"Rivers and Roads" as written by and Robert Tyler Williams Christopher Shane Zasche....
A year from now we'll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they're going to better places
But our friends will be gone away

Nothing is as it has been
And I miss your face like Hell
And I guess it's just as well
But I miss your face like Hell

Been talking 'bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
And if you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate
So if you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Oh rivers and roads
Oh rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you


Lyrics submitted by JackSmirkingRevenge

"Rivers and Roads" as written by Chris Zasche Charity Thielen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Rivers and Roads song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThese artists could sing the same word over and over again and their soul would still be just as powerful God, i love them!
    Alli412on May 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis reminds me so much of the thoughts that ran through my head while I studied abroad. Those people were the best friends I've ever had; we were all united by being removed from our normal elements. I miss them so much that my heart hurts.

    That's what I think the song is about--people being united and in love, removed from what they recognize as home, and the pain that comes along when that time ends, when it's time to move on to the next thing. It is so beautiful but it makes me so sad I can hardly bear it.
    altundzwanzigon February 14, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy interpretation of this song is something that all of us should always remember.
    He starts by saying how short life is, how good moments come and go. It looks like a year from now we'll all be gone.
    As we grow up we see friend moving away, going to other (better) places.
    During our lives we remember good moments with those friends and how nothing is as it has been. We miss them (like hell) and guess they feel the same.
    He says that he can talk more about the way things change, like family. Not only friends but also family isn´t there forever. Probably you will live for a differente place, state or country.
    My favorite part is the chorus.
    Knowing that life is short, knowing that the moments with friends and family are precious and knowing that sooner or later all that moments will be gone, you should make something about it. You should value every and each moment with those you love.
    Now that you get it, if don't know what to make of this then we will not relate.
    diogosvrebeloon March 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor me this song is about the loss of a loved one. I relate the loss of my mother to this song as she is now in a better place (Heaven) and there will still be many Rivers and Roads for me to cross before I reach my eternal home of heaven and see my mother again as I now live in a different state than my family and friends. The main kicker for this song to me is that "So if don't know what to make of this, then we will not relate" as this signifies that if you don't believe in Heaven, we will not relate.
    Hooky586on September 19, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is the epitome of nostalgia. Nostalgia of friends, family, loved ones who may have passed into the next life, the place you grew up, etc.

    "Rivers and roads" are just metaphors for the different ways in which we cope with the overwhelming feeling of nostalgia (listening to music, doing something that you used to do, trying to remember what those times used to be like) until we find peace. But will we ever find that peace??
    arthur1989on May 06, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song poetically describes the major transitions we all experience in life. For me: Graduating high school, leaving my fellow soldiers when I exited the army, graduating college, my daughter growing up and moving to a different state. In every instance, there was a face or faces I'd miss like hell. But alas I guess "It's just as well" despite the heartache that comes with it.

    To
    Superdroodon September 12, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI've looked at this song in two ways in my life however in both, the only difference is the metaphorical meaning of the Rivers and Roads. I hear the first four lines as the artist emotional preparing for change. The artist telling himself that time is short and in only a year life will take friendships and other relationship away. But, to keep himself sane, he assures himself that "they're going to better places." After the first four lines, I feel the artist is fast forwarding to the opposite end of "a year from now. I hear the pain of his voice of hating that life pried his friendships away. Now in the lasting parts of his "non-refrain" lyrics, he pleads of how powerless he is in keeping important people in his life. The last two of those lines is, however, his way of seeing who really is important. He's saying that if you (his friend) cannot relate or understand his pain, than he can no longer relate with you.

    Now my two interpretations of the refrain:

    The first was how I viewed the song in my final year of high school. The rivers and roads were close to literal. To reach the people you graduated with, your friends and your family you lived with and moved "out of state" away from, you would have to travel over rivers and roads to be with them. But sometimes it isn't just rivers and roads; It's oceans and highways and borders. But to make those people seem closer the artist only refers to the distance between them as small things, rivers and roads.

    My more recent view on the refrain is motivated by losing a friendship not because of distance but conflict. The damage of "a year ago" has past and now he only wishes to get the friendship back. But, to do this he would have to cross rivers, or the low points in the relationship that became filled with water that only keep the low points low. By crossing, he would have to self reflect and overcome those low points. But to get from river to river to eventual the friendship, he would have to travel the roads, or the process of going through talking as acquaintances evolving into the relationship that was held before. But what he cannot see is the other friend (the female voice) struggling trying to achieve that same thing. But he does not now her travels to him.

    In both views, if both people try to see or make up with the other, if the both make the effort to "travel" the rivers and roads are not as far away.
    kobimassaroon October 16, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song almost makes me cry. Its so relevant to my life right now. I'm a senior in high school right now, graduating this summer, and the first verse is so poignant to that fact. I'm going to miss my friends so much.

    The rest of the song, to me only of course, reminds me of my boyfriend who moved to college a state away (even the state part fits with the song!). I miss his face like hell, and there are entire rivers and roads that separate us. But I'll still "reach" him :')
    merinaaon November 04, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so applicable to my life right now. I'm almost out of high school and I have no idea what I'm going to do but all my friends are going to these great universities. Also, my 3 siblings all "live in a different state" than me, and being without them is really lonely.
    LondonLoveon January 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI live on an island with a small group of people, and because of the nature of our job (we work for a lodge), be it dive instructors, massage therapists or biologists, people are always coming and going. A friend of mine left today, after being here for two years. On my way from home this morning this song started playing on my phone and I couldn't believe how perfectly it fit the situation. If we are fortunate enough to have a lot of people come into our lifes and hearts, we know we will most likely have to say goodbye (or at least a "see you later") sooner or later. Knowing this doesn't make it easier, cause it always sucks to say goodbye, but it sort of helps us to try and look at it as a good thing, as something good we had, and not as something we are losing. I love this song because it makes me remember all the amazing people I've met and how happy knowing them has made me.
    Strigliton September 18, 2013   Link

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