River Don’t Go

Charlie Puth’s song “River” from his Nine Track Mind Album, is undeniably poetry. Just the way the song expresses feelings of love and trust makes it an incredible masterpiece. The slow texture of listening to the words and their meaning is very profound. It is one of his overall underrated yet good songs. Along with Charlie’s other songs about love, relationship, and heartbreak, this particular song has a deep metaphor for the word river. This song has a speaker in it which is Charlie and the audience which is his ex-lover and the occasion is really not important. But the what and meaning of the song is about Charlie’s ex-girlfriend blocking him out entirely and acting nonchalant about her pain, and in return makes Charlie feel more hurt as he wants to see her express her emotions more instead of forming into a river and flowing away from him. We get a sense of this in the first stanza, which says…

Look, you can play it cool
Act like you don’t care
River don’t be cruel
You’re pushing me away
Don’t want to get hurt
So you hurt me first
With the words you say

We can notice the AABB rhythmic stanza in the first verse between cool and cruel, and away and say. Also, the way the word river is used. We may ask ourselves well, how can a river be cruel. Because the only definition for a river is, a large natural stream of water flowing in different directions. I can see now, why Charlie chooses the river to be the main idea in his song. Relationships can go in different directions, like rivers. And sometimes with the pressure of the water can also push people away. But the song also doesn’t lose its sense of structure. In the next verse, it explains how Charlie is now giving up on this relationship seeing as going nowhere and now he feels that she should just fall.

Maybe you should fall
That’s what rivers do
’cause when you’re in love
You don’t mind a different view
Things are looking up

So in the song, Charlie is still wanting his ex-girlfriend’s love but again she’s not returning the feelings back to him. But he still pushed forward and wanted to accept the facts and still be with her but continuing to tell her not to run away from him. While listening to the song’s lyrics, Charlie is explaining to his ex-girlfriend how she shouldn’t give up because when the water gets rough where is she going to go his heart is her home and nothing is as cold as running on your own so River you shouldn’t rush. And we can infer that maybe river is a part of a nickname that Charlie has for his ex-girlfriend.

In conclusion ending of the song ends with Charlie continuing to say that she shouldn’t run from him and not from their love. The How of the story and the way the language has meaning is that you should never give up on the things that you love even if it feels like there’s no hope you always have to keep trying because one day you will feel that love and your River Won’t Give Up and won’t run.

One thought on “River Don’t Go

  1. Isaac K.

    I thought this was a very interesting analysis of this song. I had heard this song before but thought anything of the lyrics. Every literary element you picked out of the song was well thought through and made a lot of sense.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s