Liam Gallagher’s “The River” Lyrics Meaning

Liam Gallagher’s “The River” has been described as “a protest song for… younger generations”. And indeed Gallagher is calling on the intended audience to “scream and shout”. It also apparent that he is addressing youth, as one of the gripes he has with the addressees is their dependency on “time machines” and handheld devices. This reads as if he is alluding to iPhones and the such, which tend to be more popular amongst millennials and younger generations.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Liam Gallagher's The River at

Indeed Liam has many issues with the up-and-comers. But overall he sympathizes with their “pain”.  However, he also perceives them as being “weak of knees” and in a situation where “the walls are closing in”. And accordingly, as alluded to earlier, he is encouraging them to make a heartfelt effort to “work this out”. And this overall reads as if he is referencing forcing a fundamental “change” in the overall scheme of things.

And when this “change” actually does ‘come’, it is the result of ‘water falling’. This is of course a symbolic statement. And within the overall context of the song, “the water” seems to refer to something tantamount to a mass-countercultural movement, i.e. a revolution if you will.

Gallagher is part of the Movement

Additionally Gallagher perceives himself as being part of the movement of “the water”. In fact he seemingly resides “down by the river”.  “The river” too is symbolic, as in the place where “the water” settles after it has ‘fallen’.  And Liam has been “waiting” for the addressee at this location for “so long”.  This would seem to indicate that he is already a tenured participant, perhaps even a victor, in the same struggle against the order of things which he is encouraging addressees to rebel against.

Lyrics of "The River"

Who wrote “The River”?

Liam Gallagher wrote this song alongside his established collaborator, Andrew Wyatt. It is important to mention that Wyatt also produced “The River”.

Release Date

“The River” was released through Warner Bros. Records on 27 June 2019. It is actually came out as the second single from Gallagher’s second solo album entitled Why Me? Why Not. The album also contains Gallagher’s hit tune “Shockwave”.  

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