Tag: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Song Lyric Sunday – Born on the Bayou


Our host for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams, has given us the prompts of Birth, Death and Life this week. Thanks Jim, because now I can use one of my favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, Born on the Bayou. I love vintage CCR and have included the best version of the song along with a video of the band from Woodstock. John Fogerty can still rock that song to this day!

The Song

Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, who wrote the song, had never actually been to a bayou when he wrote the song – he researched it in encyclopedias and imagined a bayou childhood for the song’s narrative. Fogerty, who is from the very unswamplike Berkeley, California, got his first look at a bayou courtesy of John Fred, the one-hit wonder who sang “Judy In Disguise (with Glasses).” Fred was from Louisiana, and when Creedence played a show in Baton Rouge in 1969, he met Fogerty at a rehearsal and offered to take him to a real bayou. They drove 15 minutes to Bayou Forche, where they ate some crabs and crayfish, giving Fogerty the idea for this song.
In Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitar Songs” issue, Fogerty explained that the song originated when Creedence Clearwater Revival were booked at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom in 1968. Said Fogerty: “We were the #7 act on the bill, bottom of the totem pole. And as the first guys to go on, we were the last to soundcheck before they opened the doors. It was like, ‘Here’s the drums, boom, boom; here’s the guitar, clank, clank.’ I looked over at the guys and said, ‘Hey, follow this!’ Basically, it was the riff and the attitude of ‘Born on the Bayou,’ without the words.”

Drummer Doug Clifford remembers it happening in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. >>
Fogerty says the song was inspired by gospel music and popular movies. He explained in Bad Moon Rising: The Unofficial History of Creedence Clearwater Revivial, “‘Born on the Bayou’ was… about a mythical childhood and a heat-filled time, the Fourth of July. I put it in the swamp where, of course, I had never lived. I was trying to be a pure writer, no guitar in hand, visualizing and looking at the bare walls of my apartment. ‘Chasing down a hoodoo.’ Hoodoo is a magical, mystical, spiritual, non-defined apparition, like a ghost or a shadow, not necessarily evil, but certainly otherworldly.”

Hoodoo was the name of a 1976 solo album by Fogerty that he never released. By his own account, it was terrible. A couple of singles leaked out, though. Unfortunately for Fogerty, at least one (“You’ve got the Magic”) can be found on Youtube.
Fogerty considers this his favorite CCR song. He performed it on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in November 2005. >>
This was the first song Creedence played in their set at Woodstock in 1969. They were a big part of the festival, performing 11 songs on the second day. The band first hit the stage at 3:30 am when the majority of the Woodstock crowd was zonked out. Fogerty recalled:

“We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.

And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic [lighter], and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.”

The Foo Fighters covered this song at “Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast” following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Doug Clifford said “Born on the Bayou” is his favorite CCR song, “bar none.”
“Born on the Bayou,” “Proud Mary,” and “Choolgin'” were all connected in John Fogerty’s mind. In Bad Moon Rising, he said, “I was writing these at night, and I remember that Bobby Kennedy got killed during this time. I saw that late at night. They kept showing it over and over. ‘Bayou’ and ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Chooglin” were all kind of cooking at that time. I’d say that was when the whole swamp bayou myth was born—right there in a little apartment in El Cerrito. It was late at night and I was probably delirious from lack of sleep. I remember that I thought it would be cool if these songs cross-referenced each other. Once I was doing that, I realized that I was kind of working on a mythical place.”
This is referenced in Stephen King’s 1978 short story collection, Night Shift. It plays on the truck stop jukebox in the story “Trucks.”

The Lyrics

Now, when I just was a little boy
Standin' to my Daddy's knee
My poppa said "Son, don't let the man get you
And do what he done to me

I can remember the fourth of July
Runnin' through the backwood bare
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'
Chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there

Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou

Wish I was back on the Bayou,
Rollin' with some Cajun Queen.
Wishin' I where a fast freight train
Just a chooglin' on down to New Orleans
Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou

I can remember the fourth of July,
Runnin' through the back wood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'
Chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there

Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou

Written by John Fogerty

Song Lyric Sunday – Bad Moon Rising

The prompts for Song Lyric Sunday this week are Danger, Fear, Horror, Nightmare and Terror. I found this a tricky one and had trouble finding a song containing one of these words in the title, apart from Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. One of the featured songs from a favorite movie of mine, Top Gun. However I’ll leave that for someone else to choose.

