My blues piano interpretation of a traditional spiritual song.


About this piece

The original writer of this song is unknown, although it’s generally considered to be a traditional African American piece. As with many such songs, there are variations on the tune and the lyrics. However, the common theme is the desire to cross the river and enter the campground, referring to a person passing into heaven to be with God.

About this recording

This is one of my favourite blues tunes, and as is typical for me, this recording was fairly spontaneous. I’ve played the piece many times before, so I just went for it and played what flowed. To me, the song speaks of the (sometimes stolid) hope which remains when a person’s faith is all they have left to live for.

I played the song in G, using fairly typical chords through most of it. There is a slightly challenging chromatic progression which can be difficult to voice correctly. There’s also some ambiguity in the harmony in places where there is a hazy transition from A to Am. Other than that, the progressions are quite straightforward.


I’ve licensed the recording as Creative Commons Attribution, which means you’re free to re-use it as long as you give me credit. I’d like to request that you don’t use it for commercial purposes without my permission though.

If you find it useful, then please let me know.