Down in the River to Pray

SSAB a cappella
Arranged for Eva Bostrand and A Joyful Noise. Maybe someday I’ll get a recording so you can hear this easy arrangement of a well-known song. Maybe you’d like to record it at your next concert?

While it is hard to pinpoint the exact origins of the song, “Down to the River to Pray” has been referred to as a hymn, a spiritual and an Appalachian song. Some believe it was a Native American Tribal song that was adapted to include Christian lyrics. It is attributed to George H. Allan in the Slave Songbook of 1867, and Alison Krauss popularized it in the 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? The song also is known by alternate titles such as “Down in the Valley to Pray,” “Come, Let Us All Go Down” and “The Good Old Way.” Whatever the title might truly be, the deeply spiritual song is about keeping the faith in a time of darkness. (Source:

Down in the River G watermarked