Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

Great riff, singing, mood, and song. Creedence was just pumping out the songs in their short window of existence.

The song was inspired by the classic movie “The Devil and Daniel Webster” where a hurricane wipes out most of the town. The song is great and by the way…so is the movie.

Another great CCR single…released in 1969, this was the lead single from Green River and the B-side was Lodi. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK, #1 in New Zealand,  and #5 in Canada.

I have to bring it up…. One lyric in particular has been misheard by many people. The line “There’s a bad moon on the rise” is often heard as “There’s a bathroom on the right.” John Fogerty has fun with this line at times and will sing “There’s a bathroom on the right”live sometimes. He will sometimes point to a nearby bathroom from the stage when he gets to the famous line.

From Songfacts

The song reached its US chart peak of #2 (one of five CCR songs to place that this position – they never got to #1) on July 28, 1969, eight days after the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song has nothing to do with space travel, but the title was somewhat apropos, especially after the mission succeeded.

This was used in two science-fiction movies of the 1980s: An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982). In the former, it plays as the main character is awaiting a full moon and wondering if he will turn into a werewolf.The music makes this sound like a happy song, but the lyrics are very bleak, describing events that indicate a coming apocalypse.

As a result of this song, American football player Andre Rison’s nickname was “Bad Moon,” as in “Bad Moon Risin’.” Rison was an all-pro wide receiver, but is also famous for having his house burned down by Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, a singer with TLC who was his girlfriend at the time.

This has been covered by Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Emmylou Harris, The Reels, The Meteors, Thea Gilmore, Ann Wilson with Gretchen Wilson, Type O Negative, 16 Horsepower, Reels, Spitballs, Blue Aeroplanes, Lagwagon, Battlefield Band, Ducky Boys, Acoustic Shack, Ventures, Meteors, and Rasputina. 

Argentine soccer fans came up with a new version of this song after their team advanced to the World Cup finals in 2014 while the host country, Brazil, was eliminated in the semifinal. Set to the tune of this song, Argentines chanted, “Brasil, decime qué se siente tener en casa tu papa,” which means “Brazil, tell me how it feels to be bossed around in your own home.”

Even the team members were heard singing this taunt, but in the end Argentina did not take home the trophy, as they lost in the final to Germany, the team that beat Brazil.

This became the theme song of the demonstrators during the People’s Park riots in Berkeley, California, in 1969.

During his VH1’s Storytellers performance, Fogerty said that he was quite aware of the contradiction between the song’s lyrical content and its bouncy sound (though he offers no explanation for this). He then recounted how, during many performances, the audience would sing back at him “There’s a bathroom on the right” during the final lyric, which actually says “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Fogerty has also used the “bathroom” line during some live performances.

In 2010, Jerry Lewis recorded a version of this song with John Fogerty for Lewis’ Mean Old Man album, which also featured performances with Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Willie Nelson, and many others.

During a benefit for the Berkeley Hall School, a Vietnam veteran approached Fogerty and told him that he and his squad, who called themselves the Buffalo Soldiers, would blast “Bad Moon Rising” in their camp before going into the jungle on a mission. It was their way of getting pumped up for combat, but also their way of instilling fear in the enemy. In Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, Fogerty expresses admiration for the man’s courage, and regret that he cannot remember his name.

“Bad Moon Rising” is the signature walkout song for UFC fighter Jim Miller.

Fogerty performed this song for Howard Stern at Stern’s 2014 Birthday Bash.

In his memoir, Fogerty said he borrowed the guitar lick for this song from Scotty Moore’s work on Elvis Presley’s “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone.” Fogerty stresses that he wasn’t trying to hide that he’d borrowed the lick and was instead openly “honoring it.” In 1986, at an unspecified awards get-together, Moore grabbed Fogerty from behind and said, “Give me back my licks!”

Bad Moon Rising

I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today

Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin

Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quite prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Well don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising”

  1. A solid song, as we’d expect from CCR! they burned so bright, but for so little time.
    I saw that house that was burned down by that Left eye chick… I didn’t really know who she was but it was a bit of a minor tourist attraction in Atlanta about a dozen years back.
    Sorry, I think I’ve missed a few posts in last few days,. My stepmom passed away yesterday- she’d been ill all year and took a turn for the worse last week so not a big surprise, and so although there’s not much I can do about it, a bit distracted and had a few long calls to my Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot about that house burning! That football players house lol.

      Oh I’m sorry man. There is not much you can do or say in that situation…those situations are helpless…all you can do is listen.


  2. followed me round the world this one 🙂 I first heard it in Singapore when I was 11, and found someone had written the lyrics to it on some paper and left them inside a school library book. Result! Then one moonlit evening in the 90’s I was driving about the Florida Keys on holiday looking for a place to stay (not easy!) and this came on the radio. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate record!

    Liked by 1 person

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