LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER

Live 13 Jan 1970 version


Hey!

Lady walking down by the river
Can't you see how she moves along
Lady walking down by the river
She says her work is never done

Young men lovers quench their thirst for sunlight
Wedging their tongues in a forestland stream
Bathe in the splendor of their bodies
And they sleep 'neath the silent trees

Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and sing me a song
Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and take me along

Lady walking down by the river
Carrying her infant son
Lady walking down by the river
She says her man has long been gone
She says her man has long been gone

Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and sing me a song
Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and take me along
Ahh ahh, whoa whoa-whoa
Oh go go go go go

[Long guitar interlude]

Lady walking down by the river
Lady walking down by the river
Lady walking down by the river
Lady walking down by the river
Lady walking down by the river
Lady walking down by the river

Lady walking down by the river
Carrying her infant son
Lady walking down by the river
She says her man has long been gone
She says her man has long been gone
She says her man has long been gone
She says her man has long been gone

Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and sing me a song
Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and take me along
Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and sing me a song
Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come and take me along
Lady walking down by the river
Won't you come


Info

LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER is a song written by Bruce Springsteen in the summer or fall of 1969 and performed by his early band Steel Mill.

Springsteen took the "And now the lovers..." verse from his 1968 poem SEASCAPE.

Fourty years later, LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER was recorded by Jersey Shore band Steel Mill Retro who released it on All Man The Guns For America, their 2008 album of Bruce Springsteen songs originally performed by the original Steel Mill. See Steel Mill Retro's cover version for more details.

Possible Steel Mill Studio Recording

Still Mill might have recorded the song at Challenger Eastern Surfboards in Asbury Park, NJ. The surfboard factory was also Bruce's home from late 1969 thru late 1970, and a makeshift studio environment of sufficient standard to produce reasonable quality recordings. Although LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER might have been recorded as part of ongoing rehearsals at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, none of these 1969 and 1970 recordings is currently in circulation. Due to financial restrictions the reel-to-reel tapes were often reused. Consequently there is a distinct possibility that much of what was recorded at Challenger no longer survives, even in Springsteen's personal archive.

Live History

According to Brucebase, Steel Mill regularly performed LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER in concert during the second half of 1969 and into the early months of 1970. However, there are only two confirmed performances of the song.

Steel Mill performed a series of concerts in January and February 1970 at The Matrix in San Francisco, CA, opening for Boz Scaggs or The Elvin Bishop Band. On one of the know dates of these concerts, 13 Jan 1970, scheduled headliner Boz Scaggs cancelled due to illness and Steel Mill became the sole act on the bill. This show was attended by critic Philip Elwood who turned up intending to review Scaggs but ended up writing a highly favorable review of Steel Mill that appeared in the 14 Jan 1970 edition of The San Francisco Examiner. Excellent quality soundboard audio from one of the California gigs is in circulation and has been released on several mainstream bootlegs. The audio very likely (but not absolutely certain) emanates from this 13 Jan 1970 show, as it seems to correspond closely to details noted in Elwood's article. The above lyrics are for the live performance of LADY WALKING DOWN THE RIVER from this soundboard recording.

Steel Mill performed on 27 and 28 Feb 1970 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. The concerts were held at "The Center" (a venue that was soon renamed "The String Factory" in May 1970) and Steel Mill was the sole act on the bill. An audience recording from the 28 Feb 1970 show is available, but unfortunately in extremely limited circulation. LADY WALKING DOWN THE RIVER is among the 12 tracks found on the recording.

  1. 13 Jan 1970 at The Matrix, San Francisco, CA
  2. 28 Feb 1970 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA

Covers

As far as it's known, only one artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER.

Steel Mill Retro -- All Man The Guns For America
Steel Mill Retro -- All Man The Guns For America

CD-R - Mega International (674167112427) - USA, 2008

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. This is the first of two issues of this album. See Steel Mill Retro's cover version for more details.

References

Much of the above info about the live performances is taken from Brucebase.

Request

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Available Versions

List of available versions of LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER on this website:

LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER [Live 13 Jan 1970 version]
LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER [Steel Mill Retro's cover version]

Page last updated: 28 May 2011