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Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Proud Mary”

The Hook: Was it “pumped a lot of pain,” or “pumped a lot of ‘tane”?

Year Released: 1969

Album: Bayou Country

Writer: John Fogerty

Stats: Peaked at number-two on Billboard’s Hot 100 — the first of five CCR singles to do so.

The Background: People have long wondered if the character John Fogerty was singing about “pumped a lot of” pain or ‘tane — as in octane gas — “down in New Orleans.” Fogerty tells us he’d worked in a gas station for five years and knew his subject matter. He’s says he’s not positive what he initially wrote, but he’s pretty sure he sang “pain,” though Tina Turner sang “‘tane” when she and Ike covered it a year later.

John Fogerty on whether he sang “pumped a lot of” pain or ‘tane “down in New Orleans” in CCR’s “Proud Mary.” OC:… :20

“I can’t remember if I wrote ‘tane or pain. Tina said ‘tane. It crossed my mind, at least, to say pain, and I believe that’s what I sing on my record. I worked in a gas station from the age of 15 to about 20, but I think that it also meant that the person was leaving a place of pain.”