20 Best Songs About Rivers

Richard Ellison

What comes to mind when you think of rivers?

Peaceful scenes with a gentle flow, perhaps a solitary fisherman or two. Rivers have been featured in songs for centuries as symbols of tranquility and life-giving force.

Whether you’re looking for mellow acoustic tunes or upbeat rock anthems, these 20 songs about rivers will take you on a journey down some of the world’s most famous waterways.

By the way, if you’re interested in songs about rivers, you may also be interested in songs about art, songs about clouds, songs about europe, songs about horses, and songs about memphis.

I Follow Rivers – Lykke Li

Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers (Director: Tarik Saleh)

The song I Follow Rivers is a driving, upbeat pop tune by Swedish artist Lykke Li.

Filled with catchy choruses and memorable rhythms, this song quickly caught the attention of music fans around the world when it was first released.

Despite its electronic sound, I Follow Rivers actually has deep roots in folk and country music.

In fact, the lyrics specifically reference Native American chants that have been used for generations to help keep people safe in nature.

The combination of pop appeal and ancestral wisdom makes I Follow Rivers a powerful and unique track, one that has stood the test of time as an underground hit.

Whether you’re listening to it on your phone or belting it out on karaoke night, this song is sure to get you moving!

Riverside – Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel - Riverside (Official Video)

Riverside is a beloved song by the indie musician Agnes Obel.

This haunting and atmospheric piece paints a vivid picture of the river that flows through Obel’s hometown, capturing its rippling waters, delicate banks, and vast stretches of open sky.

With its graceful melodies and evocative lyrics, Riverside instantly transports the listener to this special place and lulls them into a sense of peaceful calm.

Whether you are an avid music lover or simply enjoy escaping into nature, this beautiful song will surely touch your heart and leave you wanting more.

Rivers and Roads The Head and the Heart

The Head and The Heart - "Rivers & Roads" (The Doe Bay Sessions)

The song ‘Rivers and Roads’ by The Head and the Heart is an emotionally stirring track that perfectly captures the ups and downs of everyday life.

With its beautiful, melodic vocal melodies and carefully crafted instrumentation, this song beautifully evokes images of long journeys and winding roads.

Throughout the track, we are taken on a journey through various experiences, from feeling lost and alone to finding hope in new friends and connections.

Overall, ‘Rivers and Roads’ perfectly embodies the deeply interconnected nature of our lives, with every event somehow leading to another, always moving toward some unknown destination.

Like a River Runs Bleachers

Bleachers - Like a River Runs (Audio)

Like a River Runs is a catchy, upbeat anthem written and performed by indie pop artist Bleachers.

The song combines driving electronic beats with soaring vocals and moments of guitar-driven rock to create an infectious, high-energy sound that draws the listener in from the very first note.

With lyrics that explore themes of change and growth, Like a River Runs is an inspiring track that is sure to become a mainstay on modern radio stations and playlists for years to come.

Whether you’re looking for an inspirational tune for a workout playlist or simply want something that will get you out of your seat and onto the dance floor, Like a River Runs is sure to be your new favorite jam.

Like a river – Bishop Briggs

Bishop Briggs - River

Bishop Briggs’ song “Like a River” is an ethereal and haunting ballad that has quickly become a fan favorite.

The song was written by Bishop Briggs herself, along with John Ryan and myng Records.

It was released on July 21, 2017, as the lead single from her self-titled debut EP.

“Like a River” is a midtempo song with a catchy beat and swirling synths that create a dreamlike atmosphere.

Bishop Briggs’ powerful vocals are the highlight of the track, as she delivery emotive lyrics about loss and heartbreak.

The song has been praised for its otherworldly atmosphere and its lyrical honesty, with many fans calling it a modern classic.

Bishop Briggs is quickly becoming one of the most exciting new artists in the pop music scene, and “Like a River” is proof of her immense talent.

River – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell - River (Official Music Video)

“River” is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

It was first released on her 1971 album Blue, and has since become one of her most popular and enduring works.

Joni Mitchell is a highly influential and respected musician known for her confessional, introspective lyrics and her complex and varied musical style, which incorporates elements of folk, jazz, and pop.

She has released over a dozen albums throughout her career and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“River” is a melancholy, introspective ballad that reflects on the passage of time and the pain of lost love.

The song’s lyrics are evocative and emotional, and the music is simple and sparse, featuring only Mitchell’s voice and guitar.

Despite its somber themes, “River” is a beautiful and powerful song that resonates with listeners of all ages.

Its simple, stripped-down arrangement allows Mitchell’s emotionally charged lyrics to shine, making it a perfect choice for a playlist about rivers, which are often associated with reflections, introspection, and the passage of time.

Rivers of Babylon Boney M.