My pick for today is Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival. This is a song about fear, danger and bad things about to happen so I think it fits the category with the lyrics. Being a big CCR fan I am partial to this song anyway so I hope you enjoy it.

The Song


In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words “I feel the hurricane blowin’, I hope you’re quite prepared to die.” Overall, he said the song is about the “apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.”

Released in April 1969, this was the lead single from Green River. The B-side was “Lodi.”

The song reached its US chart peak of #2 (one of five CCR songs to place that this position – they never got to #1) on July 28, 1969, eight days after the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song has nothing to do with space travel, but the title was somewhat apropos, especially after the mission succeeded.

This was used in two science-fiction movies of the 1980s: An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982). In the former, it plays as the main character is awaiting a full moon and wondering if he will turn into a werewolf.

This contains a classic misheard lyric. The line “There’s a bad moon on the rise” is often heard as “There’s a bathroom on the right.” Not only do many people sing the wrong lyrics, but John Fogerty himself sang the “bathroom on the right” lyric once during the “Premonition” concert. It can be heard after the last verse of the song quite plainly.

Fogerty would often have fun with this trope, sometimes pointing to a nearby bathroom from the stage when he got to the famous misheard line. 

The music makes this sound like a happy song, but the lyrics are very bleak, describing events that indicate a coming apocalypse.

As a result of this song, American football player Andre Rison’s nickname was “Bad Moon,” as in “Bad Moon Risin’.” Rison was an all-pro wide receiver, but is also famous for having his house burned down by Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, a singer with TLC who was his girlfriend at the time.

This has been covered by Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Emmylou Harris, The Reels, The Meteors, Thea Gilmore, Ann Wilson with Gretchen Wilson, Type O Negative, 16 Horsepower, Reels, Spitballs, Blue Aeroplanes, Lagwagon, Battlefield Band, Ducky Boys, Acoustic Shack, Ventures, Meteors, and Rasputina. >>

Argentine soccer fans came up with a new version of this song after their team advanced to the World Cup finals in 2014 while the host country, Brazil, was eliminated in the semifinal. Set to the tune of this song, Argentines chanted, “Brasil, decime qué se siente tener en casa tu papa,” which means “Brazil, tell me how it feels to be bossed around in your own home.”

Even the team members were heard singing this taunt, but in the end Argentina did not take home the trophy, as they lost in the final to Germany, the team that beat Brazil.

This became the theme song of the demonstrators during the People’s Park riots in Berkeley, California, in 1969.

During his VH1’s Storytellers performance, Fogerty said that he was quite aware of the contradiction between the song’s lyrical content and its bouncy sound (though he offers no explanation for this). He then recounted how, during many performances, the audience would sing back at him “There’s a bathroom on the right” during the final lyric, which actually says “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Fogerty has also used the “bathroom” line during some live performances.

In 2010, Jerry Lewis recorded a version of this song with John Fogerty for Lewis’ Mean Old Man album, which also featured performances with Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Willie Nelson, and many others.

During a benefit for the Berkeley Hall School, a Vietnam veteran approached Fogerty and told him that he and his squad, who called themselves the Buffalo Soldiers, would blast “Bad Moon Rising” in their camp before going into the jungle on a mission. It was their way of getting pumped up for combat, but also their way of instilling fear in the enemy. In Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, Fogerty expresses admiration for the man’s courage, and regret that he cannot remember his name. 

“Bad Moon Rising” is the signature walkout song for UFC fighter Jim Miller.

Fogerty performed this song for Howard Stern at Stern’s 2014 Birthday Bash.

In his memoir, Fogerty said he borrowed the guitar lick for this song from Scotty Moore’s work on Elvis Presley’s “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone.” Fogerty stresses that he wasn’t trying to hide that he’d borrowed the lick and was instead openly “honoring it.” In 1986, at an unspecified awards get-together, Moore grabbed Fogerty from behind and said, “Give me back my licks!”

The Lyrics

I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin'
I see bad times today

Don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin

Don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise

I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quite prepared to die
Look's like we're in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Well don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise
Don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise

Writer/s: John C. Fogerty 
Publisher: CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday – Susie Q

We have girls’ names beginning with the letter “S” for our prompt this week for Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams.

