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The River Hymn Lyrics

Artist: The Band
Album: Cahoots

(The | means a new measure and the / means the bass note on the current chord.)

[piano intro slow gospel thang]

starts 3/4

improv/no time
F |Bb |F/C |D- |D- /D /E |
The ladies would put the baskets on the table
F |Bb/C |D- |G- / F/A
And the men would sit beneath a shady tree
|Bb |F/C |D- |D-/C |
The children would listen to a fable
Bb |A- |4/4 G7 |/ | meter
While something else came through to me
|F Bb |F/C Bb/D |F Bb |F/C Bb/D
The river got no end, just roll around the bend
|F Bb |F/C Bb |F |Bb
Then pretty soon the women would all join in
|F |F
On the river hymn...

|C/G /E |/C / |F/A / |F/F / |
The whole congregation was standing on the banks of the river
C/G /E |/C / |F/A |C |F
We are gathered here to give a little thanks thanks

|3/4 Bb |F/C |D- |D- /D /E |
The voice of the rapids will echo
F |Bb/C |D- |G- / F/A |
And ricochet like an old water well
Bb |F/C |D- |D-/C |
Who d ever want to let go
Bb |A- |4/4 G7 |/ | meter
Once you sit beneath its spell
|F Bb |F/C Bb/D |F Bb |F/C Bb/D
It's dark and wide and deep, towards the sea it creeps
|F Bb |F/C Bb |F |Bb
I'm so glad I brought along my mandolin
|F |F D |
To play the river hymn...

G |G C |
You can ride on it or drink it
F |/ / G G/B |
Poison it or dam it
C |/ / F F/A |
Fish in it and wash in it
Bb |C
Swim in it and you can die in it
|F |C |F ||
Run, you river, run

3/4 Bb |F/C |D- |D- /D /E |
Son, you ain't never seen yourself
F |Bb/C |D- |G- / F/A |
No crystal mirror can show it clear, come over here instead
Bb |F/C |D- |D-/C |
Son, you ain't never eased yourself
Bb |A- |4/4 G7 |/ | meter
Til you laid it down in a river bed
|F Bb |F/C Bb/D |F Bb |F/C Bb/D
If you hear a lonesome drone, it's as common as a stone
|F Bb |F/C Bb |F |Bb
And gets louder as the day grows dim
|F |F
That's the river hymn...
|C/G /E |/C / |F/A / |F/F / |
The whole congregation was standing on the banks of the river
C/G /E |/C / |F/A |C ||F |F ||
We are gathered here to give a little thanks thanks
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