Living on the River

by Jerry Rasmussen

Banjo and vocal-Cathy; guitar and vocal-Dave; bass-Forrest; drums-Rich

Our friend Jerry has lived in the Northeast since the 1960s, but many of his songs, like this one, refer to his boyhood home of Janesville, Wis., where the Rock River flows on its way to the Mississippi at Rock Island, Ill. Capt. Gabe Chengery, on the Delta Queen, took a particular liking to this song, and it's his assured request every time he sees us. In fact, it was he who suggested it as a title cut.

Down around the bend by the railroad bridge;
Wadin' through the shallows where the crayfish live;
And over by the cotton mill the catfish bite.
They'll be swimming in the skillet before tonight.

And living on the river was nice and easy.
People on the river just take their time.
The wind in the summer was warm and breezy.
Wind in the winter, it cut like ice.

Off down the hill on a winter's night
To go skating on the river in the cold moonlight.
There's an old wood stove and a hardwood floor,
And you can sit and take it easy while your feet get warm

. Up in the morning at four o'clock.
I'll meet you on the landing at Johnson's dock.
Drifting on the river when the sun comes up,
Drinking hot black coffee from an old tin cup.

Down by the marsh where the blackbirds sing,
And over by the rocks there's a crystal spring,
And back in the shallows where the watercress grow
The sweet spring water runs clear and cold.