Bruce Springsteen lyrics -- Bruce Springsteen shows -- Bruce Springsteen records

Song title: The river


The river

I come from down in the valley where mister when you’re young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school when she was just seventeen
We’d ride out of that valley down to where the fields were green

We’d go down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we’d ride

Then I got Mary pregnant and man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteen birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress
That night we went down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
On down to the river we did ride

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember, Mary acts like she don’t care
But I remember us riding in my brother’s car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me, they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse that sends me
Down to the river though I know the river is dry
Down to the river, my baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride

Notes: Debuted at the No Nuke shows. Oh Angelyne was an early version of this song.


Statistics from the KILLING FLOOR (www.brucespringsteen.it) database


Published on the following official releases:

First known live performance: 21/09/1979 Madison Square Garden, New York,NY ,USA
Last known live performance: 25/02/2017 Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland ,New Zealand

Song 'history':


Performed during the M.U.S.E. shows, in 1979
Published on the double album THE RIVER, in 1980
A real milestone of each setlist of the River tour, with just a couple of exceptions
A frequent number (79 apparitions) of renderings during the Born in the U.S.A. tour
The song (in live version) was then included in the 'LIVE 1975-85' box set
The Tunnel of Love tour counted 22 apparitions of this song
Performed 20 times during the 1988 Amnesty International tour
Often played during the Human Touch tour (61 times)
The song was then included in the GREATEST HITS compilation, released in 1995.
Bruce inserted it 22 times in the setlists of the Ghost of Tom Joad tour
A frequent number (87 apparitions) of renderings during the Reunion tour
The last NY show(s) of the Reunion Tour were released in both CD and DVD (more songs) 'LIVE IN NYC', which included also this song
Not much used during the Rising tour, deserving only less than a dozen renderings
Played during the 'Double Take' shows in 2002
The song was then included in the ESSENTIAL compilation, released in 2003.
Played during the Vote For Change tour, in October 2004.
Often played during the Devils and Dust tour (35 times)
Bruce inserted it 16 times in the setlists of the The Seeger Session tour
20 perfomances were given during the Magic tour
14 perfomances were given during the Working on a Dream tour
Often played during the Wrecking Ball tour (53 times)
Scarcely used during the High Hopes tour, with less than a dozen inclusions
This song was due to be included, in 1980, in the THE RIVER single album projects, and has been later released on the THE TIES THAT BIND Anniversary Box
Published in live version in the DVD: 'Tempe 80' of 'THE TIES THAT BIND'
Widely used in the 2016 The River tour, as it was performed 67 times
Performed 10 times during the 2017 Summer tour

The song was also played in informal happenings or off-tour appearances
Data from the www.brucespringsteen.it database