Pagan Chants

The River is Flowing

This is one of the first Pagan chants I learned, and it has always been a favorite of mine because of its lovely melody. It is usually sung in a two-part round (one part begins with "The river..." while the other part begins with "Mother, carry me...") and the two parts work beautifully together. I don't know much about the origin of this chant; it's been recorded on Flight of the Hawk's CD Shamanic Songs and Ritual Chants.

Since the time when I learned this song, I have heard many, many different variants on the melody and wording. I haven't tried to set the musical variations down here, mainly because this is still the version I like best! A common lyrical variation I've often heard is: "Mother, carry me/ Your child I will always be/ Father, carry me down to the sea". Also, many people sing the last line "Mother, carry me back down to the sea."

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The river she is flowing
flowing and growing
The river she is flowing
down to the sea
Mother, carry me
Your child I will always be
Mother, carry me
down to the sea

- Diana Hildebrand-Hull



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