Down To The River

arr. Paul Jennings

While there is no certain origin for this engaging song, it was first published just after the Civil War in the late 1860s as "Good Old Way." However, it has many different names, including the most popular one these days, "Down To The River To Pray" as performed by Alison Krauss in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

While it is sometimes described as an Appalachian folk song, it is also an African American spiritual and most likely a code song as many older verses speak of directions in the river.

Our setting for recorders and orchestra features three recorder parts, including a more difficult soprano 1 part, appropriate for many players by this time of year. It also includes an optional soprano 2 part that calls for just G, A, and B, as well as an alto recorder part, equally optional, and suitable for a beginning alto player. Actually, our arrangement is scored so that you can use any part or combination, though it will be most effective if some are playing the soprano 1 part.

You can find a piano/recorder score at our web site if you wish to follow along.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.