Song of the Day 10/7

Posted: October 7, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

Today’s song was the background for my drive in this morning. It is from a band that was first called The Blue Velvets, but soon changed their name to The Golliwogs – a character from 19th century children’s books (for an interesting read, check out how this character became the subject of racial debate). Brothers John and Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford were offered a chance to record a full length album, but only if they changed their name. The band members each were to come up with ten suggestions for a band name, but they settled on the first one. “Creedence” came from one of Tom Fogerty’s friend. An extra “e” was added to make the word appear more like “creed” or faith. “Clearwater” came from a beer commercial and “Revival” was each of the band members’ renewed commitment to their music.

In 1970, the band released the album Pendulum, their sixth studio album. Among the tracks on this album, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” was the biggest hit, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.

This song has several possible meanings. Many people believe that “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is about Vietnam, the rain referenced in the song, a metaphor for bombs. Some critics believe the song is about the fading idealism of the 60s and how people had stopped standing up for what they believe in. John Fogerty is quoted as saying that the song is about growing tensions within the band that ultimately led to the departure of Tom Fogerty. I believe that when a songwriter uses concepts such as rain or any other natural event to express pain or even uneasiness, the song will be one with which many will identify. Rain is a natural part of life, much like pain or fear. There’s nothing we can do to stop it. We are forced to deal with it.

“I want to know/have you ever seen the rain/coming down on a sunny day” the lyrics will, no doubt, bring about a different picture for all of us and that may be why it is so well known 41 years later despite the song not reaching number 1 or winning any awards.

This song has been featured in several television shows and movies and covered many times. Notable covers include Joan Jett, Johnny Cash, R.E.M., Rod Stewart, The Ramones and Rise Against.

So whether you see the rain as “ruining your sunny day”, “bring relief” or “inevitable”, we will all see the rain at one time or another. It is for how you react to it that you will be remembered.

See ya on the “b” side.

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