My Sunday Song – “Hold Back the River” by James Bay

My Sunday Song #68 is “Hold Back the River” by James Bay.  You could say I have become a huge fan of this young man.  I have his album “Chaos & the Calm” (on vinyl and a picture disc at that) and my daughter and I have seen him in concert (Great show – read the review HERE).  He has been posting pictures on Facebook of him in the studio and a new album coming in 2018 which got me listening to him again.

When I hit this song in the playlist, I remembered how much I love this song.  The quiet opening with just some slow picking on the guitar and his voice.  The slow build up and a little faster pace and faster and faster.  It actually has the feel that as you try to hold back the river, it get harder and harder and more intense.

In an interview with The Sun, James said the following about the song:

“I wrote it after my first really busy period as an artist, when music had taken me around the world for the first time, and at the end of the year, I’ve become really eager to see friends and my family properly. ‘Hold Back The River’ is a metaphor for that feeling.”

He definitely succeeded in having that feeling come across in the song.  What I also learned about the song is that is was inspired by the song “The Bucket” by Kings of Leon which has that same style and pacing.  Fun fact, the producer of the song, Jacquire King, also produced Kings of Leon.

If you aren’t familiar with James Bay, give it a listen.  The young man has such a beautiful voice and damn, can he play a guitar.  You will fall in love with his music like I have.  Enjoy and Happy Sunday!

 

“Hold Back The River”

Tried to keep you close to me,
But life got in between
Tried to square not being there
But it’s there that I should’ve been

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river,
So I can stop for a minute and see where you hide
Hold back the river, hold back

Once upon a different life
We rode our bikes into the sky
But now we’re caught against the tide
Those distant days all flashing by

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river,
So I can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river,
So I can stop for a minute and see where you hide
Hold back the river, hold back

Oh, oho, oho, oho, oho
Oho, oho, oho, oho

Lonely water, lonely water,
Won’t you let us wander?
Let us hold each other?
Lonely water, lonely water,
Won’t you let us wander?
Let us hold each other?

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river,
So I can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river,
So I can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river
Hold…
[Alternative line:] Hold back the river
[Acoustic version’s line:] Hold back…

Lonely water, lonely water,
Won’t you let us wander?
Let us hold each other?
Lonely water, lonely water,
Won’t you let us wander?
Let us hold each other?

Written by James Bay and Iain Archer

6 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Hold Back the River” by James Bay

  1. I have never heard of him. He has a nice voice.

    As for the producer of the song, I dislike when they practically copy what works previously for another artist. It doesn’t seem fair to either artist, but especially the first one.

    Liked by 1 person

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