Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) Songs List for a Wedding Playlist

We’ve all heard of the classic band Credence Clearwater Revival, headed by two brothers John and Tom Fogerty, they were responsible for hits such as ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘Fortunate Son’ and ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain?’

The band has been dubbed Swamp Rock, yet this did not diminish their incredible popularity. Sadly, the band did not exist past the early 70s, but that does not mean that Credence Clearwater Revival did not make an indelible impact on the music scene.

But what are the most famous Creedence Clearwater Revival songs? What are the songs that you might not have heard of? Which ones have the best lyrics? Well, keep reading, as we’ve compiled a handy list of some of their greatest and most obscure songs, with a little backstory behind each one.

Creedence Clearwater Revival CCR songs list

About Creedence Clearwater Revival

The members of Creedence met when they were in Portola Junior High School, the bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford joining singer John Fogerty in a jam band. They would occasionally be a backing band for Tom Fogerty before he eventually joined the band.

They went through a few names before settling on Creedence Clearwater Revival, including Vision and The Golliwogs. They released their first album under Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968, which was self-titled.

Throughout their career, the band went on to release a few albums such as ‘Bayou Country’, ‘Green River’, ‘Willy And The Poor Boys’, ‘Pendulum’ and ‘Mardi Gras’. Their second album ‘Bayou Country’ was the one that scored them their first hit, becoming rated Platinum several times.

However, things soon started to fall apart in the Credence camp. After the lead singer John Fogerty was deemed too controlling by the other band members, his brother Tom departed the band.

Their last album was deemed a critical flop and the band went on to disband after its release and an American tour in 1972. All of the band members went on to have successful solo careers, and although Credence has yet to reunite, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford went on to form Creedence Clearwater Revisited with several other musicians.

So now that we’ve had a very brief glimpse of the group’s history, what are some of their most cherished songs? Which songs might you not have heard of, but are the most popular with fans? Well, let’s have a look at some of their greatest hits.

Best Creedence Clearwater Revival Songs

Bad Moon Rising

Released in 1969 on the album Green River

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Well don’t go around tonight / Well it’s bound to take your life / There’s a bad moon on the rise”

It scored them a number 2 hit in the USA, which was certified only a few days after the Apollo moon landings. However, John Fogarty has stated that the song has nothing whatsoever to do with the moon landings.

“Bad Moon Rising” has been described as having very bleak lyrical content which is in contrast to the very happy and bouncy music.

The song has been used in various different films including ‘American Werewolf In London’ and ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’. In the former, it was used in obvious reference to a man turning into a wolf at the rising of the full moon.

Bootleg

Released in 1969 on the album Bayou Country

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Findin’ a natural woman / Like honey to a bee / But you don’t buzz the flower / When you know the honey free”

“Bootleg” features Tom Fogarty on acoustic guitar.

The lyrics to it have been described by John Fogarty as being about something forbidden that we can’t have. This is in reference to Bootlegs, which were illegal live recordings of bands that fans would sometimes buy after shows.

The song was considered part of Credence’s first success, featuring on the album that charted them to mainstream fame. It was recorded in Hollywood California and would feature as a live staple in the band’s set for a few years after the album’s release.

Born On The Bayou

Released in 1969 on the album Bayou Country

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Wish I were back on the bayou / Rollin’ with some Cajun Queen / Wish that I were a fast freight train / A-just a-choogling on down to New Orleans”

Funnily enough, John Fogarty had never been to Bayou when he wrote it. Instead, he pulled all his information on it from encyclopedias.

John Fogarty showed the other members of the band the song during a soundcheck when they were playing at the bottom of the bill in San Francisco. It features imagery of the swamp and has been said to be a version of an idealized and mythical childhood in Bayou.

This was the first song that Credence played at their infamous Woodstock set in 1969. Apparently, when they started to play the song, the members of the band revealed that half of the audience was asleep or ‘zonked out’ on psychedelics.

Commotion

Released in 1969 on the album Green River

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Talk up in the White House, talk up to your door / So much goin’ on I just can’t hear / Com, commotion”

“Commotion” is featured as the B-side to the “Green River”. It ended up boosting the sales of the album as a whole.

