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Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Album: Green RiverReleased: 1969Charted:
2
1
  • In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie 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."
  • This became the theme song of the demonstrators during the People's Park riots in Berkeley, California, in 1969.
  • This was used in two science-fiction movies of the 1980s: An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982).
  • This contains a classic misheard lyric. The line "There's a bad moon on the rise" is often heard as "There's a bathroom on the right." Not only do many people sing the wrong lyrics, but John Fogerty himself sang the "bathroom on the right" lyric once during the "Premonition" concert. It can be heard after the last verse of the song quite plainly.

    Fogerty would often have fun with this trope, sometimes pointing to a nearby bathroom from the stage when he got to the famous misheard line. (thanks, Gene - Hammond, IN)
  • 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, Type O Negative, 16 Horsepower, Reels, Spitballs, Blue Aeroplanes, Lagwagon, Battlefield Band, Ducky Boys, Acoustic Shack, Ventures, Meteors, and Rasputina. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
  • 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 semi-final. 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.
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Comments: 64

Hm...I take issue with so many people claiming they misheard the lyrics to: "bad moon on the rise". Just to get a cheap laugh, they'll say they always thought the words were 'bathroom on the right' and frankly, it's a long, tired, worn-out joke that they heard years ago that wasn't that funny then and is even less so now. I was eleven years old when this song came out, listened to it on my parents' crappy old AM radio in the car and I ALWAYS knew Fogerty was singing "bad moon on the rise." The phrasing is rather poetic, and imo, Fogerty ought to keep the integrity of the song, his song, by singing the correct lyric at concerts. All that said, this is a classic tune with just the right amount of twang to compliment Fogerty's outstanding, wonderful-to-listen-to vocals.Camille - Toronto, Oh
John Fogerty performed "Bad Moon Rising" 2011-12-08 with Miranda Lambert's girl-group, The Pistol Annies with Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe! At the Pistols' LA show Fogerty made a surprise appearance. Standing between Lambert, Presley & Monroe, Fogerty said, "I've got the best seat in the house!"Deethewriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation
"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.Bob - Schenectady, Ny
To Josh, Totonto....
The song is also in the Kubrik Movie briefly. It is playing on the Snowcats' radio near the end.
Steve - Beechmont, Ky
To J. Fogery, Lodi, CA....
Mr. Fogery, if that is truy you, sir, I'd like to give you a personal thanks. My father and I had very few interests in common. He was into sports and such where as I was more into reading and science fiction, etc. The music of CCR was one thing we both loved and enjoyed together. Thank you so much for that.
Steve - Beechmont, Ky
It's true that this song was not written about Viet Nam, but the troops there did adopt it as an anthem. I saw Mr. Fogerty in an HBO concert for the Viet Nam Vets years ago. They went crazy when he did this one. On the last verse, the band stopped playing except the drums I think and Mr. Fogerty sang as if talking to the Vets theselves. "Hope you got your s--t together...". It was clear he knew how important the song and that verse was to them.Steve - Beechmont, Ky
I think this song refers to hurricane Camille's devastation in 1969.Chris - Beaumont, Tx
It's also been covered by the band Steel Train, but cool facts!Daniela Mccormick - Okc, Ok
The flip-side "Lodi" peaked at No. 52; according to www.ask.com there are ten states that have a city or town named Lodi...Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
This song has been parodied several times, but this one by Bob Rivers is the funniest:

You feel the pressure start to growin'
You feel the pressure getting' worse
You feel your bladder overflowin'
You feel a dam about to burst

Don't go against the wall
Just take off down the hall
There's a bathroom on the right
Don't go on the floor
Just move on down two doors
There's a bathroom on the right

You drank a fifth of cheap tequila
You chased it down with shots of gin
You feel your head begin to reelin'
You see the room begin to spin
Don't barf on my shoes
If lunch you're gonna loose
There's a bathroom on the right

Don't throw up on us
Go drive the porcelain bus
There's a bathroom on the right
There's a bathroom on the right
Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
I can't believe that the lyrics were thought with the bathroom on the right thing. I've been listening to this song for years and never heard it that way. After reading that, I even had to find my CD and listen to it, just to see where you were coming from.Alayna - Gainesville, Fl
I believe this is a prophetic song about the coming events from the book of Revelation. Matthew 24 shows some of these things happening and will soon to be. I hope you've got your things together. Be prepared.Clyde - Cocoa,, Fl
Regardless of what inspired this song it was THE vietnam Warrior's Anthem. I remember seeing a hall full of Vets start whistling, cheering, clapping or stomping along as the opening chords to "Bad Moon" were struck. These 200+ graying geezers --some in wheelchairs or leaning on canes were suddenly teenagers againm getting ready to "lock and load"....Sure the song is "Dark". But so its that macabre Paratroopers' Song with the cheeky refrain: "He ain't gonna Jump No More!"Anna - Winnipeg, Mb
This song was the "Anthem" of the Vietnam War. I once watched a hall full of VietVets go absolutely NUTS when Fogarty hit the opening chords.They whistled, cheered, stomped, or clapped along. Watching them, I couldn't hold back the tears...

Sure it's "dark"...but so is that Classic Paratrooper's Song "Blood Upon The Risers" with it's cheeky "He Ain't Gonna Jump No More" refrain.

