Tell me what you think, tell me what you feel
Is this thing a fake, or is it for real
Is it what you hoped for, what you dreamed
Is it something strange, that you never seen

Does it lift you up, closer to the light
Does it send you raging into the night
Where did it begin, will it ever end
Where the sun sets and the river bends

Where the river bends, is a place I've been
The water's not as blue, and the grass well it ain't so green
The current gets strong, it can pull you down
You gotta swim hard, if you want to turn around

But i don't want to go there, baby not with you
I'm happy right here, now I got a love that's true
So let's stay awhile, and invite our friends
No one needs to go where the river bends

No No No
No No No
No No No
No No No

I don't want to go there, baby ever again
I'm gonna be with you right here till the very end
So let's stay forever and ever and ever amen
No one needs to go where the river bends

No No No
No No No
No No No


Lyrics submitted by tml11

Where The River River Bends song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI was really hoping someone else had commented on this song because I'm unsure as to its meaning. It seems as though he's talking about some sort of change or life decision that someone he knows and loves needs to make. At the beginning he is giving them a little taste of it or something....but then I thought more about it and it almost seems as though he's talking to his lover. She (or he, I don't know much about Matthew Barber...mostly that I love this song) is madly in love for the first time - 'tell me what you feel..is this a fake or is it for real, is it something strange that you never seen' - and wants to get married - this is 'where the river bends' - something where the beginning seems exciting and new, but often the end result is unsatisfactory and disappointing - 'water's not as blue, and the grass well it ain't so green'. Perhaps the singer has been married before - 'where the river bends, is a place I've been' - but he doesn't want to go there again, because it just effed up the relationship with his first spouse, and he doesn't want to mess this one up - 'but I don't want to go there baby not with you' - and is trying to explain to his lover that they don't want to go there together, it'll just mess things up. It seems as though this song is suggesting a different kind of 'marriage' - 'I'm happy right here...let's stay awhile and invite our friends' - and in it are his vows as well - 'I'm gonna be with you right here till the very end, so let's stay forever and ever and ever amen'.

    I don't know...just guessing?
    readingtimewithpickleon January 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe only one who knows for sure is the artist. To me, "Where did it begin, will it ever end where the sun sets and the river bends." means the end of a relationship. However, I do see how that could be interpreted as marriage but he does talk about being "with you till the very end." I don't think this is his first love, though. Regardless, I love this song!
    shdestryon February 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems I interpreted this song a lot differently than most people.
    The way I look at it, he's talking about some sort of drug.
    In the first stanza, he's talking about the drug. It's new and exciting, but is it exactly what you thought it would be?
    The second stanza seems to be describing other drugs. closer to the light could be LSD, raging into the night could be cocaine/crack.
    Now the third stanza is where it gets interesting. The author says he's been where the river bends (He's tried the drug) and it's not all its ment to be. The waters not as blue, the grass isn't as green.
    The author doesn't want to go back to where he was when he was on the drug, where the river bends.
    Just my interpretation :3
    HaaDronon May 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst, we need to listen to the sounds (not the words) of the song since the sounds set the stage for the story being told by the singer. Both the sounds of the instruments and Matthew Barber’s voice are slow, low, and certain words are slowly drawn out. We can infer, to a degree of certainty that this song is not as happy or hopeful as some people would like to believe.

    The second step is to listen and/or read the lyrics. In the first stanza, whether or not that speaker is Barber himself or an avatar, we read that someone is asking someone a question; a conversation between a speaker and listener. The question is rather odd as the speaker is asking for an answer that covers opposites: the logical and emotional, the left brain and right brain, real and non-corporeal. Essentially, the answer will cover the measurable and immeasurable. This is supported by the words: think/feel, fake/real, and the hoped for/the dreamed. The speaker does not want a simple “yes or no” type of answer. Instead, the speaker wants an answer that is has been developed with greater reasoning skills.

