Song lyrics with discussion questions

River So Wide

A song in Sarah’s voice, by Girls in Trouble/Alicia Jo Rabins

I went down to the river so wide
Satan was standing on the other side
He said to me, look and see
I saw you with our only child
With a knife in your hand and your eyes so wild
On the mountaintop, and then the vision stopped
Oh…

My love, my love, what have you done
And where have you taken my only son
Some terrible place where I can’t see his face
All these years I’ve been a faithful wife
And I gave you a child so late in my life
My time was done, when I bore you a son
Oh…

So take me home
And put me to bed
Cause the sun is in the sky
But it’s dark inside my head
       
And I don’t care
If I never do wake up
If I can’t be
With the one I love

Well I went down to the river so wide
Satan was standing on the other side
He said to me, Look and see
But hush little baby, don’t you cry
Cause I’ll be waiting on the other side
You won’t be alone, I’ll make it feel like home
Oh…

Questions for discussion

  1. According to this midrash, what causes Sarah’s death?
  2. How does the bluegrassy sound of this song change or contextualize the content? How might you imagine this midrash would be interpreted differently in a different style of music (classical, opera, heavy metal, rock, hip-hop?)

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Song lyrics with discussion questions." (Viewed on May 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/node/22473>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox