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"to push the river"

Posted by Mikko on August 02, 2005

There's a song by Van Morrison called "You Don't Pull No Punches But You Don't Push The River". Apparently it uses to proverbs. "To pull punches" has been explained here before, the term is originally from boxing. But what does the latter part, "to push the river", mean? Doing useless job, like carrying coals to Newcastle (or owls to Athens), perhaps?

Mikko