Garth Brooks’ “The River” was a song penned by Garth Brooks with Victoria Shaw, which was a song that inspired people not to be afraid to pursue their dreams. Thirty years later and it remains to be the anthem for all dreamers.
The song was released as the fifth and final single from the 1992 album “Ropin’ the Wind,” featuring background vocals from his then longtime friend Trisha Yearwood. This earned Garth Brooks his ninth number one hit on the Billboard Country charts. In addition to that, “Ropin’ the Wind” also achieved a record as the first ever album by a country music artist to debut at number 1 in the US. It was also included in two other albums – “The Hits” and “Double Live” – which sold over ten million copies each in the US alone.
In an interview with The Tennessean, Shaw recounted how she and Brooks first met in a Country Radio Seminar and they just became friends. One time, Brooks came over to her home in East Nashville, and they wrote this song inspired by a new James Taylor CD that they listened to on the stereo. They were both feeling blank at that time and the songs just really put them into the mood.
After a few moments, Brooks had an idea and he played the first few lines of “The River,” although she remembered not being entirely convinced that ‘vessel’ was the right word. But she decided to trust his instincts.
And when they finally finished the song and put the recording on the boombox, Brooks just asked if she could imagine a stadium full of people just singing the song and waving their lighters. At that time, she thought he was delusional because that never happens in country, but she really learned a good lesson from that.
The song was supposed to be included in his earlier album “No Fences,” but it didn’t make the cut. Fortunately, “The River” was given the chance to be heard in “Ropin’ the Wind,” and it was a whole four-minute and 25 seconds of a song, and people loved every second and minute of it.
You can listen to Garth Brooks’ “The River” in the video below. You can also check out Shaw’s cover of the song with her daughter that brought tears to Brooks. And make sure to check out other Garth Brooks songs!
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