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Down By The Riverside
Composer: Traditional ?

Down By The Riverside was played by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia (Bob and Jerry) in 1961. The song was possibly also played by Ratdog in 1998 (although it may have been Down By The River - setlists vary!).

The earliest published versions of this spiritual, in the form that is used to the current day, appears to be from 1918 in Rodheaver's Plantation Melodies. There are though earlier references to similar songs so the origins of the song may be in the 19th century. The lyrics used on recordings are variable and the song, or variations of it, occur with other titles including Gonna lay down my burden and I Ain't Gonna Study War No More.

The song became part of repertoire of many groups in the traditional jazz and folk music revivals of the 1950s and 1960s. One version of the song that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s has the lyrics rearranged to make a secular song. This version is generally credited to Dazz Jordan who devised the new lyrics.



Recordings

There are many recordings of Down By The Riverside. This list is not intended to be comprehensive. It mainly includes versions with the titles Down By The Riverside and Down By The River Side. A few very early recordings with the title I Ain't Gonna Study War No More are also included. The focus of the list is pre-1980 recordings.

no info Single (You Hear the Lambs A-Cryin' / I Ain't Goin' to Study War No More), Fisk University Jubilee Singers, 1921
no info Single (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot / Down By The Riverside), Morehouse College Quartet, 1923
no info Single (Gonna Shout All Over God's Heaven / Down By The Riverside), Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers, 1923
no info Single (Down By The River Side / Great Day), Homer Rodheaver & Wiseman Sextet, 1923
no info Single (Give Me That Old Time Religion / I Ain't Gonna Study War No More), Jewel Male Quartette, 1926
no info Single (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot / Down By The Riverside), Norfolk Jazz Quartette, 1927
no info Single (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot / Down By The Riverside), Nazareth Jubilee Quartet, 1927
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Lonesome Valley), Lester McFarland and Robert Gardner, 1927
no info Single (I Ain't Gonna Study War No More / Give Me That Old Time Religion), Dixie Jubilee Singers, 1928
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / This Is Your Last Chance), Memphis Minnie, 1941?
no info Single (Down By The River Side / My Lord's Gonna Move This Wicked Race), Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1949
no info Spirituals, The Selah Jubilee Quartette / The Dixiaires, 1950
no info Single (Canal Street Blues / Down By The Riverside), Turk Murphy's Jazz Band, 1950
no info Single (When You And I Were Young, Maggie / Down By The Riverside), Conrad Janis And His Tailgate Jazz Band, 1950
no info Single (Mansion Over The Hilltop / Down By The River Side), Jimmie Davis With The The Anita Kerr Singers, 1951
no info Single (Precious Memories / Down By The Riverside), The Dixiaires, 1951
no info Single (Down By The River Side / Take Me Back), The Four Lads, 1953
no info Single (Istanbul (Not Constantinople) / Down By The River Side), The Four Lads, 1953 (UK)
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / What A Little Moon), Bing And Gary Crosby, 1953
no info Vol. 1, George Lewis' Ragtime Band, 1953
no info Turk No. 3, Turk Murphy's Jazz Band, 1953
no info Bing Sings The Hits, Bing Crosby, 1953
no info Spirituals & Jazz, Bunk Johnson And The Yerba Buena Jazz Band, 1953
no info Spirituals & Jazz Vol 1 EP, Bunk Johnson And The Yerba Buena Jazz Band, 1953
no info Single (Marie La Veau / Down By The River Side), Oscar "Papa" Celestin, 1954
no info Sings Blues And Folk Songs, Brother John Sellers, 1954
no info Johnny St. Cyr And His Hot Five / Paul Barbarin And His Jazz Band, 1955
no info Golden Wedding EP, Papa Celestin, 1955
no info Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group, Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group, 1955
