♫ Proud Mary ♫

Another redux … my apologies, but … there is only so much of me, and I seem to have depleted the bank already this week.  Exhaustion wins out, and you get … Proud Mary!  This one just came rolling into my head earlier this evening, and despite my dour mood, I found myself stomping my feet and belting out “Proud Mary keep on burnin’ …”, much to the chagrin of both my human and feline family members.  You know you’re in trouble when Tiger Lily saunters into the kitchen, glares for a moment, and then hisses viciously!  Anyway … 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

22 thoughts on “♫ Proud Mary ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Bad Moon Rising ♫ (Redux) | Filosofa's Word

  2. I enjoyed this post (and the song) so much. Like Keith, I think both familiar renditions are terrific. I remember seeing Ike & Tina doing their version on a television show. I think it was my first real exposure to Tina Turner. I’d read before how Fogerty wrote the song, and always enjoy that tale. Then, for some reason, after reading this, another song began in my mind. Don’t understand why but my brain thought it was time to serenade me with “Up, UP and Away” by the Fifth Dimension. Maybe the peek back in time to Ike & Tine and CCR stirred neurons to other places, and they just decided to pop up and ask, “Hey, while you’re remembering that, do you remember this?”

    Hugs and cheers

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed it! As I told Keith, had I not been too exhausted, I would have included the Tina Turner version as well, but there was only so much left of me at that point. I have absolutely no explanation for how you segued from this to “Up, Up and Away”, but now it has invaded my head as well! “… in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon …”

      Hugs and cheers to you, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Had I not been so exhausted by the time I was putting this one together, I would have included Tina Turner’s version, too. Some days you can only do so much, y’know? Energy runs out by around 4:00 a.m. when I’m usually doing the music posts. Glad you liked the song!


      • Jill, I love them both. It is like when Joe Cocker covers a song, it becomes a different song. Rawgod, Tina even makes fun of it being overplayed in the movie “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” I probably saw them perform it on a dozen TV shows .I would have liked to hear them perform some of the other music on TV. Still a great song when Tina does it. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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