John Fogarty claimed that it was written as a response to his own frustrations with the hectic pace of modern life. He stated that he hated all the noise that was associated with the city and wrote the song when he was feeling particularly anxious about these things.

Don’t Look Now (It Ain’t You Or Me)

Released in 1970 on the album Willy And The Poor Boys

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Who’ll take the promise that you don’t have to keep? / Don’t look now, it ain’t you or me”

The song is said to be written about how difficult it is doing menial jobs like taking out the trash yet somebody has to do them. The songwriter John Fogarty stated that it was a tribute to blue-collar jobs and how tough they can be.

He also stated that the song was an antagonistic take on the hippie generation, claiming that some of the ideals and the attitudes of that era were getting out of hand and needed to be reined in.

Door To Door

Released in 1972 on the album Mardi Gras

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Pack my kit and So long / Catch you bright and early / Sellin’ door to door”

“Door To Door” featured on the Mardi Gras album and was the final Creedence Clearwater Revival album. It was written by Stu Cook, the bassist, rather than John Fogarty who was the primary songwriter.

The song has been said by Stu Cook to be written about a job that was held by drummer Doug Clifford when he was selling pots and pans door to door. Clifford finally left the job, saying that he was uncomfortable about having to trick people into parting with their money.

Down On The Corner

Released in 1970 on the album Willy And The Poor Boys

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Down on the corner / Out in the street / Willy and the Poor Boys are playin’ / Bring a nickel, tap your feet”

“Down On The Corner” charted at number 3 in the USA and number 31 in the UK. For this album, Creedence Clearwater essentially became Willy and The Poors Boys.

John Fogarty described it as being about a band who plays on the street corner for very little money. He described this type of playing as one that couldn’t be beaten and was preferable to the large-scale auditorium rock that he was now a part of.

In terms of recording, John Fogarty sings all of the vocal parts, overdubbing his parts a few times to get that harmony effect. Allegedly, according to Fogarty, the bassist Stu Cook has many difficulties getting the rhythm of the song exactly right.

Effigy

Released in 1970 on the album Willy And The Poor Boys

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Silent majority / Weren’t keepin’ quiet / Anymore”

“Effigy” is yet another song off the Willy And The Poor Boys album, which was their 4th studio release and their 3rd album to gain platinum status. It is said to be an accusatory one aimed at the Nixon government, who they thought were losing power and respect.

An effigy is the representation of a person, in this case, a politician in the mold of Nixon, which is then sacrificed or burned as part of a political demonstration.

This is also said to be a critique of Nixon’s seeming dismissal of the Vietnam War protests. John Fogarty was very critical of the president at that point, calling him a schmuck for the way that he was behaving in office.

Fortunate Son

Released in 1970 on the album Willy And The Poor Boys

Lyrics To Inspire You: “I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no / It ain’t me, it ain’t me / I ain’t no fortunate one”

“Fortunate Son” is often one of the more famous Creedence Clearwater Revival songs. It is meant to be both a song against the establishment in Washington and the anti-Vietnam war.

The song is meant to establish sympathy with the blue-collar, working-class servicemen who were fighting in the Vietnam War, whilst also being critical of the political reasons why the war was being fought in the first place.

It was performed on the famous Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, although it was clear that the host had no idea that the song was anti-Vietnam War. The songwriter John Fogarty claims that he wrote it in his bedroom in around 20 minutes.

Graveyard Train

Released in 1969 on the album Bayou Country

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Hear me cryin’ out her name / Well, I’m standin’ on the railroad / Waitin’ for the graveyard train”

“Graveyard Train” is one of the longest songs that Credence ever recorded, clocking in at around 8 minutes. This is because of the extended harmonica solo by John Fogarty that appears at the end of the song.

The song is very bluesy and deals with themes of love and death, which are very popular ideas and notions within that genre.

John Fogarty says that he enjoyed the recording of the song and was left alone in a darkened room with his guitar and harmonica to sing and play the whole thing. The song was recorded with the band playing live with him.

Green River

Released in 1969 on the album Green River

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Shoo fly, dragonfly, get back to your mother / Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River”

“Green River” reached number 2 in the US charts and number 19 in the UK charts. John Fogarty stated that Green River was his famous Creedence Clearwater Revival song.