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Take This Hammer), Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group, 1955
no info Jonah Jones Sextet, Jonah Jones Sextet, 1955
no info Bless This House, Mahalia Jackson, 1956
no info Dixieland Jam Session, Conrad Janis, 1956
no info A Treasury Of Gospel Hymns, Selah Jubilee Choir, 1957
no info Moments To Remember, The Four Lads, 1957
no info The Original Jazz, Kid Ory And His Orchestra, 1957
no info Jazz Kaleidoscope, Pete Brown Sextet / Jonah Jones Sextet, 1957
no info Jazz At Vespers, George Lewis And His Ragtime Band, 1957
no info San Francisco Jazz Vol.2, Turk Murphy's Jazz Band, 1957
no info At Newport, George Lewis & Turk Murphy, 1957
no info Single (Ice Cream / Down By The Riverside), Chris Barber's Jazzband, 1957
no info City Ramblers Skiffle Group EP, City Ramblers Skiffle Group, 1957
no info Dixieland Concert, Doc Evans, 1957
no info A Date With Riverside, Various Artists (George Lewis), 1957
no info Gospel Train, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1958
no info Roots, The Prestige All-Stars, 1958
no info Gospel Concert, Clara Ward, 1958
no info Louis And The Good Book, Louis Armstrong And The All Stars, 1958
no info Skiffle in Stereo, The Orange Blossom Jug Five, 1958
no info Swing Low Sweet Satchmo, Volume 3 EP, Louis Armstrong And The All Stars, 1958
no info Down The River With, The Delta Kings, 1958
no info On Parade, George Lewis' New Orleans Ragtime Band, 1958
no info Pete Seeger And Sonny Terry, Pete Seeger And Sonny Terry, 1958
no info Paul Anka, Paul Anka, 1958
no info Single (Midnight Is For Lovers / Down By The River Side), Paul Anka, 1958
no info Single (Down By The Riverside/Ambush), Reg Owen And His Orchestra, 1958
no info Manhattan Spiritual, Reg Owen And His Orchestra, 1958
no info Two Boys From Dixieland, Jonah Jones / Jack Teagarden., 1958
no info Sal, Sal Mineo, 1958
no info Greatest Hits, The Four Lads, 1958
no info Down By The Riverside, Pee Wee Erwin's Dixie Strutters, 1959
no info Summertime, Mahalia Jackson, 1959
no info Sing'A Man, Brock Peters, 1959
no info I Hear The Word, Kay Starr, 1959
no info This Little Light Of Mine, Guy Carawan, 1959
no info Volume 9: Up The Mississippi With, The Dukes Of Dixieland, 1959
no info Something's Always Happening On The River, Bob Scobey's Frisco Band, 1959
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Maybe We're Too Young), Sylia Saynt, 1959
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / No Name Girl), Bill Riley, 1959
no info Wild Bill Davison And His Jazzologists, Wild Bill Davison And His Jazzologists, 1959
no info More Party Time, Arnett Cobb, 1960
no info Pick A Bale Of Cotton, Brownie McGhee And Sonny Terry, 1960
no info Songs The Kids Brought Home From Camp, John Raitt, 1960
no info Swingin' Dixie Volume 3, Al Hirt, 1960
no info Anka At The Copa, Paul Anka, 1960
no info Spirituals, Roy Hamilton, 1960
no info The Spirit Moves Me, Jack Scott With The Fabulous Chantones, 1960
no info Hypnotic Swing, Reg Owen And His Orchestra, 1960
no info Revival!, Gatemouth Moore, 1960
no info Banjo Boy, Jan & Kjeld, 1960
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Sweetheart, My Darling, My Dear), Caterina Valente, 1960
no info Sing Out With Pete!, Pete Seeger, 1961
no info That Wonderful Feeling, Bill Black's Combo, 1961
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / It Is No Secret), Bill Black's Combo, 1961
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / So Long), Wynona Carr, 1961
no info He's Mine, The Christland Singers, 1961
no info You Can Have Her, Roy Hamilton, 1961
no info The Greatest Folk Songs Ever Sung!!, The Wilcox Three, 1961
no info The Blue Diamonds, The Blue Diamonds, 1961
no info The Best Of The Dukes Of Dixieland, 1961
no info New Orleans: The Living Legends, Kid Thomas and His Algiers Stompers, 1961
no info Al (He's The King) Hirt And His Band, Al Hirt And His Band, 1961
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Cornet Chop Suey), Al Hirt, 1961
no info New Orleans: The Living Legends, Various Artists (Louis Cottrell Trio), 1961
no info A Stereo Showcase Of Stars, Various Artists (Roy Hamilton), 1961
no info My Hour Of Need, Dodo Greene, 1962
no info King Louis, Louis Armstrong And The All-Stars, 1962
no info Recorded Live In Europe, Mahalia Jackson, 1962
no info Bunk Johnson And His Superior Jazz Band, Bunk Johnson And His Superior Jazz Band, 1962
no info Wild Wonderful Wynona, Wynona Carr, 1962
no info Dixieland With A Twist Beat, The Dixie All-Stars, 1962
no info The Sound Of A 5 String Banjo, Charles Trent, 1962
no info Swing Low, Sweet Clarinet, Pete Fountain, 1962
no info Let's Dance To Big Hits 1962, The Statler Dance Orchestra, 1962
no info More Leslie Uggams On TV, Leslie Uggams, 1962
no info Shake a Hand, Jackie Wilson and Linda Hopkins, 1963
no info That Righteous Feelin', Jonah Jones, 1963
no info Danny Kaye With The Clinger Sisters / Earl Brown Singers / Paul Weston And His Orchestra, 1963
no info We Give A Hoot!, The Womenfolk / The Villagers, 1963
no info Makin' A Joyful Noise, The Limeliters, 1963
no info Jazz At Preservation Hall 4: The George Lewis Band Of New Orleans, 1963
no info Single (He's Got The Whole World In His Hands / Down By The Riverside), Ward Singers, 1963
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Meeting Tonight), The Spiritual Five, 1963
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / In The Groove), Sandy Smith Group, 1963
no info Blues Hoot Live Recording At The Ash Grove, Lightnin' Hopkins / Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, 1963
no info Sings Wild (Wood) Days, Bobby Rydell, 1963
no info The Fantastic Sounds Of Eddie Baxter, 1963
no info Excitement, The Sandy Smith Group, 1963
no info Trini Lopez & Johnny Tores, Trini Lopez & Johnny Tores, 1963
no info Yes, Jesus Loves Me, The Thompson Community Singers, 1963
no info Sing With Seeger!, Pete Seeger, 1964
no info Beams Of Heaven, Mattie C. Williams / Rhonda Davis, 1964
no info At P.J.'s, Trini Lopez, 1964
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Getting Nearer), Joey Dee, 1964
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Insensatez), Herbie Mann, 1964
no info Joe & Eddie Vol. 4, Joe & Eddie, 1964
no info The High-Flying Trumpet Of Al Hirt, 1964
no info Never Grow Old, The Maytals, 1964
no info Now, Vic Dana, 1964
info The Folk Box, Various Artists (Christian Tabernacle Church), 1964
no info Down By The Riverside, Clara Ward, 1965
no info The Blues, Big Bill Broonzy, 1965
no info Down By The Riverside, The Churchmen Quartet, 1965
no info Live At Carnegie Hall, Al Hirt, 1965
no info Folk Music! Live At The Village Gate, Pete Seeger, 1965
no info You Better Get Right, Willie Morganfield, 1965
no info Our Mann Flute, Herbie Mann, 1966
no info Jimmy & Wes: The Dynamic Duo, Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery, 1966
no info Rompin' Stompin' Good-Time Jazz, Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band, 1966
no info Live from Los Angeles, Oliver Nelson's Big Band, 1967
no info Stompin', Shirley Scott/Don Patterson/Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, 1967
no info Goin' Latin, Ramsey Lewis, 1967
no info Single (One, Two, Three / Down By The Riverside), Ramsey Lewis, 1967
no info Shall We Gather At The River, The Lewis Family, 1967
no info Waist Deep In The Big Muddy And Other Love Songs, Pete Seeger, 1967
no info The Big Beat Sound Of James Last, 1967
no info Tailgating, The Dukes Of Dixieland, 1967
no info Songs Of Faith & Inspiration, Cissy Drinkard & The Sweet Inspirations, 1968
no info Songs For Sunday, Jimmy Durante, 1968
no info The Gospel Soul Of Big Maybelle, 1968
no info Wimoweh And Other Songs Of Freedom And Protest, Pete Seeger, 1968
no info The Trini Lopez Show, Trini Lopez, 1968
no info Night Train To Memphis, Bonnie Guitar, 1969
no info Brownie & Sonny, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, 1969
no info The Best Of, Arnett Cobb, 1969
no info Single (Down By The Riverside / Stop And Get Religion), Norris Turner And The Mt. Muriah Gospel Chorus, 1969
no info Tommie, Lonnie & Me, The Harmonizing Four, 1970
no info Ace of Sax, Ace Cannon, 1970
no info Single (Amen / Down By The Riverside), Ace Cannon, 1970
no info Blowin' A New Mind, Phil Driscoll, 1970
no info Single (Down By The River Side / God Gave Me A Song), The Community Voices Of Faith, 1970
