Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival

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"Bad Moon Rising" - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)

Written and sung by CCR frontman John Fogerty, "Band Moon Rising" is the all-time happiest end-of-the-world song ever. It has subsequently been recorded by at least 20 different artists, in styles ranging from folk to reggae to psychedelic rock.

The lyrics were inspired by a movie Fogerty saw called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words "I feel the hurricane blowin', I hope you're quite prepared to die." Overall, he said the song is about the "apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us."

"Bad Moon Rising" was the name of one of the player maps for the user-made Vietnam War modification to Battlefield 1942 called "Eve of Destruction". The map was a night themed scenario taking place in a swampy jungle, with only the full moon illuminating the play field.

It is possible the song is about the experiences of American soldiers in Viet Nam, with the opening lines: "I see the bad moons arising I see troubles on the way"; earthquakes could be mortars, grenades and other explosive devices, and the lightning could be the firing of automatic rifles. It could be about a soldier going out on a night mission with an ominous feeling that he won't make it back. the "hope you're prepared to die...one eye is taken for one eye" line perhaps signifies that the soldier will get his karma payback for the enemy soldiers that he killed.

When Fogerty sings "Hope you are quite prepared to die" - he sounds happy. Overall, the music makes this sound like a happy song, but the lyrics are very bleak, describing events that indicate a coming apocalypse.

Fogerty may have deliberately made the music friendly and catchy because they knew that, if people were paying attention to the lyrics, the song would quickly be banned. Compare the track to Barry McGuire's 1965 folk-rock hit "Eve of Destruction"- similar lyrics, but that music is quite intense and serious sounding, so people actually listened, resulting in it being banned by some radio stations in conservative cities in the US.


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