Have You Ever Seen The Rain (as made famous by Credence Clearwater Revival)

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is a song written by John Fogerty and released as a single in 1971 from the album Pendulum (1970) by roots rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song charted highest in Canada, reaching number one on the RPM 100 national singles chart in March 1971.[1] In the U.S., in the same year it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (where it was listed as “Have You Ever Seen the Rain? / Hey Tonight”, together with the B-side).[2] On Cash Box pop chart, it peaked at number three. In the UK, it reached number 36. It was the group’s eighth gold-selling single.[3]

Some have speculated that the song’s lyrics are referencing the Vietnam War, with the “rain” being a metaphor for bombs falling from the sky.[4] In his review of the song for Allmusic website, Mark Deming suggests that the song is about the idealism of the 1960s and about it fading in the wake of events such as the Altamont Free Concert and the Kent State shootings and that Fogerty is saying that the same issues of the 1960s still existed in the 1970s but that people were no longer fighting for them.[5] However, Fogerty himself has said in interviews and prior to playing the song in concert that the song is about rising tension within CCR and the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band.[6] In an interview, Fogerty stated that the song was written about the fact that they were on the top of the charts, and had surpassed all of their wildest expectations of fame and fortune. They were rich and famous, but somehow all of the members of the band at the time were depressed and unhappy. Thus the line “Have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day.” The band split in October the following year after the release of the album Mardi Gras.

In a literal sense the song describes a sunshower such in the lyric “It’ll rain a sunny day” and the chorus “have you ever seen the rain Comin’ down on a sunny day?”.[7] These events are particularly common in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but less common in other parts of the country, due to localized atmospheric wind shear effects.[7] In Southern regional dialect, there is even a term for it: “the devil beating his wife”.[7]

Proud Mary (as made famous by Credence Clearwater Revival)

“Proud Mary” is a rock song written by John Fogerty and first recorded by his band Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song was released by Fantasy Records as a single from the band’s second studio album, Bayou Country, which was released by the same record company in January 1969. The single is generally considered to have been released in early January 1969 [1][2] although at least one source[3] states that it came out just before Christmas 1968. The song became a major hit in the United States, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1969, the first of five non-consecutive singles to peak at #2 for the group.[5]

In a 1969 interview, Fogerty said that he wrote it in the two days after he was discharged from the National Guard.[6] In the liner notes for the 2008 expanded reissue of Bayou Country, Joel Selvin explained that the songs for the album started when John Fogerty was in the National Guard, that the riffs for “Proud Mary”, “Born on the Bayou”, and “Keep on Chooglin'” were conceived by Fogerty at a concert in the Avalon Ballroom, and “Proud Mary” was arranged from parts of different songs, one of which was about a washerwoman named Mary.[3] The line “Left a good job in the city” was written following Fogerty’s discharge from the National Guard, and the line “rollin’ on the river” was from a movie by Will Rogers.[7]

In the Macintosh program “Garage Band”, Fogerty explained that he liked Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and wanted to open a song with a similar intro, implying the way “Proud Mary” opens with the repeated C chord to A chord. The basic track for “Proud Mary”, as with the other songs on the album, was recorded by John Fogerty (lead guitar), Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitar), Stu Cook (bass), and Doug Clifford (drums) at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California, with John overdubbing instruments and all the vocals later.[3]

Lodi (as made famouse by Credence Clearwater Revival)

“Lodi” is a song written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Recorded in March 1969, it was released in April, four months before the album, as the B-side of “Bad Moon Rising”, the lead single from Green River.[1]

The song describes the plight of a down-and-out musician whose career has landed him playing gigs in the town of Lodi (pronounced “low-die”), a small agricultural city in California’s Central Valley about 70 miles (110 km) from Fogerty’s hometown of Berkeley. After playing in local bars, the narrator finds himself stranded and unable to raise bus or train fare to leave.[1] Fogerty later said he had never actually visited Lodi before writing this song, and simply picked it for the song because it had “the coolest sounding name.”[2] However, the song unquestionably references the town’s reputation as an uninteresting farm settlement, though the narrator does not make any specific complaints. The song’s chorus, “Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again,” has been the theme of several city events in Lodi.[2]

The song’s arrangement includes a change of key in the final verse of the track, emphasising the melancholy drama of the lyric, “If I only had a dollar for every song I sung….”[1]

Fogerty stated, “On ‘Lodi’, I saw a much older person than I was, ’cause it is sort of a tragic telling. A guy is stuck in a place where people really don’t appreciate him. Since I was at the beginning of a good career, I was hoping that that wouldn’t happen to me.”[4]

Who’ll Stop The Rain (as made famous by Credence Clearwater Revival)

“Who’ll Stop the Rain” is a song written by John Fogerty and originally recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival for their 1970 album Cosmo’s Factory. Backed with “Travelin’ Band”, it was one of three double-sided singles from that album to reach the top five on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and the first of two to reach the #2 spot on the American charts, alongside “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #188 on its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.

Lyrically, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” breaks into three verses, with a historical, recent past, and present tense approach. All three verses allude to a sense of unending malaise, pondered by “good men through the ages”, “Five Year Plans and New Deals/wrapped in golden chains”, and the Woodstock generation. The malaise is not defined, but appears to allude to a sense that man’s problems have to be dealt with by those who wish to fix them, and that no ancient philosophers, money-promising government, or Flower Power generation can merely push them off by thought, money, or communal love. There could be no end to warfare and poverty with patchwork economic plans which merely reorganize citizens into new productive forces once the pressures for social change have relaxed. The corrupt leadership within a government continued to wage perpetual war contrary to campaign promises. The song’s universal topical appeal made it unusual in the time of its release and gives it a quality that helps it maintain its popularity 40 years later.

