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"Big River" is a song written and performed by Jimmy Nail and released on the album Big River. It was released as a single in 1995. In 2011, it was recorded by Joe McElderry for the DVD, Big River Big Songs: The Tyne.[1] McElderry also performed it for Sunday for Sammy in 2012.[2]

"Big River"
Single by Jimmy Nail
from the album Big River
GenreRock, Pop, Country
LabelWarner Music UK
Songwriter(s)Jimmy Nail


The big river referred to in the title is the River Tyne that runs through Nail's home town, Newcastle upon Tyne. The song is an elegy to the days when shipbuilding and industry in general were at their height in Newcastle and laments the later decline of the industry and therefore the decline of the importance and activity of the Tyne itself. However, in the last chorus, the song takes a more hopeful turn, declaring that, "the river will rise again".

The guitar work on the song was provided by Mark Knopfler who features in the music video[3].


  1. ^ Joe’s made big Tyne on DVD Retrieved on 27 November 2011.
  2. ^ Sunday for Sammy 2012, MWMDVD106, Dir. Geoff Wonfor, Prod. Ray Laidlaw
  3. ^

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