Down by the riverside

Spirituals and Gospel Songs

Down by the riverside (Traditional)

From "A Song-book of Folk and Pop Music"

by Mario Papa & Giuliano Iantorno, Zanichelli Editore, 1977

 

I’m going to lay down my sword and shield,

Down by the riverside,

Down by the riverside,

Down by the riverside,

I’m going to lay down my sword and shield,

Down by the dverside,

Ain't (1) going to study war no more.

 

Chorus:

Ain't going to study war no more,

Ain't going to study war no more,

Ain't going to study war no more,

Ain't going to study war no more,

Ain't going to study war no more,

Ain't going to study war no more.

 

I’m going to lay down my heavy load,

Down by the riverside,

Down by the riverside,

Down by rhe riverside,

I’m going to lay down my heavy load,

Down by the riverside,

Ain't going to study war no more.

 

Chorus: Ain't going to study war no more, etc.

 

I’m going to lay down my cares and woes,

Dorvn by the riverside,

Down by the riverside,

Down by the riverside,

I’m going to lay down my heavy load,

Down by the riverside,

Ain't going to study war no more.

 

Chorus: Ain't going to study war no more, etc.

 

(1) Ain't [eint]: It is a contracted form of “is (are, am) not”', very common in the USA.

 

The Mississippi river

The Mississippi river, one of the greatest waterways in the world, is really a milestone in American history. Indian canoes, Spanish vessels, rafts and boats of the early settlers and, later, paddle-wheeled steamboats travelled up and down the Mississippi, exchanging the products of the town that sprang up along the river banks from North to South. The “Old Man River”, as the Mississippi is affectionately known to the millions of people who live along its banks, drains an area which is considered as one of the richest farming regions in the world. For years the flood-waters have brought fertile silt to the Mississippi valley. The rich history of the Mississippi has given material to poets, novelists, and song writers. You can read a famous description of the river in the book Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain, a famous American writer who also wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The Mississippi was also the stage for the colourful Showboat, which was a kind of floating theatre which travelled along the river and stopped in several towns to present stage production.