Down to the River

As I went down to the river to pray
Following on that ancient way
I feel their calls from all around
Good gods, show me the way

O sisters, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters, let’s go down
Down to the river to pray

As I went down to the river to pray
Following on that ancient way
Gods gather here from all around
Good gods, show me the way

O brothers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
Come on, brothers, let’s go down
Down to the river to pray

As I went down to the river to pray
Following on that ancient way
Wights gather here from all around
Good gods, show me the way

O fathers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O fathers, let’s go down
Down to the river to pray

As I went down to the river to pray
Following on that ancient way
Folks gather here from all around
Good gods, show us the way

O mothers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O mothers, let’s go down
Down to the river to pray

As I went down to the river to pray
Following on that ancient way
Friends gather here from all around
Good gods, show us the way

O friends, let’s go down
Come on down, don’t you wanna go down?
Come on, friends, let’s go down
Down to the river to pray

As I went down to the river to pray
Following on that ancient way
I feel their calls from all around
Good gods, show me the way

* You can also go down to the: Valley, Forest, Ocean, Water, etc and all of these work in the song with down.

* If you substitute every instance of “down” with “up” you can also go “up to the mountain” and the song still works as well.


To the tune of the 1867 hymn “Down in the River to Pray”. It is unknown who the author of the lyrics or the composer of the melody are as they were likely made by African Americans and the racism of the time prevented their gaining proper recognition.

One thought on “Down to the River

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