Who'll Stop The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival

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"Who'll Stop The Rain" - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)

Written by CCR frontman, John Fogerty, “Who’ll Stop The Rain” is often interpreted as a protest of the Vietnam War which saw the US “rain bombs” on civilian targets with the song asking who will stop the onslaught. However  Fogerty said that it was inspired at Woodstock when he was watching the rain come down and observed festival goers dance in the rain, muddy, naked, cold, huddling together, as it just kept raining.

The line in the second verse about "five-year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains" could refer to a general cynicism altogether about politicians.

Fogerty said:

“Certainly, I was talking about Washington, when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, 'Daddy stop the rain'. And my wife and I looked at each other and said, 'Well, not quite'."   

Lyrically, the composition breaks into three verses, with a historical, recent past, and present tense approach. All three verses allude to a sense of unending malaise, pondered by "good men through the ages", "Five Year Plans and New Deals/wrapped in golden chains", and the Woodstock generation.

Written in the classic folk tradition about the lives of common people neglected by those in power. It's a political statement against politicians who boast of all the wonderful accomplishments they pretend to have achieved, but in reality have done nothing to improve the lives of the people. Wishing for someone to stop the "rain" is a masked reference to wishing someone will rise up to stop the "reign" of neglect toward common folk.

Musically, "Who'll Stop the Rain" has an acoustic, folk-rock feel to it. Like many folk-rock songs, it starts off with a ringing acoustic guitar riff, though the backing throughout has more of a roots rock sound than that heard on more standard folk-rock recordings.

Like most CCR recordings, it featured lush, majestic harmonies. The half-minute long fadeout of the song, which reprises the repeating guitar pattern from the intro, reinforce the track’s  main theme of the 'rain' continuing to go on, interminably.

The line, "I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm" inspired the title of Bob Dylan’s song "Shelter From The Storm" from his 1974 Blood On The Tracks album.

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