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Doves - Caught by the River - Lyrics Meaning

The Doves have long been a successful underground stadium rock band, if that isn't an oxymoron. `Caught by the River' is written to a friend (possibly son) struggling to depression, to the point of suicide.

The river referred to in the chorus is life itself. Unending and ever-changing but not affected in anyway by your participation. The person being spoken to is contemplating leaving the river, (`would you give it all away?').

At the hands of a hard lesson learnt now the focus of the song is being eaten up by his bitterness. (`You learned a hard lesson' and `Would you give in just to spite them all?').

The repeating line (`would you give it all away') goes from being a suicidal mantra to a salvation as spoken by the narrator. Urging and willing him to give it all away and see life for what it is rather than being consumed by his own state of mind.

`Give it all away now/

don't let it come apart'

Featured in the `OC Soundtrack' the song gained greatly in popularity and has been seen as a song about heart break, however on deeper inspection this is not the case.

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