    In the second stanza, the speaker is again asking questions that also have measurable answers: Does the relationship make you happy and have hope? Does it drive you crazy? And the rhetorical question “Where did it begin and where it might end[?]”. It is rhetorical as the last line lists locations. The relationship began at dusk (or at a westward location) and might end where “the river bends.”

    In the third stanza, we read that the speaker knows the place “where the river bends”. The speaker describes it as a gloomy place since “the water’s not as blue” and that the grass “ain’t so green”. It is also a turbulent place with strong currents where a dedicated swimmer may be the only type of person to swim against the current and come back to safety.

    In the fourth stanza, we hear that the speaker does not want to visit the river bend and says he is happy at their present location. Then something interesting happens. The speaker begins saying “no.”. This can be mean one of two things: a.) he is reaffirming his stance on not wanting to go back to the river bend or b.) an action is being performed and the speaker is repeating “no” in disbelief. Since we know this song sounds and feels mournful, we can assume that the B option is what is happening. The speaker is saying he is happy at his current physical location and repeats that “no one needs to go where the river bends” but the person he is talking to is moving further and further away. The speaker even attempts to “bribe” the listener to stay by inviting friends. In a way, the speaker wants to remind the listener of happier times.

    There is also a peculiar line in the sixth stanza. The speaker says, “…forever and ever and ever amen.” First, the word amen, in the literal sense, means “so be it”. In a religious context, it is commonly used to address a deity and asks the deity to enact a request in preceding prayer. Secondly, the entire line is very similar to the end lines of the Christian Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is used to address the Christian god to ask for continued guidance and forgiveness. In this song, it may not necessarily mean that the speaker is praying but is asking for forgiveness from the listener and again pleads to not go down to the river bend. Ultimately, the person he is talking to continues to move further and further away as the speaker is again saying “no” repeatedly. It can be understood that guidance and forgiveness was not forthcoming. Like it is said in the second stanza, the relationship ends when the listener continues down the river. Despite the inclusion of small part of a prayer, a purely religious interpretation may not be warranted.

    However, if we do follow a religious or rather a metaphysical context, the river may not be a literal river but a means to a destination. As the environment around the river bed was described to be gloomy, the river bend might be the first step into death. The listener maybe sick or dying and the speaker wants to remind the listener of their relationship by asking questions. The speaker also wants to reaffirm his commitment to stay by the listener’s side “I’m gonna be with you right here till the very end.” Again, the speaker attempts to “bribe” the listener by inviting friends in an attempt for provide good company and happy times . Despite his presence, the listener is getting sicker or dies. This can be inferred by not only hearing the mournful sounds but the repeated “no” after the speaker repeats that no one should go to the river bend. It may be stretch but an Electrocardiogram can also be seen as river like. A normal ECG has many bends to indicate a heartbeat. When the heart stops, the ECG flattens or “flat lines”. Right before a flat line, there may be a final bend in the ECG. Anywhere beyond that last bend is death. While the song does not explicitly suggest an ECG let alone a medical environment, this analogy cannot be verified. Moreover, since the concepts of heaven or hell (as destinations) are not explicitly mentioned or built upon by the speaker, a metaphysical interpretation cannot be validated.

    There may be one final interpretation, there are two people standing in a driveway and one is leaving. A winding road may be the river. The speaker again reminds and reaffirms his presence, memories and friends but the listener, for whatever reason, must leave and accepts any negative outcome. Further exploration of this interpretation might reveal that this situation might be familiar to people who move to large cities for work as an actor, musician or artist. It may sounds really fun to move but the experiences and specific industries (like the music industry, for example) may not be fulfilling (gloomy environment in third stanza). Both the speaker and listener might be musicians and the speaker is warning the listener and asking them to stay.

    Whatever explanation is favored, there is one underlying theme: one person leaves the other. This song was used in the second episode of the first season of Continuum. The song stresses the emotional impact that occurs when one person leave another.
    Icarus111on January 29, 2014   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain