Popular Sunday school song, ‘Down by the riverside’
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, though it 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. The song has alternatively been known as “Ain’ go’n’ to study war no mo’”, “Ain’t Gwine to Study War No More”, “Down by de Ribberside”, “Going to Pull My War-Clothes” and “Study war no more”. The song was first recorded by the Fisk University jubilee quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922), and there are at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II.
Because of its pacifistic imagery, “Down by the Riverside” has also been used as an anti-war protest song, especially during the Vietnam War. The song is also included in collections of socialist and labor songs (Wikipedia)