About The Song

Background

“Big River” is a song written by Johnny Cash and originally released by him in 1958. The song is a dark and brooding ballad about a man who has lost his love and is drowning his sorrows in alcohol. The song’s lyrics are full of despair and hopelessness, and the melody is slow and mournful.

Despite its dark subject matter, “Big River” was a commercial success for Cash, reaching number four on the Billboard Country Singles chart. The song has been covered by many other artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Petty, and U2.

In 1990, a cover of “Big River” by The Highwaymen, a country supergroup consisting of Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson, was released. The Highwaymen’s version of the song is even more downbeat and atmospheric than Cash’s original, and it features a powerful vocal performance from all four singers. The song was a critical and commercial success for The Highwaymen, reaching number one on the Billboard Country Singles chart.

Musical Style

“Big River” is a country ballad with a slow tempo and a mournful melody. The song is played in the key of A minor, and it features a simple chord progression. The song’s lyrics are full of despair and hopelessness, and they are sung in a low, gravelly voice by Cash and the other Highwaymen. The song’s instrumentation is sparse, consisting only of acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. This simplicity allows the song’s lyrics and melody to take center stage.

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Lyrics

The lyrics of “Big River” are full of despair and hopelessness. The singer describes how he has lost his love and is now drowning his sorrows in alcohol. He sings about how he is “gonna drown this memory” and how he is “gonna wash this heartache away.” The singer also compares his love to a “big river” that is “gonna flood” him.

The song’s lyrics are full of vivid imagery, and they paint a bleak picture of a man who is lost and alone. The singer’s use of metaphors, such as the comparison of his love to a “big river,” is effective in conveying the depth of his despair.

Cultural Impact

“Big River” is a classic country song that has been covered by many artists and has been a staple of country radio for decades. The song is a dark and brooding ballad, but it is also a powerful and moving song that has resonated with listeners for generations.

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The song’s cultural impact is evident in the many covers that have been recorded by other artists. Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Petty, and U2 are just a few of the many artists who have covered “Big River.” The song has also been featured in a number of films and television shows, including “The Big Lebowski” and “Sons of Anarchy.”

“Big River” is a timeless classic that continues to be enjoyed by fans of country music and beyond. The song’s dark and brooding lyrics and powerful melody make it a truly unforgettable song.

Conclusion

“Big River” is a classic country song that has been covered by many artists and has been a staple of country radio for decades. The song is a dark and brooding ballad, but it is also a powerful and moving song that has resonated with listeners for generations. The song’s cultural impact is evident in the many covers that have been recorded by other artists, and it has also been featured in a number of films and television shows. “Big River” is a timeless classic that continues to be enjoyed by fans of country music and beyond.

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Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤
Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky
And the tears I cried for that woman are gonna flood you Big River
And I’m gonna sit right here until I die

I met her accidentally in St. Paul (Minnesota)
And it tore me up every time I heard her drawl, Southern drawl
Then I heard my dream went back downstream cavortin’ in Davenport
And I followed you, Big River, when you called

Then you took me to St. Louis later on (down the river)
A freighter said she’s been here but she’s gone, boy, she’s gone
I found her trail in Memphis, but she just walked up the bluff
Raised a few eyebrows and went on down alone

Now, won’t you batter down by Baton Rouge, River Queen, roll it on
Take that woman on down to New Orleans, New Orleans
Go on, I’ve had enough; dump my blues down in the gulf
She loves you, Big River, more than me

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