River So Wide

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 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…


 

A Southern Gothic murder ballad about Sarah’s experience of the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22-23), based on a midrash (Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 31) in which Satan shows her what’s happening on the mountain, but stops before Isaac’s rescue.