Boney M. - Rivers of Babylon (Sopot Festival 1979)

Rivers of Babylon is a popular song by the group Boney M.

It was released in 1978 and went on to become an immediate hit, climbing to the top of the music charts around the world.

The lyrics of Rivers of Babylon tell the story of two slaves who are exiled to Babylon and mourn their homeland.

Despite this somber subject matter, the song is upbeat and full of energy, with catchy rhythms and melodies that have made it a classic among music lovers.

Today, it is still regularly played on radio stations as well as in clubs and other venues around the world.

The River of Dreams Billy Joel

Billy Joel - The River of Dreams (Official HD Video)

The song “The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel is one of the artist’s most beloved pieces.

This slow, thoughtful ballad explores the magic and mystery of dreams, both awake and asleep.

With its lilting melody and haunting vocals, it is the perfect accompaniment to a summer sunset or an evening spent stargazing under a full moon.

Whether you’re driving through the countryside on a beautiful summer day or curled up in bed listening to rain pattering against the window, this song will transport you to another time and place where anything is possible.

Rivers in Your Mouth Ben Howard

Ben Howard - Rivers In Your Mouth (Live At Maida Vale)

The song Rivers in Your Mouth by Ben Howard, is a haunting and introspective look at the ways in which we relate to others throughout our lives.

The lyrics capture the feeling of being “trapped” or pulled between two different worlds, as seen in lines such as “In life you’re plagued with questions.”

With its slow and meditative rhythms, this song perfectly captures the sense of emotional ambiguity that we often feel when navigating complex social relationships.

Whether you are trapped between your family and your friends, your past and your present, or some other seemingly opposing force, Rivers in Your Mouth will speak to you on a deep level through its evocative lyrics and emotional melodies.

River Euphrates – Pixies

Pixies - River Euphrates (live)

River Euphrates is an intriguing song by the band Pixies.

This haunting track weaves its way through a variety of different musical styles, incorporating elements of indie rock, progressive rock, and psychedelic rock to create a sound that is completely unique.

With its deeply emotional lyrics and evocative music, River Euphrates manages to capture the eeriness of its namesake river in an incredibly atmospheric way.

It is one of those rare songs that truly transports you to another world with every passing note, making it a true masterpiece in the world of music.

Rivers The Tallest Man on Earth

Rivers - The Tallest Man On Earth

The song Rivers by The Tallest Man on Earth is an intensely personal reflection on the natural world.

With lyrics that depict turbulent rivers and vast open expanses of land, the song invites listeners to step out into nature and experience its beauty and power for themselves.

Set to a gently driving acoustic guitar melody, it captures the solitude and tranquility of nature while also evoking the energy and rhythms of the water and wind as they blow across vast landscapes.

Whether you’re hiking through a deep forest or camping under a clear night sky, Rivers can help transport you back to those moments of intense clarity and connection with our natural environment.

Many Rivers to Cross Jimmy Cliff

Many Rivers To Cross

Many Rivers to Cross is a classic reggae song written and performed by the legendary artist Jimmy Cliff.

This iconic track has been featured in countless compilation albums and covers, becoming one of the most popular songs in the genre.

With its driving beat and strong lyrical narrative, Many Rivers to Cross is an inspirational anthem that speaks to both personal hardship and larger social struggles.

Whether you are facing your own challenges or fighting for a cause that you believe in, this powerful song will give you the strength and determination to keep moving forward no matter what obstacles stand in your way.

Sober Up (feat. Rivers Cuomo) AJR

AJR - Sober Up (feat. Rivers Cuomo) (Official Video)

Sober Up is a catchy pop-rock tune that was released by AJR back in 2018.

With its upbeat rhythm and heartfelt lyrics, the song quickly became a fan favorite and was widely played across radio stations and streaming platforms.

The hook of the song, sung by prominent musician Rivers Cuomo, is what really drives it forward.

His smooth voice pairs perfectly with the energetic guitar riffs and percussion accompaniment, making for an upbeat and infectious track that listeners can’t help but sing along to.

Whether you’re into rock or pop music, Sober Up will undoubtedly be one of your go-to tunes for all occasions!

Travelling Riverside Blues Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin - Travelling Riverside Blues (Official Music Video)

The song “Travelling Riverside Blues” by Led Zeppelin is one of the band’s most iconic and beloved tracks.

Featuring a memorable guitar riff, guttural vocals, and intense energy, this song perfectly captures the spirit of the legendary rock group.

Structured as an epic blues ballad, it blends elements of blues, folk, and hard rock in a way that is instantly recognizable yet never repetitive or predictable.

Overall, “Travelling Riverside Blues” perfectly captures the distinctive sounds and style that have made Led Zeppelin one of the most influential bands of all time.

