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The River (Garth Brooks song)


The River (Garth Brooks song)

"The River"
B-side "We Bury The Hatchet"
Released April 27, 1992
Format CD single, 7" single
Recorded 1991
Genre Country
Length 4:25
Label Liberty 57765
Writer(s) Victoria Shaw, Garth Brooks[1]
Producer Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology

"Papa Loved Mama"
"The River"
"We Shall Be Free"

"The River" is the title of a song co-written and recorded by American country music singer Garth Brooks. It was released in April 1992 as the fifth and final single from his album Ropin' the Wind, and in late 1991 it became his ninth Number One hit on the Billboard country charts. The song was written by Brooks and Victoria Shaw.


The song is a mid-tempo country pop ballad in which a river is used as a comparison to one's dreams. Through the lyric, the narrator says that he will continue to pursue his dreams.

Background and production

Garth provided the following background information on the song in the CD booklet liner notes from The Hits:

"Of all songs, most of the letters I receive concern "The River." It is a song of inspiration... a song that I will be proud of a hundred years from now. Victoria Shaw is a wonderful writer and a wonderful friend. And this is what happens when two dreamers get together and write from the heart. One of the greatest awards that this song has ever received was the fact that it was played at Dale Wehr's funeral. Quite an honor, cowboy."[2]

Additional personnel on the song included Kenny Malon on percussion, Edgar Meyer on bass, and Trisha Yearwood on harmony vocals.

Critical reception

Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the song as an "ambitious epic".[3] Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker considered it a standout track on the album, saying it "showcase[d]…his ability to imbue baleful country ballads with complex, soulful emotions."[4]

Chart positions

Chart (1992) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1992) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 35
US Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 43


External links

Preceded by
"I Saw the Light"
by Wynonna
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

July 25, 1992
Succeeded by
"Boot Scootin' Boogie"
by Brooks & Dunn
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

August 8, 1992
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