Some believe it was a Native American Tribal song that was adapted to include Christian lyrics. Oh! For instance, “River” was featured on a Beats by Dre commercial. Once industrial by way of steam powered craft, it remained vital thru the 1920's, essentially dying out with the advent of railroads. my Clema, Oh! my Clema, Oh! I say that so you will know that I have some education and credibility on this subject. A figurative expression meaning being a complete failure at life, a drain on society. Tow-Head Teen refers to Steam tenders that worked the river, tying barges along side as they went (known as fingers) to make extra money. And Liam has been “waiting” for the addressee at this location for “so long”. Be on my side, I'll be on your side, baby There is no reason for you to hide It's so hard for me staying here all alone When you could be taking me for a ride. Being "sold down the river" means you've been betrayed. In fact he seemingly resides “down by the river”. Lyrics to 'Down By The River' by Milky Chance. While it is hard to pinpoint the exact origins of the song, “Down to the River to Pray” has been referred to as a hymn, a spiritual and an Appalachian song. Down by the Riverside is another Negro spiritual song which dates back to before the American Civil War. "Down in the River to Pray" (also known as "Down to the River to Pray," "Down in the Valley to Pray," "The Good Old Way," and "Come, Let Us All Go Down") is a traditional American song variously described as a Christian folk hymn, an African-American spiritual, an Appalachian song, and a southern gospel song. “The river” too is symbolic, as in the place where “the water” settles after it has ‘fallen’. my darling Clementine, Now you are gone and lost forever, I'm dreadful sorry Clementine. Originates from the SNL skit featuring Chris Farley as Matt Foley, motivational speaker. A truly famous track. It is centred on the idea of abandoning pessimism and aggression, and putting on new spiritual clothing, at the side of a river before crossing it. Leon Bridges derived inspiration for this song, including the symbolism of a river, from traditional spirituals, specifically one entitled “Down to the River to Pray”. Her lips were like two luscious beefsteaks Dipp'd in tomato sauce and brine, ”Down to the River” is a song about Baptism. I have a degree in Music from a Christian Liberal Arts College. Down by the river there lived a maiden, In a cottage built just seven by nine, And all around this lubly bower, The beauteous sunflower blossoms twine. As aforementioned, this track has had a notable pop media presence. ... You're gonna end up eating a steady diet of government cheese and living in a van down by the river!" It used to mean something far worse. 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