Song Lyric Sunday – Green River – Swamp Rock

I was so happy that Jim Adams picked Swamp Rock for the week’s Song Lyric Sunday. It gives me a chance to share a song by probably my most favorite band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and you can’t get a swampier song than Green River. Although CCR’s music gives the impression they are from the Bayou, they are actually from California and just happen to have that great sound. Hope you enjoy it. The Woodstock video is exceptional. Fogarty doesn’t miss a beat.

The Song

This song was written by group leader John Fogerty, who explained in his Storytellers special: “Green River is really about this place where I used to go as a kid on Putah Creek, near Winters, California. I went there with my family every year until I was ten. Lot of happy memories there. I learned how to swim there. There was a rope hanging from the tree. Certainly dragonflies, bullfrogs. There was a little cabin we would stay in owned by a descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody. That’s the reference in the song to Cody Jr. [“Up at Cody’s camp I spent my days…”]

The actual specific reference, Green River, I got from a soda pop-syrup label. You used to be able to go into a soda fountain, and they had these bottles of flavored syrup. My flavor was called Green River. It was green, lime flavored, and they would empty some out over some ice and pour some of that soda water on it, and you had yourself a Green River.”

John Fogerty has said that Green River is his favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival album, in part because it sounds like the ’50s albums by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash that came out of Sun Records in Memphis.

Asked about his song writing by Mojo magazine, John Fogerty replied: “More common is me fooling around on the guitar coming up with a riff or a lick or even just a tone which sparks some kind of creativity. Your mind gets a vibe, like the lick for ‘Green River’ – that’s what it sounded like, a green river, ha ha. And that was a title I had carried around since I was about eight years old.”

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

Well, take me back down where cool water flows, y'all
Oh, let me remember things I love
Stoppin' at the log where catfish bite
Walkin' along the river road at night
Barefoot girls dancin' in the moonlight

I can hear the bullfrog callin' me, oh
Wonder if my rope's still hangin' to the tree
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water
Shoo fly, dragon fly, get back to your mother
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River

Up at Cody's camp I spent my days, Lord
With flat car riders and cross-tie walkers
Old Cody Junior took me over
Said, "You're gonna find the world is smoldering
And if you get lost, come on home to Green River"
Come on home

Writer/s: John Cameron Fogerty 
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

  10 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Green River – Swamp Rock

  1. February 26, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Dayum! Awesome song. Thanks for sharing. This is an up outta you chair dance song.

    • February 26, 2023 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks Jilly. I love singing it in the car and thumping the wheel 🤣

      • February 26, 2023 at 6:24 pm

        oh ya, the best!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 26, 2023 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks Jilly. I like singing it in the car and thumping the wheel. Lol 🤣💕

  2. February 26, 2023 at 9:00 am

    John Fogerty was not happy about CCR’s performance at Woodstock, so he wouldn’t allow it to be in the movie, which was a shame as I thought it was great.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 26, 2023 at 11:09 am

      I agree Jim. It sounded as good as the record. ☺️👍

  3. February 26, 2023 at 2:33 am

    This day gets better – can’t beat a bit of CCR!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 26, 2023 at 11:10 am

      Yes Ella, I’m always playing them ☺️

      • February 26, 2023 at 12:16 pm

        You are a person of exquisite taste!

      • Christine Bolton
        February 26, 2023 at 4:40 pm

        Oh you too!! 🤣LOL

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