Peace Like A River Lyrics - Paul Simon

Review The Song (8)

Peace like a river ran through the city
Long past the midnight curfew
We sat starry-eyed
Oh, we were satisfied

And I remember
Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans where changed
Oh, if the plans were changed

You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can’t outrun the history train
I‘ve seen a glorious day

Four in the morning
I woke up from out of my dreams
Nowhere to go but back to sleep
But I’m reconciled
Oh, oh, oh, I’m gonna be up for a while
Oh, oh, oh, I’m gonna be up for a while
Oh, oh, oh, I’m gonna be up for a while

© 1971 Words and Music by Paul Simon

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A REAL Revolution | Reviewer: David Heimlich | 8/19/11

Though I was a child of the 60's this song reminds me of the struggle of the South African people (Simon brought their music to the attention of the world through his Graceland album) but as been said in one of the earlier posts it has a universal and timeless appeal. I recently was thinking about the media blackout after Ron Paul's Iowa Straw Poll victory (well only 153 votes off) and thought how appropriate this song describes our country's present predicament. NOW could be the fulfillment of this prophetic song in the struggle be heard and elect Congressman Ron Paul to lead us through these dark times.

Context to lyrics | Reviewer: david r | 5/26/11

"Peace like a river" refers to the Sixties Movement. Starry eyed refers to the optimism of the times, and perhaps drug use. "Misinformation followed us" refers to the FBI campaign to disrupt dissident operations under Nixon and then FBI chief Hoover. I hope we can all someday see the "glorious day" he sings about. Peace.

Guitar song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/4/10

Well, James, I'm 55 years old and when the song first came out (in 1972 by the way) I, being a young finger picker, HAD to learn it because it was so cool. I could never sing it too well because I have a low voice and Simon's is high so the key didn't work. But the guitar part was lot of fun to learn. I never thought much about the lyrics. Too obtuse for my meager brain.

the song itself | Reviewer: James | 4/7/10

I am only 36 years if age. Not quite old enough to remember the context of this song. But as guitar player, I found it a song that must be learned. The song itself is awesome. I am sure it had some political meaning or some deep and heavy implications. But I loved it first and foremost for the music. And the lyrics make this possible as they don't incite any favor or anger one way or the other. This is one of Paul's best original guitar songs in my view. We can interpret how we want, but when a man writes a song it has a personal meaning for a time and place that is sometimes not to be interpreted.

Freedom | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/1/10

This song can be interpreted in so many ways and this universality is is what makes it great. I was thinking of a captive in an occupied territory. The liberators have finally arrived and the news has spread, but communication is sketchy. There is nothing they can do but wait, but the very thought of being liberated after such oppression and uncertainty is glorious.

This is protest music ... utopian | Reviewer: Robert | 1/22/10

Peace "ran through the city" because every dissident was preparing for the prospective protest demonstration. They did not have good communication about when and where to meet. They had courage, knowing they would encounter force ... " you can beat us with wire ...", and as an epilogue, he is up all night because he is thinking about what they did to try to make a better world.

The Sixties | Reviewer: jon clark | 2/2/08

I believe this song is speaking to the generation of the sixties.
"You can run out your rules/but you can't outrun the history train."
A lot of society was changing quite rapidly when this song was written. This interpretation sounds plausible to me. What do you guys think?

and i... | Reviewer: tom odaniels | 5/29/07

and i thought peace like a river was religous???
hee hee hee.

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------ Performed by Paul Simon

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------ 11/23/2014

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