Friday Five: Greatest River Songs


Aha! I fooled you! After all, there is and can only ever be one River Song, even if she is part-Timelord and can possibly even regenerate. But Doctor Who returns tomorrow, and I can't wait for more River, so to tide us all over, here's a few river-related tunes, along with my totally objective assessment of when/if she might listen to these songs.

1. Joni Mitchell - River

One of the most beautiful songs every written, the live version below is even more haunting.

Would River Song listen to this river song: I imagine she would listen to this pretty much constantly in her creepy house of quasi-death, along with her team of quasi-dead researchers. In reality, I can imagine Amy Pond listening to this song every moment she has alone, until she finds her daughter. "Now I've gone and lost the best baby that I ever had," indeed.

2. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary

The ultimate Woodstock anthem, "Proud Mary" became successful twice over, as the Tina Turner version became an even bigger hit than the original.

Would River Song listen to this river song: Not only would she listen to this song, I would lay money down that she was at Woodstock in the crowd, and hooked up not only with CCR but with Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Probably at the same time.

3. Bruce Springsteen - The River

I don't even know what to say about this song. Just listen to it. The video below is its first ever performance I believe, and the emotion is so raw. Just beautiful. Seriously.

Would River Song listen to this river song: Just a general comment on these river songs. They're all fucking classic songs in their own right. We know River hangs out with musicians, so maybe they all separately wrote songs about her. Maybe, just like the Doctor leaves random evidence of his existence throughout time and space, River leaves a bunch of awesome songs.

4. Led Zeppelin - When the Levee Breaks

My favorite Led Zeppelin song by far. The first time I ever heard it was actually when Tori Amos covered it, the day after the levees broke in New Orleans. It's a powerful song that perfectly captures the awesome power of nature with that driving guitar riff which seems to get bigger and bigger every second.

Would River Song listen to this river song: Yes. During sexy times. Which, in her case, is pretty much all the time. But you know what I mean.

5. PJ Harvey - Down By The Water

This isn't specifically about a river, but oh well. It COULD be a river. I posted the mashup below because it's the best. thing. ever. It's a mashup of "Down by the Water," "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos, Bjork and Massive Attack. It's awesome. And you have to listen to it. I don't care if you don't like the artists, you need to listen to it anyway. It comes together beautifully.

Would River Song listen to this river song: Maybe not the original version, but definitely the mashup. "I'm going hunting for a mystery," indeed. And you know that River's taking fashion advice from all three of these women (fiery redhead with a wild mane of curly hair, who always has the most inappropriate outfit for any occasion). And while we don't know the whole truth about River, we do know that she is a mashup of some variety.

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6 Responses to “ Friday Five: Greatest River Songs ”

  1. Al Green - Take me to the River
    The Rev in his finest funkiest form. I can see River Song listening to this after (before? during?) the seduction of her first high school crush.

    Nick Drake - River Man
    Every time I listen to this I want to jump in a time machine and knock on his door and give him a massive hug. If he only knew how much he'd be loved.
    Maybe not by Doctor Song though.

    A Silver Mt Zion - Take These Hands and Throw Them in the River
    River seems like the sort of person who would listen to something fearsome on her iPod while taking down the bad guys. Or maybe she'd just feed this into the enemy flagship and wait for them all to panic.

    Alison Krauss - Down to the River to Pray
    Because the Devil doesn't have all the best tunes.

    Pulp - Wickerman
    We should have one song that's actually about a river (and its environs). I'm sure he'd flinch at the word, but I reckon this is Jarvis's greatest bit of Sheffield psychogeography.

    Tom Waits - Misery is the River of the World
    I can't help inviting Mad Uncle Tom to the barbeque, no matter how many filthy sea shanties he teaches the children. Camille O'Sullivan did a great cover of this.

    Jeffrey Lewis - The East River
    Not one for River Song this. I don't think sensitive boys with acoustic guitars are her type.

    Any more for any more?

  2. Oooh. I imagine her taking sensitive acoustic boys and throwing them into rivers.

    Thinking of more...

    Moon River by Henry Mancini
    River is a little bit Holly Golightly after all...

    Riverwide by Sheryl Crow
    I cant believe I left this one off, it's one of my favorite songs, period.

    River of Dreams by Billy Joel
    I left this one off because it sucks. I'd like to think River goes back and shoots Billy Joel sometime in the late 80's, before he ruins his own career.

  3. Simple Minds - She's a River

    "You give me future shock". Plus, contains guest appearances of Vashta Nerada in the very first verce.

    -- Viv

  4. Smetana: Vltava 

  5. Indeed that's a lovely one. Though I've always been a fan of Theme from the Moldau.

  6. Might need to do a follow-up on classical pieces relating to rivers.


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