Whether you are a fan of rock music or simply appreciate great compositions, this song is sure to charm and delight you.

Not in Rivers, But in Drops Isis

ISIS - Not In Rivers, But In Drops

Not in Rivers, But in Drops is a seminal song by the band Isis that was released in 2008.

With its propulsive rhythms, intricate instrumental interplay, and atmospheric vocals, the song is widely considered to be one of the most essential pieces in the Isis catalog.

In addition to its musical prowess, Not in Rivers, But in Drops has also been praised for its lyrical themes and poignant imagery.

The song explores topics such as impermanence and duality, shining a spotlight on everyday objects that are both beautiful and inherently transitory.

Overall, Not in Rivers, But in Drops is a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate listeners to this day.

Whether you’re a fan of post-metal or simply looking for an incredible sonic journey, it’s definitely worth giving this song a listen.

Rivers of Sand Fennesz

01 Fennesz - Rivers of Sand [Touch]

Rivers of Sand is a powerful and emotive song written and performed by the talented electronic musician Fennesz.

The track paints a vivid picture of a lover who is leaving home for an uncertain future, with swirling synths representing the ever-changing rivers of sand that the protagonist encounters on their journey.

The music pulses and ebbs with restless energy, transporting the listener along on this tumultuous journey as they experience all the raw emotions of parting and longing.

Whether you relate to this intimate tale or simply enjoy great music, Rivers of Sand is sure to leave you mesmerized and moved.

Down By The Water – PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey - Down By The Water

Down By the Water is an iconic song by PJ Harvey, one of the most influential and critically-acclaimed artists of her generation.

This evocative and emotionally layered track tells a powerful story through its haunting vocals, unforgettable melody, and sophisticated use of instrumental textures.

Drawing on literary influences like Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe, Down By the Water is both musically and thematically rich, weaving together elements of spoken word poetry, lush orchestral arrangements, and hard-hitting rock music.

Overall, this song stands out as a masterpiece of modern art that transcends genre, time period, and cultural boundaries to connect with listeners all around the world.

Three Rivers Dave

Three Rivers is an iconic song by the renowned singer-songwriter Dave that evokes the beauty and ruggedness of his homeland in the Pacific Northwest.

With its sweeping melodies and powerful lyrics, this track truly captures the grandeur of this region.

The song opens with a gentle acoustic guitar riff, which gradually builds into a full orchestral accompaniment as it rises to a dramatic crescendo in the chorus.

Throughout, Dave’s moving vocals capture both the strength and vulnerability of this particular landscape, reflecting the deep connection he feels for this place.

Whether you’re familiar with the Pacific Northwest or simply love great music, Three Rivers is sure to be an inspiring listen. Give it a try today!

All Rivers At Once Sevdaliza


The All Rivers At Once by Sevdaliza is a stunning and thought-provoking visual album that explores themes of identity, individuality, and loss.

Throughout the album, Sevdaliza weaves together her own experiences with iconic imagery and powerful lyrics to create a rich and immersive narrative.

The music itself is ethereal and experimental, embodying a melange of genres such as electro-pop, dream pop, ambient electronica, and trap.

This dynamic blend of sounds perfectly complements Sevdaliza’s artistic vision, creating a mesmerizing listening experience that delves deep into the human psyche.

Whether you are a longtime fan of Sevdaliza or new to her work, The All Rivers At Once is sure to captivate and enthrall you from start to finish.

Riverside 2099 Oliver Heldens

Oliver Heldens & Sidney Samson - Riverside 2099 (Official Music Video)

The Riverside 2099 is an innovative single by rising DJ and producer Oliver Heldens.

This track builds on the Dutch artist’s signature sound, combining catchy synth melodies with funky basslines and powerful beats.

The result is a dance-floor friendly tune that keeps listeners on their toes, delivering explosive drops paired with smooth transitions.

With its nod to retro influences and forward-thinking production techniques, the Riverside 2099 represents the best of Oliver Heldens’ singular style and hints at exciting things to come. 

Rivers Between Us Draconian

DRACONIAN - Rivers Between Us (feat. Daniel Änghede) (Official Lyric Video) | Napalm Records

Rivers Between Us is a hauntingly beautiful song by the gothic metal band Draconian.

Its lyrics are both poetic and ethereal, painting vivid images of different waterways that connect our world and unite us with nature.

From tranquil lakes to raging rivers, these ever-shifting bodies of water guide us on our journey through life and provide a deeper connection to the world around us.

Whether we stand at the shores or bravely swim through their currents, the song reminds us that no matter where we are, we are always between two rivers.

So next time you set out on your own unique path through life, take a moment to stop and listen for the song of the rivers between us.