Shall We Gather at the River -- Robert Lowry (1826–1899)
"Shall We Gather at the River?" or simply "At the River" are the popular names for the traditional Christian hymn titled "Hanson Place," written by American poet and gospel music composer Robert Lowry. It was written in 1864 and is now in the public domain. The title "Hanson Place" is a reference to the original Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn, where Lowry, as a Baptist minister, sometimes served.
The song was often employed in Western soundtracks, particularly those of director John Ford (being one of his favorite hymns) and it features in many of Ford's most famous films. In Sweden, the 1876 hymn to the same melody O, hur saligt att få vandra ("O, how blessed it is to walk") became one of the most popular songs of the widespread Swedish revivalist movement. A drinking song to the same melody, Jag har aldrig vart på snusen, partly mocking the religious message of the Swedish original, is one of the most popular drinking songs at Swedish universities.
In Germany, the melody of the hymn became a well-known christmas carol named Welchen Jubel, welche Freude ("What rejoice, o what a joy") with the lyrics of Ernst Gebhardt (1832-1899).
In 1937, the tune was adopted in Japan to a popular enka song Tabakoya no Musume (The Girl at the Tobacconist's). This enka song was soon parodied into juvenile song which goes, … there isn't any wind, but [they still go] swing swing swing". The parodied version of the song remains popular among Japanese children and adults to this day.
The University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, uses the same melody in its official song.
The British band Groove Armada's single "At the River" features a trombone part derived from "Shall We Gather at the River?", played by band member Andy Cato.