Musically, in contrast to the 1950s-Rock-inspired “Travelin’ Band”, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” has more of an acoustic, folk-rock feel to it. Like many folk-rock songs, it starts off with a ringing acoustic guitar riff, though the backing throughout has more of a roots rock sound than that heard on more standard folk-rock recordings.[1] Interpreting the song in its time period (1970), and the resigned but somewhat angry feeling of the song, many see “Who’ll Stop the Rain” as a thinly veiled protest against the Vietnam War, with the final verse lyrics and its references to music, large crowds, rain, and crowds trying to keep warm being about the band’s experience at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969. There is also a line during the song’s second verse about “five-year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains” that may indicate a general cynicism altogether about self-centered politicians, hollow social movements, and corporate influence within the government. For his part, when asked by Rolling Stone about the meaning of the song’s lyrics, John Fogerty was quoted as saying,

“ Certainly, I was talking about Washington, when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, ‘Daddy stop the rain’. And my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Well, not quite’.” ”
In 2007 during a concert in Shelburne, Vermont, he said the following about the song:

“ Well, this next song has a bit of a fable surrounding it. A lot of folks seem to think I sang this song at Woodstock way back then. No. I was at Woodstock 1969… I think. It was a nice event. I’m a California kid. I went up there and saw a whole bunch of really nice young people. Hairy. Colorful. It started to rain, and got really muddy, and then (yelling) half a million people took their clothes off!!! (Normal voice again) Boomer generation making its presence known I guess. Anyway, then I went home and wrote this song. ”
The half-minute-long fadeout of the song, which reprises the repeating guitar pattern from the intro, seems to reinforce the song’s main theme of the ‘rain’ continuing to go on, interminably.

The song was a concert staple for Bruce Springsteen during 1980-81’s River Tour, as well as on the summer 2003 leg of the Rising Tour. Springsteen and the E Street Band opened with “Who’ll Stop the Rain” whenever it was raining.[2]

When Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Springsteen performed the song with John Fogerty. The song has also been covered by Rudy Rotta, Rod Stewart, Rise Against, Courtney Jaye, The Ventures, and Vince Neil and was included on John Fogerty’s 1998 live CD/DVD Premonition. The Stereophonics have also covered the song as a B-side to their single “Local Boy in the Photograph”.

Microdisney performed the song live, frequently in 1984 and on at least one occasion in 1985. Their version of the song was rearranged in their style, at a faster tempo with additional instrumental parts. Usually the song had guitarist Sean O’Hagan performing vocals on it, but regular singer Cathal Coughlan sang on the 1985 version.

Engelbert Humperdinck included “Who’ll Stop the Rain” on his 2009 album A Taste of Country.

On Fogerty’s 2013 album Wrote a Song for Everyone, he re-recorded the song as a duet with Bob Seger.

Garth Brooks recorded the song for the 2013 “The Melting Pot” album in the “Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences” compilation.

Dwight Yoakam released a version of the song as a single in 2014, after his character, Lyle Chumley, sang a fragment of the song in the “Force Majeure” episode of Under the Dome.[3]

Bill Haley and the Comets recorded a version of this song on their album “Rock Around the Country”.

It’s was also recorded by Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks in 1986. In 86 they would have been called The Band but they paired up with Hawkins again for one album.

Versions of the song with altered lyrics do exist – especially in regions of the USA experiencing e.g. the Texas Gulf Coast (primarily the Third Coast from the upper Texas Gulf Coast to the Florida Panhandle) where the absence of sunny weather is a way of life.

In 1978, the song was used in the film Who’ll Stop the Rain. The movie starred Nick Nolte as a Vietnam veteran. It was originally going to be called Dog Soldiers after the source novel, but when the producers got the rights to use the song, they changed the title to it.[2] The song also appeared in the 1989 film Powwow Highway. Both the original song and a softer, slower cover version sung by Courtney Jaye are included in the soundtrack of December Boys. A clip of the song appears in the film The War. The song was also included in the movie Philadelphia. In 1990 it was also used in a third-season episode of Tour Of Duty, a TV action-drama series that followed the fortunes of a U.S. Army platoon during the Vietnam War. The song features in Haruki Murakami’s novel “Hear the Wind Sing” which was later made into a film.

Green River (as made famous by Credence Clearwater Revival)

“Green River” is a song by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song was written by John Fogerty and was released as a single in July 1969, one month before the album of the same name was released (see 1969 in music).[1]

The song “Green River” was based on a vacation spot for John Fogerty.[5][6] In an interview Fogerty gave to Rolling Stone in 2012, Fogerty stated:

What really happened is that I used a setting like New Orleans, but I would actually be talking about thing from my own life. Certainly a song like “Green River” – which you may think would fit seamlessly into the Bayou vibe, but it’s actually about the Green River, as I named it – it was actually called Putah Creek by Winters, California. It wasn’t called Green River, but in my mind I always sort of called it Green River. All those little anecdotes are part of my childhood, those are things that happened to me actually, I just wrote about them and the audience shifted at the time and place.[7]

Fogerty added that the “actual specific reference, ‘Green River,’ I got from a soda pop-syrup label… My flavor was called Green River.”[6]