Down In the River To Pray


Text: trad. Appalachian
SATB, SSAA, or TTBB a cappella
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

Most of us first heard this song sung by Alison Krauss and the choir of the First Baptist Church of White House, TN in the Coen Brothers’ 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? The original lyric of this old-time bluegrass hymn was “Down To the River To Pray” but was changed to fit the baptism scene in the movie; I’ve kept that change. This arrangement also attempts to maintain the quiet and reflective atmosphere of the movie scene.

Everyone loves to sing this song; you should encourage your audience or congregation to join in. It will be difficult to keep them from it.

Perusal Score (click to view)

SKU: FAM-1010-01 Categories: , , , , Tag:


As I went down in the river to pray,
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way.

1. Oh, sisters, let’s go down,
Let’s go down, come on down,
Oh, sisters, let’s go down,
Down in the river to pray

2. Oh, brothers…
3. Oh, mothers…
4. Oh, fathers…
5. Oh, sinners…


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