CSX Classic Cuts

1st April 1970: American rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival in London, April 1970. From Left to right, Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, John Fogerty and Stu Cook. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Bad Moon Rising”

The Hook: John Fogerty came up with the title, then drew the inspiration for the song from an ominous scene in a 1940’s movie.

Album: Green River

Year: 1969

Writer: John Fogerty

Stats: Peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: John Fogerty says he had come up with the title “Bad Moon Rising” and tried four of five times to write a song around it. Then he thought of a particular scene in an old black and white 1940’s movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster. Fogerty describes that in it, a farmer who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for “favors” while he’s alive, watches as a horrible storm destroys his neighbor’s corn crop, but not his.

John Fogerty on how a scene in the 1940’s movie The Devil and Daniel Webster inspired him to write “Bad Moon Rising.” OC:…moon rising. :21

“I kept remembering that, because that scene, when you know what’s behind it, is a very ominous scene and it’s so unearthly. Why is this guy’s corn standing straight up and the other guy’s is flattened? What it really means is that guy’s going to hell pretty quick and I remembered that and things that are bigger than you that seem like natural catastrophes. That was the inspiration for ‘Bad Moon Rising.’”