DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE

Latest update on 26/02/2018

Artist: Fisk University Jubilee Quartet
Author: traditional
Year: 1920

As religious spiritual I Ain't Gonna Study War No More. The peace connotation came later, although they also "lay down their arms, down by the riverside", in one of their verses. The oldest 'Down by the river' lyric line came in a campfire song published in 1898. No sheetmusic version survived the first World War (1918), so claiming the song existed since the American Civil War (or even since antebellum days) is purely hypothetical. Not before Carl Sandburg published the song in his most influential American Songbag (1927) did it really infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement and Peace Movements worldwide. The lyrics paraphrase Prophet Isaiah (Chapter 2, verse 4): "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore".

Covers:

1923:

Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers [reissued on Document]

1924:

Benjamin Luxton & David Willison [bariton & piano]

1927:

Norfolk Jazz & Jubilee Quartet

1928:

Oscar Celestine

1940:

Memphis Minnie

1940:

Lead Belly

1943:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe [with Lucky Millinder's Orchestra; version inspiring both the Civil Rights Movement and the peace movement]

1952:

Big Bill Broonzy

1953:

Eddy Christiani [as Daar Bij De Waterkant]

1953:

Four Lads

1953:

Bing & Gary Crosby

1954:

Chris Barber

1955:

Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group [with Alexis Korner on guitar]

1956:

Million Dollar Quartet

1956:

Mahalia Jackson

1958:

Hampton Hawes

1960:

Compagnons De La Chanson [as Qu'il fait beau vivre; hit Fr]

1960:

Will Tura [as Vrienden Voor 't Leven]

1961:

Blue Diamonds

1963:

Spiritual Five

1964:

Herbie Mann

1965:

Odetta

1965:

Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers

1966:

Elvis Presley [in film Frankie & Johnny]

1967:

Pete Seeger

1967:

Ramsey Lewis

1971:

Van Morrison [outtake Tupelo Honey]

1972:

Delaney Bramlett

1983:

Sweet Honey In The Rock

1994:

Rev. Willie Morganfield

2003:

Brendan Croker [high on his protest song shortlist]

2004:

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

2008:

Five Blind Boys Of Alabama

2008:

Maria Muldaur

2009:

Asylum Street Spankers

2010:

Charlie Louvin

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

No Facebook No Twitter