Traditional Gospel

Lyrics

1. Gonna lay down my burden
Down by the riverside.
Chorus
I ain’t gonna study war no more.

2. Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside.
Chorus

3. Gonna put on my long white robe
Down by the riverside.
Chorus

Background

“Down by the Riverside” has a long history and was known at the time of the American Civil War. The line “I ain’t gonna study war no more” perhaps originated from this conflict. Slaves from the American South sung this song as a work song and added many lines to it from other spirituals. With little changes since then, the song has endured into modern times.

Performances

Here is a recording by the “Million Dollar Quartet,” the name given to a group comprising Johnny Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis!

Here is a recording of another quartet from 1958 – the Golden Gate Quartet:

And here is the Sing-A-long version for listening to and downloading:

Down by the Riverside