Young and strong Hollywood son
In the early morning light
This star fell down
On Sunset Boulevard

Young and strong beautiful one
We embraced so close
Is gone
Was torn away

Let the youth of America mourn
Include him in their prayers
Let his image linger on
Repeat it everywhere

With candles, with flowers
He was one of ours
One of ours

Why don't you let him be?
He's gone
We know
Give his mother and his father peace
Your vulture's candor
Your casual slander
You murder his memory
He's gone
We know
It's nothing but a tragedy

Lay to rest your soul and body
Lay beside your name
Lay to rest your rage
Your hunger and amazing grace

With candles, with flowers
You were one of ours
One of ours

I saw cameras expose your life
I heard rumors explode with lies
I saw children in tears
Cry and crowd around the sight
Of where you had collapsed that day
Where your last breath and word
Had been sighed
Where your heart had burst
Where you had died

I saw how they were lost in grieving
All half believing you were gone
The loss and pain of it
Crime and shame of it
You were gone
It was such a nightmare raving,
"how could we save him from himself?"


Lyrics submitted by kevin

River Lyrics as written by Natalie A Merchant

Lyrics © Capitol CMG Publishing, Downtown Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

River song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    with candles with flowers he was one of ours

    Rivers death upsets me all these years on. He is still alive and well in my mind.

    RIP river.

    that_sullen_girlon February 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song has been haunting me. It's one that I didn't understand the meaning or even the lyrics to as I would play the album. It's only now on the year that River Phoenix has been gone for 30 years that I had the melody in my head and felt prompted to look up the lyrics and knew immediately what it was about as paired with the song title. So many of Natalie's songs had lyrics I couldn't make out and I let the mood carry me. That would be enough to call this a truly beautiful song. But hearing tribute that it is brings me to tears. Each section is so different, it feels like different waves of grief with graceful tribute to a truly unique Beautiful One, anger at the media, and outrage at the cruel loss of this young light. We all know that Natalie's gift is pronounced and unique. This song is a testament to her bravado as a master song writer/singer married with her own authentic and deep feeling. RIP, River and thank you, Natalie.

    nwjulepon April 15, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is about River Phoniex. I know, spelled wrong.

    Rosannon October 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yeah like what Rosann said it was written for River Phoenix.

    rio_girlon May 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is a beautiful song. It's about River Phoenix's tragic and untimely death. I've loved this song ever since I first bought the Tigerlily cassette tape (yes, that long! hehe)

    Jenna1492on January 26, 2007   Link

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