no info U.S. Apple Corps, U.S. Apple Corps, 1970
no info Saved, Big Mama Thornton, 1971
no info Montreux '71, The JPJ Quartet, 1971
info Songs, Jackie DeShannon, 1971
no info Heavenly Stars, Various Artists (The Sweet Inspirations), 1971
no info The Great Mahalia Jackson, 1972
no info Some Things Coming, Delaney, 1972
no info Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, Wallace Davenport, 1972
no info Bix 'N All That Jazz, Chuck Slate And His Traditional Jazz Band, 1972
no info Over The Influence, Mylon, 1972
no info A New Day Dawns, Dorothy Love Coates, 1973
no info Treasury, Louis Armstrong, 1973
no info Down By The Riverside, The Weeks Sisters, 1975
no info Lonesome Road Blues, Big Bill Broonzy, 1975
no info I've Come To Tell You, Rev. James Cleveland, 1975
no info Silver Linings, Charlie Rich, 1976
no info Single (America, The Beautiful / Down By The Riverside), Charlie Rich, 1976
no info King Of The 5-String Banjo, Raymond Fairchild, 1976
no info Hymns, Spirituals & Songs Of Inspiration: The Best Of Mahalia Jackson, 1976
no info 16 Golden Gospel Greats, Rev. James Cleveland, 1977
no info Live From Cinegrill Vol 2, Turk Murphy, 1977
no info You Hear Me Talkin', Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, 1978
no info Make A Joyful Noise Vol. 6, High Sierra Jazz Band, 1978
no info Double Portion, The Re'Generation, 1978
no info Mahalia, Mahalia Jackson, 1979
no info I Walk With God, Rev. James Cleveland, 1979
no info The Best Of The Limeliters, 1980
no info Anita Bryant's TV Special Album, Anita Bryant, 1980
no info Down By The Riverside, Bobby Powell, 1981
no info The Mighty Kings Of Harmony, The Mighty Kings Of Harmony, 1981
no info His Eye Is On The Sparrow, Rev. James Cleveland, 1982
no info The Heart And Soul Of Etta James, 1983
no info Meet The Same People, The Canton Spirituals, 1984
no info Clearwater Classics, Pete Seeger, 1984
info Treacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers 1955-1985, The Neville Brothers, 1986?
no info Favorites, Turk Murphy's Jazz Band, 1986
no info 1942, Lucky Millinder And His Orchestra with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1986
no info The Sermon, Hampton Hawes, 1987
no info He Showed Me The Way, The Goins Brothers, 1988
no info Sincerely: Sacred & Secular Gospel-Blues-Jazz, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1988
no info I Ain't No Bad Gal, Memphis Minnie, 1988
no info Chris Barber's Jazzband, Chris Barber's Jazzband, 1989
no info Spiritual, David Murray, 1990
no info Million Dollar Quartet, Million Dollar Quartet, 1990
no info The World's Greatest Gospel Singer!, Mahalia Jackson, 1990
no info Glory, Joseph Spence, 1990
no info The San Francisco Jazz Tradition Vol. 3, Down Home Jazz Band, 1990
no info Mo’ Roots, Maceo Parker, 1991
no info Live In 1960, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1991
no info 1943, "Wild Bill" Davison And His Jazz Band, 1991
no info North American Ballads & Squares, Frederic Rzewski, 1991
no info Complete Recorded Works 1935-1941 In Chronological Order Volume 5, Memphis Minnie, 1991
no info Country Boy Down in New Orleans, Snooks Eaglin, 1991
info Knot Live, Slipknot!, 1991
no info 25th Anniversary Album, Trini Lopez, 1991
no info Bunk Johnson And His Superior Jazz Band, Bunk Johnson And His Superior Jazz Band, 1991
no info Hot Creole Jazz 1953, George Lewis & His Ragtime Band, 1991
no info Testifyin'!: Live At The Village Vanguard, Benny Green Trio, 1992
info Folk Songs and Ballads, Vol 4, Various Artists (William May), 1992
no info Workin' (CD), Shirley Scott, 1993
no info Blue Testament: Blue Note Plays the Good Book, Various Artists (2 versions), 1993
no info Love A Little Stronger, Diamond Rio, 1994
no info Johnny St. Cyr, Johnny St. Cyr, 1994
no info Bunk & Lu, Bunk Johnson / Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band, 1994
no info Bananaphone, Raffi, 1994
no info The Key, Gary Brown, 1994
info The Jazz Masters: Verve At 50, Various Artists (Jimmy Smith/Kenny Burrell), 1994
no info Red Hot: The Best Of Billy Lee Riley, 1995
no info Walk On The Wild Side: Best of the Verve Years, Jimmy Smith, 1995
no info The Birth Of A Star, Patsy Cline, 1996
no info Crane River Jazz Band, Crane River Jazz Band, 1996?
