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A river is a natural divide within a community and to my experience, the inhabitants of each side remain loyal to the one they have chosen. But other elements, can also separate us: train tracks (‘he came from the wrong side of the tracks’), roads (‘on the sunny side of the street’), TV advertisements (‘We’ll see you after these words from our sponsors’), graphs (‘let’s flatten the Covid19 curve’), or even time itself (‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.’)

Looking with envy on the other side

But back to rivers, for as well as dividing us, they also present a challenge to cross them. In my younger days, in the 1960s, the folk singing era was in full swing and the River Jordan was a source of inspiration for many folk poets. Our Australian singing group, The Seekers, released their contribution with their 1967 hit ‘On the Other Side’, co-written by Tom Springfield with Gary Osborne and Bob Sage.

You can hear them even now by following this YouTube link: