
    jacobclarke92on April 14, 2010   Link

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