no info Chief Bey And Ile Omo Olofi (Children Of The House Of God), 1997
no info The Very Best Of The Neville Brothers, 1997
no info The Very Best Of, The Golden Gate Quartet, 1997
no info Trippin' Live, Dr. John, 1997
no info God Promised Me, Zion Harmonizers, 1997
no info Deep River: The Spirit of Gospel Music in Jazz, The Jim Cullum Jazz Band, 1998
no info The Power And The Glory, Mahalia Jackson, 1998
no info Southern Journey Volume 11: Honor The Lamb, The Belleville A Cappella Choir, 1998
no info Around The Campfire, Peter, Paul & Mary, 1998
no info The Atlantic New Orleans Jazz Sessions, Various Artists (George Lewis), 1998
info Shake a Hand/Manufacturers of Soul, Jackie Wilson, 1999
no info Doctor Jazz, George Lewis, 1999
no info The Complete Kid Ory Verve Sessions, Kid Ory, 1999
no info Black Widow Stinger: The Essential Recordings, Vol. 2, Memphis Minnie, 1999
no info Absolutely The Best, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, 2000
no info Moonshine, Memphis Minnie, 2000
info American Roots Music, Various Artists (Sister Rosetta Tharpe), 2001
no info Thinking of You, Joe, Barbara Morrison, 2002
no info Night Time!, Dan Zanes & Friends, 2002
no info Songs Of Faith & Inspiration / What The World Needs Now Is Love, The Sweet Inspirations, 2002
no info Soul & Inspiration, Various Artists (Cissy Drinkard & The Sweet Inspirations), 2002
no info Country Mountain Hymns, The Pine Tree String Band, 2003
no info Walk On: The Final Ray Brown Trio Recording, Ray Brown Trio, 2003
no info Tribute To Mahalia Jackson, Lynda Randle, 2003
no info Funeral For A Friend, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 2004
no info Something Within Me, William Warfield, 2004
no info The Essential Mahalia Jackson, 2004
no info Moments To Remember: The Golden Hits Of The '50s And '60s, Various Artists (Four Lads), 2004
no info Glory Train, Randy Travis, 2005
no info The Folk Den Project 1995-2005, Roger McGuinn, 2005
no info The Argo, Verve and Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions, Oliver Nelson, 2006
info Songs (expanded CD), Jackie DeShannon, 2006
no info The Complete Million Dollar Sessions: 50th Anniversary Edition, The Million Dollar Quartet, 2006
no info Gospel Gold: Good News, Various Artists (The Messiahs Of Glory), 2007
no info Tupelo Honey (CD bonus track), Van Morrison, 2008
no info Yes We Can!, Maria Muldaur, 2008
no info Saxolollapalooza, Frank Macchia, 2008
no info God's Favorite Band, Asylum Street Spankers, 2009
info Crystal Bay, NV, March 26, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
info San Francisco, CA, March 27, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
info Eureka, CA, March 31, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
info Portland, OR, April 3, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
info Falls Church, VA, April 19, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
info Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 25, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
info New Orleans, LA, April 30, 2009, Steve Kimock, 2009
no info The Battles Rage On, Charlie Louvin, 2010
no info Movin': The Complete Verve Recordings, Wes Montgomery, 2011
no info Dreams Of New Orleans, Wycliffe Gordon, 2012
no info Shimmy, Billy Martin / Wil Blades, 2012
no info Complete Instrumental Sessions, Grant Green / Ike Quebec, 2013
info Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War, Various Artists (Taj Mahal), 2013
no info Sharpe Meets Tharpe: A Tribute To Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Avery Sharpe and The New England Gospel Choir, 2015
no info Every Time I Feel The Spirit, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 2015
no info Live At The Village Vanguard, Christian McBride Trio, 2016
no info The Swamp Boogie Queen: Live, Katie Webster, 2017
no info Secularia, Eliza Gilkyson, 2018
no info Stone Cold Soul: The Complete Capitol Recordings, Jackie DeShannon, 2018
no info The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, Pete Seeger, 2019
no info Time To Swing, Joe Farnsworth, 2020
no info For Jimmy, Wes And Oliver, Christian McBride Big Band, 2020

 
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