Song Analysis: The River by Good Charlotte (2007)

the river

This song is about someone who was lost, whose life was falling apart, but now they want to be found again and get their life back on track. There are several key biblical references that detail this man’s journey from being lost to being found again. Check out the music video down below, and refer to the lyrics if necessary.


As I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of LA
The footsteps that were next to me
Have gone their separate ways

He is reminiscing about his past experiences in Los Angeles, with the shadow indicating that they are just a memory now. The footsteps, or the people he used to hang out with, are no longer with him and have gone off in different directions.

I’ve seen enough now
To know that beautiful things
Don’t always stay that way
I’ve done enough now
To know this beautiful place
Isn’t everything they say

He has been around long enough to know that material goods do not last forever. He has experienced enough to know that earthly pleasures cannot truly satisfy him in the long run.

I heard that evil comes disguised
Like a city of angels
I’m walking towards the light

These material pleasures were disguised as something that could truly satisfy him. The common examples in today’s culture are sex, drugs, and money. We get addicted to these things because they can only make us happy temporarily. Now that he has realized this, he has turned away from these evils and walking toward the good.

Baptized in the river
I’ve seen a vision of my life
and I wanna be delivered
in the city was a sinner
I’ve done a lot of things wrong
But I swear I’m a believer

He claims that he has been cleansed from his evil past now. He recognizes that the life he was living before was wrong, and wants to repent for his sins and be delivered into righteousness. The believer is referencing being a follower of God.

Like the prodigal son
I was out on my own
Now I’m trying to find my way back home
Baptized in the river
I’m delivered
I’m delivered

The prodigal son is another biblical reference. The singer explains he was out on his own and lost in the evils in the world, but now he has been reborn again.

You’re from a small town
You’re gonna grow up fast
Underneath these lights
Down in Hollywood
On the boulevard
The dead come back to life

Possibly talking to the younger generation now, warning them not to get caught up in all of the fame and bright lights of the big city.

To the praying Mother
And the worried Father
Let your children go
If they come back
They’ll come home stronger
And if they don’t
You’ll know

Now addressing the parents of the younger generation, the singer emphasizes that their children have to make their own decisions and survive on their own. If they can do this successfully, they will be better off in the long run.


In summary, the singer is expressing that he once lived within the material pleasures and bright lights of a city like Los Angeles, but realized that these things could not satisfy him forever. He then repented for his sins, and changed his life to follow God.

Let me know what you guys think of this song and the analysis. Like if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others on social media.




About Pierro Perspective

Die hard Boston sports fan
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2 Responses to Song Analysis: The River by Good Charlotte (2007)

  1. sproxy92 says:

    Love this song!

  2. lemonlime7421 says:

    I love this song!! Great analysis!

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