Down By The Riverside By Louis Armstrong

Louis And The Good Book

1968 | Jazz

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“I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield. -- Down by the riverside I'm gonna study, study, war no more."


  • "Down by the Riverside" (also known as "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" and "Gonna lay down my burden") is a spiritual. Its roots date back to before the American Civil War.
  • Louis and the Good Book is a 1958 jazz and spirituals album by Louis Armstro
  • The song was first published in 1918 in Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland, Chicago, the Rodeheaver Company.


Luke Tatum

The great Louis Armstrong! In this lyrically simple but powerful tune, we hear from a man who is broken by war. While the details are sparse, the sentiment is clear--war is a dark art, and one that should be abandoned.

Sherry Voluntary

This song is one that is so dear to my heart, and that I love to sing. It's in the great spiritual tradition, with simple but powerful lyrics that are easily remembered because the lesson is so important. The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, called Christians to a new way apart from the all too frequent warfare of the old testament. How terrible it is that so many professing Christians are in actuality Christo-Statists, twisted by indoctrination to equate God's will with The State's will. They talk about Jesus, all the while completely ignore his teachings on peace and forgiveness. War is a truly terrible burden, that can't be laid down soon enough. Whether religious or not, I encourage you to learn the basics of the religion of 85% of the country. You can be a mirror to those who profess Christ and help them back to his peaceful teachings.

Nicky P

What really needs said about this song. I wish all our soldiers would put down their swords and walk away. The number of lives dedicated to murder on behalf of the state that could learn a skill to advance humanity is unconscionable. From an economic standpoint it's the trouble of the unseen. We see the tanks that are built but we never see the lifesaving artificial womb that's never created. Instead we even guide our scientists toward the business of war. I long for the day the whole of our service makes this song a reality.

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Nicky P