Reparations Archive

Our Most Recent Spiritual Performance

Down By the Riverside

as a congregational hymn

This song has roots back to the American Civil War, and was first recorded by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1920.  The song contains biblical imagery of Baptism, heaven and the River Jordan – possibly representing a hidden reference to escaping slavery.  Due to its pacifist imagery, the song has been used primarily as an anti-war protest song.