Monday, March 9, 2009


I heard this on the satellite dish country station last night, and I understood the feelings behind if immediately. In fact, I had one of those “Gee I wish I’d written that” moments. There wasn’t any info on the screen, but I was pretty sure it was the late Roger Miller singing, so I jotted down a few lyrics, and tracked it down. Roger is probably best remember for his humorous country hits, like Chug-a-Lug, but he’s written some beautiful ballads and love songs, including this. Here, from the notes:

This unjustly forgotten masterpiece was in many ways the last great creative gasp for the late, great country songwriter-singer Roger Miller, who died in 1992. After he wrote countless country gems like "Invitation to the Blues," "King of the Road," and "Dang Me" during the 1950s and '60s, Miller's creative muse ran dry in the early 1970s. The drought continued until he made a remarkable comeback by penning the 20-song score and contributing vocals to the soundtrack of this 1985 Broadway adaptation of Mark Twain's literary classic. Big River still stands as a dazzling, heartwarming slice of musical Americana and the final crowning achievement in one of country music's most celebrated careers. --Bob Allen

RIVER IN THE RAIN (condensed lyrics)

River in the rain
Sometimes at night you look like a long white train
Winding your way away somewhere
River I love you don't you care

If you're on the run winding some place
Just trying to find the sun
Whether the sunshine, whether the rain
River I love you just the same

But sometimes in a time of trouble
When you're out of hand
And your muddy bubbles roll across my floor
Carryin' away the things I treasure
Hell, there ain't no way to measure
Why I love you more than I did the day before

River in the rain
Sometimes at night you look like a long white train
Winding your way away from me
River, I've never seen the sea

And here’s a YouTube recording of Roger singing it. All of us who love nature, be it rivers or mountains, the bald prairie or the salt sea, no matter if it’s where we live, or long to be, will feel this touch their hearts, I’m sure.

Video by YT member chargertom
Photo of the Alberta flood of '05 by A. Penner


Poetikat said...

It's a beautiful, rather haunting song. Was he writing about the Mississippi? or the Missouri?
That verse about the flood is interesting.
I've only ever heard Roger Miller singing "King of the Road". Thanks for introducing me to more of his music. He has a bit of a Willie Nelson sound, don't you think? (Or perhaps it's the other way around.)


Sylvia K said...

What a great post! and what a great song by Roger Miller! It did touch me, how could it not? There is nothing about nature that doesn't touch me, thrill me, inspire me, on a daily basis. Thank you for saying it so well.

Lin said...

fun lyrics, enjoyed the lyrics

Shellmo said...

As a nature lover - I loved this post!! Thank you!!!

Kallen305 said...

Absolutely love the lyrics!

bobbie said...

I really love this. Thank You. I don't think I've ever heard it before.

Sue said...

I had no idea that Roger Miller had ever come back to song writing. How beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

Cloudia said...

Thank you!
How about Joni Mitchel wishing she had a river to skate away on?
Ah, river runs
runs to the sea-
wherever that river runs
that's where I want to be...
(Easy Rider theme)

Anonymous said...

You know what song I have had stuck in my head lately? Remember that one by Johnny Cash that had the line in "how high's the water, Mama?" Well, it is that song! When I saw the flood that is what I thought you were going to write about.

My driver's ed teacher in Oklahoma looked and sounded like Roger Miller, but he was better looking!

Beth P. said...

That is beautiful--had not heard this one before--

Thanks for passing this gem on to us!