The song and name Green River is taken from a soft drink that John Fogarty used to drink as a child. It features lime and soda water which was poured over ice. He also said that he thought the main riff for Green River sounded exactly like a Green River to him.

The root of the song is about a place in Putah Creek in California that John Fogarty would play in as a child. It is a song about innocence and having better days when you were a child in nature.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

Released in 1972 on the album Pendulum

Lyrics To Inspire You: “I want to know, have you ever seen the rain? / Comin’ down on a sunny day”

“Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” is taken from the album Pendulum and was released as a single. It reached number 8 in the American charts and number 36 in the UK charts.

The song is said to be about Tom Fogarty leaving Creedence Clearwater Revival. The sun in the lyrics references the commercial success that the band was receiving, with the rain being a negative perception of that success that was causing Tom to leave.

John Fogarty overdubbed most of the instruments on Pendulum, although bassist Stu Cook did play some piano on this track. The song was the penultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival song and the final album to feature Tom Fogarty.

It Came Out Of The Sky

Released in 1970 on the album Willy And The Poor Boys

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Whoa, it came out of the sky / Landed just a little south of Moline / Jody fell out of his tractor / Couldn’t believe what he seen”

This is a very unusual song that uses surreal imagery to make a satirical point. It is told from the perspective of an asteroid that is hurtling to Earth. The point of the song is to highlight the greed and exploitation of politicians during times of crisis.

Credence also released a follow-up song called ‘Hey Tonight’ which features some of the same lyrics as ‘It Came Out Of The Sky’.

Lodi

Released in 1969 on the album Green River

Lyrics To Inspire You: “I came into town, a one-night stand / Looks like my plans fell through / Oh Lord stuck in Lodi again”

“Lodi” reached number 52 on the American charts.

The song has been said by the writer John Fogarty to be about a traveling musician and his reflections on driving around the Central California area. The song is also inspired by the early days of the band when they were struggling for success.

The drummer Doug Clifford mentioned that the band played a show in Lodi and the drunken locals told them to turn the music down. Again, this is why the song references the old days of the band.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door

Released in 1970 on the album Cosmo’s Factory

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Bother me tomorrow, today I’ll buy no sorrows / Doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door”

“Lookin’ Out My Back Door” charted at number 2 on the USA album charts.

The song was written for John Fogarty’s son, who was then 3 years old at the time. It was partly designed to entertain his son, although some people have incorrectly speculated that it is about using psychedelic drugs.

The cover of the single featured the band in their rehearsal space, which was the back garden of the drummer Dog Clifford’s house. All of the band said that they preferred working in this space and they were happy not to be working in a factory.

Porterville

Released in 1967 on the album Creedence Clearwater Revival

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Ain’t no one that’s ’bout to help / And I’ll keep on, I tell myself / I don’t care”

“Porterville” was a song that was on the first Creedence Clearwater Revival album. It was written by John Fogarty when he was serving in the military before playing in the band.

The song is about Fogarty’s father, although there is some artistic license in some of the meanings, and Fogarty himself has stated that it is not entirely about his father.

It was one of the first songs that marked a change in the style that Fogarty would usually wraith in, claiming that up until that point, he had only written very sentimental love songs.

Proud Mary

Released in 1969 on the album Bayou Country

Lyrics To Inspire You: “Big wheel keep on turnin’ / Proud Mary keep on burnin’ / Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river”

“Proud Mary” reached number 2 on the American charts and number 8 on the British charts.

The song is stated to be about a maid who works for a very wealthy family. Lyrics first started as a title that John Fogarty wanted to write a song about. It was written just after the time Fogarty was discharged from the army.

It’s the first song from Bayou Country that got to within the top 10 songs in the country. 5 singles were released from Bayou Country, all of which reached the top 10 in the charts – marking a radical shift for Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Ramble Tamble

Released in 1970 on the album Cosmo’s Factory

Lyrics To Inspire You: “They’re sellin’ independence / Actors in the White House / Acid indigestion”

“Ramble Tamble” is amongst Credence’s longest songs, essentially a 7-minute-long jam. The song is another very political one, aimed at the government and the influence and control that it has over society.

Do you have a favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival song? Please share your song below in the comments!

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