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"The River" became a centerpiece of shows on some Springsteen tours. On the 'Born in the U.S.A.' tour, it was often preceded by a long, intense story from Springsteen about his battles with his father growing up, that would sometimes conclude in a good ending and sometimes not; the silence after the story would then be interrupted by the start of the harmonica part.

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Lyrics

I come from down in the valley
Where mister when you're young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
When she…

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