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James Bay - Hold Back the River

Tried to keep you close to me,
But life got in between
Tried to square not being there
But think that I should have been

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and see where you hide
Hold back the river, hold back

Once upon a different life
We rode our bikes into the sky
But now we call against the tide
Those distant days are flashing by

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and see where you hide
Hold back the river, hold back

Hold oho, oho, oho, oho
Oho, oho, oho, oho

Lonely water, lonely water, won't you let us wander
Let us hold each other
Lonely water, lonely water, won't you let us wander
Let us hold each other

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold

Lonely water, lonely water, won't you let us wander
Let us hold each other
Lonely water, lonely water, won't you let us wander
Let us hold each other

English indie rocker James Bay released this song in 2014—the second single from his debut album Chaos and the Calm. The song had already gone platinum by the time full album came out. Bay’s music career was taking off and he spent a lot of time away from home, touring. He felt anxious about being away from his friends and family. This anxiety was clarified in a single moment—he was headlining his first show in London, hoping he’d get to spend time with his friends and family. When the show ended and everyone had gone home, he was alone again, and poured his feelings into this song. This song earned Bay one of three Grammy nominations in 2016, for Best Rock Song.

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