Rivers of Babylon

Rivers Of Babylon

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Rivers of Babylon

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"Rivers of Babylon" is a rastafarian song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970. The Melodians' original versions of the song appeared in the sound track to the 1972 movie The Harder They Come and the 1999 Nicolas Cage movie Bringing Out the Dead. It became popularized in Europe by the 1978 Boney M. cover version.


The song is based on the Biblical hymn Psalm 137, a hymn expressing the yearnings of the Jewish people in exile following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC:

The namesake rivers of Babylon are the Euphrates river, its tributaries, and the Chebar river. The song also has words from :

It is one of a few pop songs whose lyrics come directly from the Bible (See also Turn! Turn! Turn! by Pete Seeger and The Lord's Prayer by Sister Janet Mead).

For Rastafarians the river is the Atlantic Ocean and Zion is Africa, where their fathers were taken into captivity to become slaves in America (Babylon).

Boney M. version

Rivers of Babylon was covered in 1978 by German disco band Boney M, with a version that was released as a single. Boney M.'s release stayed at the #1 position in the UK for five weeks and was also the group's only significant US chart entry, peaking at #30 in the Pop charts. In the UK Boney M. sold more than 1,985,000 copies of the...
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