The lyrics are incorrect as displayed on this page. It is "miles" not "months" in 3 places in the first stanze and it is "Oh" not "Lord" in the last stanza....
It's three miles to the river
That would carry me away
Two miles to the dusty street
That I saw you on today

It's four miles to my lonely room
Where I will hide my face
And about half a mile to the downtown bar
That I ran from in disgrace

Lord how long have I got to keep on running
Seven hours seven days or seven years?

All I know is since you've been gone
I feel like I'm drowning in a river
Drowning in a river of tears
Drowning in a river
Feel like I'm drowning
Drowning in a river

In three more days, I'll leave this town
And disappear without a trace
A year from now, maybe settle down
Where no one knows my face

I wish that I could hold you
One more time to ease the pain
But my time's run out and I got to go
Got to run away again

Still I catch myself thinking
One day I'll find my way back here
You'll save me from drowning
Drowning in a river
Drowning in a river of tears
Drowning in a river
Feels like I'm drowning
Drowning in the river

Oh, how long must this go on?
Drowning in a river
Drowning in a river of tears


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by HestiaBHN

"River of Tears" as written by Simon Climie Eric Patrick Clapton

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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River Of Tears song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentRiver of Tears is one the deepest song there is about a break up. Depressingly uplifting. The most tear-jerking part of the song is when the soft violins introduce the words: I wish that I could hold you... One more time to ease the pain. It expresses the feelings you have when you break up with someone. Beautiful.
    badnitruson March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentumm i think this song can not only be about a break up up but also about losing anyone... either through seperation, meaning distance, or even losing someone through death. now that is not all that this song means either. if you look into claptons life history you will see that he has not had the easiest life. this song is really the story of his diffcult life... lines like "And about half a mile to the downtown bar
    That I ran from in disgrace." among other lines all have reference to claptons life... that is all for now i know i will have more.

    CLAPTON IS GOD!!!
    fixxxer363on May 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is very emotional song for me. Obviously of the loss of a love, and possibly something more. Either way it's a pretty depressing song.
    ECisGodon December 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is reaaly a peach of a song! thats really a portrait of break up.I had a sever break up that reaaly made me sick for so many years and noe I still feel the meaning of being far from the one you really loved. I drownin' too. and I wish that I could hold her one more time to ease my pain.
    shangrilaon May 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's absolutely nothing I can find wrong with this song... from the extended instrumental intro to the opening lines to the end. It is rich and powerful and moving and meaningful and universal and ... perfect. That's it, it is simply a rare, perfect work of art.
    maze63on March 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI simply love this song. You can just feel the music when you're listening. To me this song is about someone who lost someone who was very special to them. I'm sure everyone can relate to this song. Eric Clapton, you are one of my guitar heroes as well. Thank you for making such good music!
    ruinedfirecrackeron February 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the version off 'one more car one more rider' , when i first heard the guitar solo i was like 'wooah!'- just as much emotion in the playing as there is in the lyrics
    Indoor Use Onlyon February 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI agree with the previous comments but also link this song to Clapton's grief over the death of his son Connor. In my view this explains the bottomless grief expressed in the song. Perhaps he needed several attempts (eg Tears in Heaven) to truly get down what he was feeling.
    Bigfooton November 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning(It's four miles to my lonely room
    Where I will hide my face,
    And about half a mile to the downtown bar
    That I ran from in disgrace.)


    This portion makes me think he had an affair was caught and his wife subsequently left him.


    (Lord, how long have I got to keep on running,
    Seven hours, seven days or seven years?
    All I know is, since you've been gone
    I feel like I'm drowning in a river,
    Drowning in a river of tears.
    Drowning in a river.
    Feel like I'm drowning,
    Drowning in a river.)


    This section seems like he is doing all that he can to avoid his feelings.


    (I wish that I could hold you
    One more time to ease the pain,
    But my time's run out and I got to go,
    Got to run away again)


    This section makes me think he has issues with commitment and is a coward and runs from his relationships By asking for one more embrace it seems that he does love her but just cant stay.


    (Still I catch myself thinking,
    One day I'll find my way back here.
    You'll save me from drowning,
    Drowning in a river,
    Drowning in a river of tears.
    Drowning in a river.
    Feels like I'm drowning,
    Drowning in the river.
    Lord, how long must this go on?)


    I feel he wants to go back to her and she will take him back and some how forgive and make him over come his tendency to run away from relationships. He seems to have a lot of self loathing and doesn't want to be the way he is.










    blown93coupeon January 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is an amazingly beautiful and moving song. However, the lyrics as displayed above are incorrect. It is "miles" not "months" in 3 places in the first stanza. And "Oh" not Lord" in the last stanza.
    HestiaBHNon March 28, 2014   Link

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