The character of this song results mainly from the Bibleliterally taken over Psalms. It contains pieces from Psalm 137: 1 and Psalm 19: 14 or 19: 15. It concerns the Jews in exile who wistfully recall the rivers in Babel to their homeland. For the Rastafari is this song recognizable: the river is the Atlantic Ocean, Zion is Africa and Babylon is America (the slave-story).
Rivers of Babylonis one of the best selling songs of the disco groupBoney m., with almost 2 million sold records in Great Britain, where it took out 3 x Platinum . In the Dutch Single Top 100 was 9 weeks on number one. It was the best-selling single of 1978 in Netherlands with almost 400,000 copies sold. after the death of Bobby Farrell in december 2010, the single for 1 week back in the Dutch Single Top 100.