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]