3 pages | PDF | 733.4 KBDown by the River is a folk-rock song composed and written by Neil Young. The song is in a moderate tempo of around 96 beats per minute and is composed in the key of D major and B minor. It contains 37 measures, and is largely based on acoustic guitar chords, though it also contains electric guitar licks and a basic percussion track. The lyrics are about a romantic relationship, with a theme of heartache and loss. There is a sense of longing and regret throughout the song, as Neil Young sings about his relationship and the river serving as a metaphor of the distance between him and his lost love. Down by the River is a gentle and heartfelt piece, perfect for a contemplative mood.