My pick today is “Susie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song has been covered by several artists over the years but this version is, in my opinion, the best. I love CCR!

This was co-written and originally recorded by rockabilly singer Dale Hawkins in 1956. His version hit US #27 a year later. Eleanor Broadwater and Stan Lewis wrote it with Hawkins.

This was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s first single (not counting “Porterville,” which was released when the band was known as The Golliwogs). They went on to become one of the biggest bands of the late ’60s and early ’70s thanks to a string of hits written by their leader, John Fogerty. Early on though, they recorded more cover songs, including “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” “Susie Q” was their only single not written or co-written by Fogerty to reach the Top 40.

John Fogerty had big plans for “Susie Q” from the start. He intended for it to define CCR’s distinct character. In Bad Moon Rising: The Unofficial History of Creedence Clearwater Revivial, he said, “I knew I needed to work on arranging the song so that the band would sound like Creedence Clearwater Revivial, would sound professional, mysterious and also have their own definition. The song I chose was ‘Susie Q.’ I decided not to write the song myself. I decided to pick something that existed because it’d just be easier. I’d be less self-conscious about doing things.”

The album version runs 8:39. It evolved into a lengthy jam because the band had to fill long sets at their gigs.

The Rolling Stones covered this in 1964. Creedence had been playing the song at live shows, but stopped when The Stones released their version.

This was produced with liberal use of late ’60s studio tricks, including wide stereo separation, feedback, and vocal distortion.

When asked what the rhymes are in the latter part of the song, bass player Stu Cook said, “They were just simple rhymes. John hated it when songwriters used simple rhymes just to make things rhyme, so this was a statement against that. It was sort of anti-Dylan.”

This became popular on the West Coast before it was available on vinyl. The band brought a cassette tape of the song to a San Francisco DJ, who played it in appreciation for the group’s earlier support of a DJ strike.

Thanks to this song, girls named Susie are often nicknamed “Susie Q.”
The guitar riff on the original version was created by James Burton, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 as a sideman. John Fogerty said that when he heard Burton’s riff for the first time, he was in his mother’s car and got very excited. “I went crazy and immediately began banging on the dashboard.”

CCR also included a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ (no relation to Dale) “I Put A Spell On You” on the Creedence Clearwater Revival album. The band’s label, Fantasy Records, released their renditions of these songs as singles around the same time; “Susie Q” peaked at #11 US in November 1968 and “I Put A Spell On You” reached its apex of #58 in December.

The next seven CCR singles hit the Top 4 with their A-sides:

“Proud Mary” (#2)/”Born on the Bayou”
“Bad Moon Rising” (#2)/”Lodi” (#52)
“Green River” (#2)/”Commotion” (#30)
“Down on the Corner” (#3)/”Fortunate Son” (#14 the week before Billboard decided to combine both sides into one chart position)
“Travelin’ Band”/”Who’ll Stop the Rain” (#2 combined)
“Up Around the Bend”/”Run Through the Jungle” (#4 combined)
“Lookin’ Out My Back Door”/”Long as I See the Light” (#2 combined).
The Susie Q was a popular dance step in the ’30s.

The single was titled “Susie Q (part 1)” and ran 4:33. The B-side was “Susie Q (part 2),” clocking in at 3:48.

This is one of the few Creedence songs where vocals of band members besides John Fogerty are heard. You can hear his bandmates in the second part of the song.

Courtesy of Songfacts

LYRICS

Oh Susie Q, oh Susie Q
Oh Susie Q baby I love you, Susie Q
I like the way you walk
I like the way you talk
I like the way you walk
I like the way you talk
Susie Q

Well, say that you'll be true
Well, say that you'll be true
Well, say that you'll be true and never leave me blue, Susie Q

Well, say that you'll be mine
Well, say that you'll be mine,
Well, say that you'll be mine, baby all the time, Susie Q

Uh uh 
Uh uh 
Uh uh 
Uh uh 

Oh Susie Q, oh Susie Q
Oh Susie Q, baby I love you, Susie Q

I like the way you walk
I like the way you talk
I like the way you walk I like the way you talk, Susie Q 

Oh Susie Q, oh Susie Q
Oh Susie Q, baby I love you, Susie Q

Writer/s: Dale Hawkins, Stanley J. Lewis, Eleanor Broadwater 
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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