Down by the Riverside (SATB)

From: $3.75

Bring the audience to its feet! This uplifting arrangement of the popular spiritual carries us from the familiar tune to an African groove, as the plea for an end to violence builds to an urgent climax. SATB, vocal soloists, instrumental combo, djembe ensemble. 



Kallman Creates Publications, Composer Daniel Kallman Kallman Creates Publications

SATB with alto and tenor soloists, piano, electronic keyboard, electric bass, opt. guitar, drum set, soprano sax and djembe ensemble. Duration: 10’00”


(Our Children, Our World Concert combined choirs and instrumentalists, Daniel Kallman conducting)



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Composer’s Notes

The piece opens with the well-known tune and words of the spiritual (see my SA setting, available separately), this time for SATB voicing and piano. It then segues into an African groove, building at the entrance of each soloist or group of instruments, until finally the djembe ensemble enters, bringing the piece to a towering climax.

The focus is on a future where we finally lay our weapons down and collectively reach the goal of a lasting peace among nations. This version received its premiere as the rousing closer on a full concert of my music, “Our Children, Our World,” on June 20, 2019 (see concert program here). Here is the text, including additional words of my own, starting at “Then true justice . . . ”

I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the riverside . . .
And I ain’t gonna study war no more.
I ain’t gonna study war no more . . .
I’m gonna shake hands and make a friend . . .
I’m gonna lay down my hate and fear . . .
. . . until that day we won’t have war anymore.
Then we won’t study war no more . . .
There won’t be time for war no more.
We won’t have time for war no more.
Never gonna have time for war no more,
No more war, no more war.
Lay ’em down, lay ’em all down, lay ’em all down, lay them all down…

Then true justice will comfort all people,
every nation will sing one song;
Love and kindness will reign forever
and all nature will sing along.
Hope will grow so that fear is forgotten,
and all children will join their hands;
War and hate will consume us no longer,
While compassion and peace grow stronger,
and together we build that promised land!
Lay ’em down, lay ’em all down, lay ’em all down, lay them all down…
(Shouted) Ah… LAY THEM ALL DOWN!

Additional information

Score/parts options

Choral score, Set of instr. parts