NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 21: Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires perform onstage at the Americana Honors & Awards 2016 at Ryman Auditorium on September 21, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. at Ryman Auditorium on September 21, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music)

“River” by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit from the 2020 album Reunions

The river is my savior
Cause she used to be a cloud
She’s happy just to lay there
When she used to be so proud
And even when she dries up
A thousand years from now
I’ll lay myself beside her
And call her name out loud

The river is my savior
Only one I’ll ever need
Wash my head when I’ve been sinning
Wash my knuckles when they bleed
Protect me from my neighbor
All his jealousy and greed
Take the body to the delta
Hide the weapon in the weeds

But now I’m tired and a little bit confused
Regarding what I meant to do and what I did
The men I’ve hired
They all seem to be afraid of me
They turn their eyes away from me
Like kids

The river hears my secrets
Things I cannot tell a soul
Like the children that I’ve orphaned
And the fortune that I stole
The neighbor who asked questions
‘Til he washed up on the shoal
But I’ve done the law some favors
So nobody has to know

Now I’m tired and I just can’t get to sleep
I’ve been a wolf among these sheep
For all my life
The lake of fire
It consumes me in my dreams
Last night I woke up
Screaming at my wife

The river is my savior
She’s running to the sea
And to reach her destination
Is to simply cease to be
And running ’til you’re nothing
Sounds a lot like being free
So I’ll lay myself inside her
And I’ll let her carry me

Reunions Track List

  1. What’ve I Done to Help
  2. Dreamsicle
  3. Only Children
  4. Overseas
  5. Running With Our Eyes Closed
  6. River
  7. Be Afraid
  8. St. Peter’s Autograph
  9. It Gets Easier
  10. Letting You Go

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.

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