10 Greatest Lyrics Written By John Fogerty
via John Fogerty / Youtube
Simplicity is beauty, that’s what John Fogerty’s songs are. The former Creedence Clearwater Revival member and artist of his right are among the few musicians who simply do not need to incorporate mystique and bewilderment just to make things right in his tracks. Bruce Springsteen once called the musician the “Hank Williams” of his generation, partly due to the reason that Fogerty can tap into the minds and hearts of the people through his songs. And that’s what’s worth celebrating with these 10 greatest lyrics by John Fogerty.
“Rock and Roll Girls” – Centerfield (1985)
“Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo / The trick is to ride and make it to the bell
But there is a place, sweet as you will ever know / In music and love, and things you never tell”
Inside John Fogerty’s career revival album is “Rock and Roll Girls,” a song that gives you a homey feeling to love and music. It doesn’t make sense the more you hear about it, but as long as you have that feeling, you’re good to go.
“Wrote a Song for Everyone” – Green River (1969)
“Wrote a song for everyone / Wrote a song for truth
Wrote a song for everyone / When I couldn’t even talk to you”
This, in many ways, is a song that relates to being understood. Fogerty empathizes with people with no power to voice out opinions, therefore, as a singer, he visualizes himself as one of the voices of the oppressed.
“Run Through The Jungle” – Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
“Whoa, thought it was a nightmare / Lord it was so true
They told me don’t go walking slowly/ The devil’s on the loose”
A lot of people often relate this song to the Vietnam War, typical of some of the CCR’s songs with anti-war themes. It also indicates some gun violence themes, which Fogerty is so against.
“I saw it on T.V.” – Centerfield (1985)
“The Old man rocks among his dreams a prisoner of the porch
The light he said at the end of the tunnel
Was nothing but a burglars torch”
Fogerty’s skillful manipulation of the song that started with a brief nostalgia in the 60s, took a devastating turn at the end. It was nothing but inside the mind of an old man, who became hopeless after his son was taken away to fight in the war.
“Bootleg” – Bayou Country (1969)
“Take you a glass of water / Make it against the law
See how good the water tastes / When you can’t have any at all”
How clever for the singer to create a song that circulates the idea that “you always crave what you can’t have.” This could initially pass as a traditional song with upright messages.
“Proud Mary” – Bayou Country (1969)
“Big wheel keep on turnin’,
Proud Mary keep on burnin’,
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river.”
Days just after his discharge from the army, Fogerty wrote “Proud Mary” to capture the beauty of the south and the wonderful feeling of freedom. It was only until he left the bad side of the city did, he realized how wonderful his surroundings are.
“Somebody Never Comes” – Mardi Gras (1972)
“Well, time and tears went by and I collected dust / For there were many things I didn’t know.
When daddy went away, he said, try to be a man / And someday you’ll understand”
Inspired from the divorced of his parents when he was little and never learning all the things that he needs to know, he faced the same chaos once again when Fogerty’s life was falling apart: turbulent marriage, a band that’s about to break up, etc. It seems like Fogerty never learned anything.
“Effigy” – Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)
“Last night / I saw the fire spreadin’ to / The countryside.
In the mornin’ / Few were left to watch / The ashes die.”
“Effigy” is a political song that talked about the dark period of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Fogerty was inspired to write the song from the people’s march that happened to end the Vietnam War, which Nixon dismissed.
“Who’ll Stop The Rain” – Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
“Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down / Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground
Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun/ And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?”
Whether it’s only about rain or a clever allegory to the world’s problems, Fogerty did it all in this song. He did a great job inside this one.
“Fortunate Son” – Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)
“Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes /Ooh, they send you down to war/ And when you ask them, ‘How much should we give?’ /Ooh, they only answer, ‘More! More! More!’”
The anti-war theme inside Fogerty’s well-known classic “Fortunate Son” is intense. For him, it’s best if the world knows how the rich keep getting richer by sending the poor to chaos. This epic signature song is his best.