♫ Run Through The Jungle ♫

When I played Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival a couple of nights ago, Roger mentioned this one and asked if I might play it sometime.  I checked my archives and was surprised to find that this is one CCR song I’ve never played here on Filosofa’s Word.

According to SongFacts …

This is often believed to be about the Vietnam War, as it referred to a “jungle” and was released in 1970. The fact that previous CCR songs such as “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” and “Fortunate Son” were protests of the Vietnam War added to this theory. In response, John Fogerty said: “I think a lot of people thought that because of the times, but I was talking about America and the proliferation of guns, registered and otherwise. I’m a hunter and I’m not antigun, but I just thought that people were so gun-happy – and there were so many guns uncontrolled that it really was dangerous, and it’s even worse now. It’s interesting that it has taken 20-odd years to get a movement on that position.”

Speaking about the musical influence on this song, John Fogerty said: “There were so many more people I’d never heard of – like Charlie Patton (an early Delta bluesman). I’m ashamed to admit that, but he wasn’t commercially accessible, I guess. I read about him, and about a month or two later, I realized there were recordings of his music. To me, that was like if Moses had left behind a DAT with the Dead Sea Scrolls or something! ‘You mean you can hear him?! Oh my God!’ And then when I did hear Patton, he sounded like Howlin’ Wolf, who was a big influence on me. When I did ‘Run Through the Jungle,’ I was being Howlin’ Wolf, and Howlin’ Wolf knew Charlie Patton!”

The line, “Devil’s on the loose” (“They told me, ‘Don’t go walking slow ’cause Devil’s on the loose'”) was taken from music journalist Phil Elwood, who misinterpreted the line “doubles on kazoo” from the song “Down on the Corner” (“Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo”). Fogerty saw this misquoted lyric in the newspaper and loved it, so he thanked Phil and used it for “Run through the Jungle.”

This was released as the B-side to the single for “Up Around the Bend,” which was issued in April and quickly went gold. Most artists didn’t use songs that could be standalone singles as B-sides, but if you bought a CCR single, you often got two hit songs – another example is “Travelin’ Band” and “Who’ll Stop The Rain?,” which were paired on the same single.

John Fogerty played the harmonica part. Like the vocals on “Down on the Corner,” he recorded it after recording the actual song and dubbed it in, because it went from harmonica to vocals so quickly and he couldn’t remove the harmonica from his mouth fast enough. John also played harmonica on his solo effort The Wall (not to be confused with the Pink Floyd album).

This charted at #4 in the U.S., but as far as I can tell did not chart elsewhere.

This one’s for you, Sir Roger!

Run Through The Jungle

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Whoa, thought it was a nightmare
Lord it was so true

They told me don’t go walking slow
The devil’s on the loose

Better run through the jungle
Better run through the jungle
Better run through the jungle
Whoa, don’t look back to see

Thought I heard a rumblin’
Calling to my name

Two hundred million guns are loaded
Satan cries, “Take aim”

Better run through the jungle
Better run through the jungle
Better run through the jungle
Whoa, don’t look back to see

Over on the mountain, thunder magic spoke
Let the people know my wisdom
Fill the land with smoke

Better run through the jungle
Better run through the jungle
Better run through the jungle
Whoa, don’t look back to see

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: John Cameron Fogerty

Run Through the Jungle lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC

12 thoughts on “♫ Run Through The Jungle ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Run Through The Jungle ♫ | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  2. Another great song from a band whose music still sounds good today. Just look at the track list for the Cosmo’s Factory album: it’s incredibly good. This wouldn’t have been a hit single here as our charts only counted the A-sides. Up Around The Bend made #3 here.

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