In 1864, during some of The Civil War’s bloodiest fighting, poet Robert Lowry penned words of optimistic direction to a nation divided. Put to a simple melody, the song eventually became known by its first line. Shall We Gather At The River has become iconic, familiar to those who grew up in church as well as followers of popular culture.
Director John Ford used Shall We Gather At The River as part of the soundtrack in no less than seven of his popular western films including “Stagecoach” starring John Wayne and the Henry Fonda classic, “My Darling Clementine.” Among more than eighty film soundtracks of varying genres, the song was also included in the more contemporary westerns–”The Wild Bunch”, “Hang ‘Em High”, and “Jeremiah Johnson” to name a few.
Listen to this LIVE version as Buddy Greene accompanies himself on guitar and Jeff Taylor adds atmosphere with accordion and whistle fife with Gordon Mote on keyboard.