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This is the track that comes just before the phenomenal 'Animal Farm', and it's just as good. It works as an album track and it could be that 'Sitting By The Riverside' was the last track on side 1 of the original LP and was never meant to run hand-in-hand with the first track of side 2 'Animal Farm'; but whatever the original planning was, they run together beautifully on any CD version of the LP.
'Sitting By The Riverside' is so openly warm and chirpy it makes you want to lie on your back and "spread your arms to the open-wide" just as they suggest in the song. The song is encapsulated in the distinct sound of an accordian or fairground organ (one of the two) and rattles along for a very brief 2-and-a-half minutes, leading us up to the magnificent 'Animal Farm'.
The song evokes bright sunshiney days and easy living; we're just waiting to invite all our friends, even the animals, to enjoy the wonderful moment that is, well, LIFE! Yes, it's a celebration that life is wonderful, nothing more complicated than that.
Lovely song, lovely album. Such beautiful use of old-fashioned instruments and lyrical invention, creating an ambience so rich and warm.