Act III Rivers to Cross

Many rivers to cross was a song written by Jimmy Cliff in 1969.

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He explained that the lyrics indicated the difficulties he experienced in his journey from being a successful reggae artist in the Caribbean to being accepted in the British and American markets. He was not really referring to physical barriers but to emotional and social factors which inhibited his progress.

The song title was picked up by those within and outside the music industry as a mythological symbol of the many obstacles which must be overcome to fulfil one’s true potential; to live one’s dream

Though there is no evidence that Jimmy Cliff had even heard of Joseph Campbell, the concept is totally compatible with the central part of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, in which the heroes are faced with numerous obstacles to progress.

Heros learn about themselves, about life and the world in which they must live. There are those who help them achieve their ends, others who present barriers to their progress. The hero also encounters events (and people) which present a physical threat.

The most dangerous woman in the world

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