♫ Proud Mary ♫

I had a different song picked out for tonight.  My mind, apparently, had other ideas, for as I was folding laundry, writing my ‘Good People’ post and cleaning my messy kitchen, “Big wheel keep on turnin’, Proud Mary keep on burnin'” just kept playing over and over in my head.  When I sat down to find the song I intended to post tonight, Proud Mary somehow ended up on my screen.  Sigh.  No point arguing with a mind as stubborn as mine.

Written by CCR’s John Fogerty, the song was conceived the day he got his discharge papers from the US Army.  According to Fogerty …

“The Army and Creedence overlapped, so I was ‘that hippie with a record on the radio.’ I’d been trying to get out of the Army, and on the steps of my apartment house sat a diploma-sized letter from the government. It sat there for a couple of days, right next to my door. One day, I saw the envelope and bent down to look at it, noticing it said ‘John Fogerty.’ I went into the house, opened the thing up, and saw that it was my honorable discharge from the Army. I was finally out! This was 1968 and people were still dying. I was so happy, I ran out into my little patch of lawn and turned cartwheels. Then I went into my house, picked up my guitar and started strumming. ‘Left a good job in the city’ and then several good lines came out of me immediately. I had the chord changes, the minor chord where it says, ‘Big wheel keep on turnin’/Proud Mary keep on burnin” (or ‘boinin’,’ using my funky pronunciation I got from Howling’ Wolf). By the time I hit ‘Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river,’ I knew I had written my best song. It vibrated inside me. When we rehearsed it, I felt like Cole Porter.”

The song hit #2 in the US, reached #8 in the UK, and #1 in Austria. This was the first of five singles by Creedence that went to #2 on the US chart; they have the most #2 songs without ever having a #1.

Proud Mary
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
‘Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have [if you got] no money
People on the river are happy to give

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Songwriters: John C. Fogerty
Proud Mary lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

25 thoughts on “♫ Proud Mary ♫

    • I agree! I had actually forgotten that Tina Turner had covered the song, until this morning when a reader mentioned it. I always associate it with CCR, but I do like both versions. How’ve you been, my friend?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good but very busy. Work gears up this time of year and my mind has been muddled. So many woring things in the world from my immediate encounters to global crises. On a happier note, preparing for a nice holiday visit with family. Thanks for asking.

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  1. Ah, I knew the sixties wouldn’t be kept silent for long. Absolutely classic record. If they r e-released it now, I reckon everyone who regretted not buying it first time round would send it to Number One now.
    Cwtch

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    • Isn’t it odd how some music fades into oblivion after just a few years and others are timeless? I was thinking as I posted this last night that the 60s … that was 50 years ago! A half-century! Where have the years gone, for when I listen to the music of the 60s, it feels like just a short time ago. Glad you liked this one!

      Cwtch

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  2. Jill, there may be no better car traveling CD than one by CCR. This one is one of many great songs by Fogerty and the group. CCR’s version is not as visual as Tina Turner’s, but both are excellent. Thanks for sharing. Keith

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    • I don’t know … if I get into the music in a big way while I’m driving, my foot tends to get heavy and next thing I know I’m hitting 85 … and flashing blue lights are keeping time to the music in my rearview mirror 😉 Glad you liked the song!

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  3. I still have no idea who or what Proud Mary is–a hot girlfriend? A political something or other? I have to confess tonot being a fan of his voice on this, but it was a big song in my world anyhow. Maybe Tina Turner did a version, or someone else like that, and that was the one I knew more–

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  4. I did not know that story Jill. Thanks for the info.
    One of my favourite CCR songs, got me into them (I still love the pronunciation ‘big wheel keeps on toy-nin’)

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