I hum this song to myself whenever I need a "Lift", or when I watch a Huey Helicopter go Whup-Whupping through the summer sky.
Anna - Winnipeg, Mb
I keep seeing the Devil and Daniel Webster references, but I believe it was a hailstorm, not a hurricane that came throuh New Hampshire.Terrence - Indianapolis, In
It's about Nixon, though it's not necessarily about Watergate, since it would be a couple years before the nation found out about that. Spring of '69 and who had just become president in January?Ed - Lebanon, Pa
There is a DJ here in Denver "The Boogie man" on Kool 105 that swears this song is about Watergate and Richard Nixon. He mentions it almost every time he plays it.
Curious.
Robert - Denver, Co
I grew up thinking tat the words were "There's a baboon on the right" so thats what me and my dad sing, usually its when we are driving that it comes on, so I get to point at him and sing "Thres a babbon on the right" ahahahahahaNady - Adelaide, Australia
Bad Moon Rising is the second studio of Sonic Youth, released on the New York independent record label Homestead Records in 1985.Vincent - Toulouse, France
The all-time happiest end-of-the-world song ever. Great to listen to and sing along!!Wayne - Las Vegas, Nv
A fun song. A commonly misheard lyric is "There's A Bathroom on the Right"/Martin Sheen - Lima, Oh
This song was used in an episode of The Simpsons. When a man collapses of a stroke, Marge Simpson tells her husband to do CPR. Homer Simpson desperately replies by singing, "I see a bad moon rising." Marge replies, "I said CPR, not CCR!"Rich - Chicago, Il
Thanks Alexander. Actually we had fish raining on our deck and the Discovery Channel is making a program on it. I can't find any lyrics on the internet that include the part about fish a-fallin'. Does anyone know where this came from?Carl - Folsom, Ca
To Carl, Folsom, CA

When a storm such as a hurricane or tornado pass over water they can pick up fish. Thus fish falling from the skin, random as it may be, is a warning of the coming storm.
Alexander - Pittsburgh, Pa
I have a version with a last verse "I see the fish, they're a-fallin'. I see fish everywhere. I hear the shad and smelt a-callin'. I see the end is very near." Does anyone know where this came from?Carl - Folsom, Ca
Written as a reaction to Nixon's election, this CCR classic -- heavily influenced by the Buck Owens "Bakerfield Sound" -- is both vague and immediate enough to outlast its era, a feat even "Fortunate Son" couldn't quite pull off. When there's trouble on the way, this obdurately bouncy and relentlessly catchy number can somehow evoke the moment, whatever it is. Two minutes so perfect they feel like a lifetime.Bertrand - Paris, France
One of the coolest songs ever....last concert of John Fogerty I went to the band ended and left the stage and it was all black and you thought the show was over.Then you hear the opening riffs of "Bad Moon" and the lights go up and Fogerty and the band had snuck back on stage and ripped into "Bad Moon" and it was sooooo freaking cool.And to the poster who suggested Fogerty ripped off the Stones for this I say "YEAH RIGHT",Fogerty has to rip off no one for his material and CCR was so much better than the Stones and "Bad Moon" is far superior to anything the Stones did with the possible exception of "Satisfaction".Mark - Byrdstown, Tn
YES WE MUST overanalyze everything to death and when Charonte receives me I'm going to ask him what is his favorite song and overanalyze it with him!!!lolGaroud - Arica
It seems prophetic in that Bad Moon Rising could refer to radical Islam, A crescent moon is their symbol.Bill - Nlr, Ar
Good Lord, people! Must we analyze everything to death?Dd - Indianapolis, In
This was used throughout The Shining BOOK, only. The main character, Jack or something, the father not the son, is constantly humming the song and singing it. I read it awhile ago but that's mostly what I remember of it.Josh - Toronto
One poster earlier was exactly right-it came out at the same time we were in a struggle to liberate People's Park in Berkeley.May,1969.It was perfect for the time and was also popular among the Weatherman faction of SDS who truly believed that if you were going to be at The Days of Rage in Chicago in October"You had to be quite prepared to die"They were"the voices of rage and ruin"back then.
And I thought the lyrics were actually,"theres a bad moon on the RIGHT",as in Right wing politics repressing the Movement.
Maybe thats just my spin.
Doug - Oakland, Ca
This song also played in an episode on the TV Series "Tour of Duty" about an army platoon in Vietnam, which also helped launch the career of Ving Rhames. C.C.R. will alway's be my favorite band. I can still remember the first time I heard Bad Moon Rising. I was working late at night in a hay field and it was on the radio of the truck. I was hooked on CCR from then on. If you ever read this John Fogerty, thanks for decades of enjoyment of the greatest music ever written.Paul - Laddonia, Mo
I love this song. CCR rules.Joe - Bellingham, Wa
lol, I love this song, it's such a nice way of saying it's the end of the world and everyone's gonna die! In my opinion anyways...Emily - Pittsburgh, Pa
oh. and i bet he said bathroom on the right because that is the line the lyrics "bad moon on the rise' are mistaken for. The first 9 times i heard this song i thought thats what he said.Daniel - Cincinnatti, Or
I disagree. I think J.Fogerty might chose to live in lodi. considering it is a great ccr song. And as for the meaning of Bad Moon Rising, I think it's obvious: The End of the World. nothing more nothing less.Daniel - Cincinnatti, Or
A great song that rivals The Beatles in length (the famous two and half minute long songs...).Voodoocat - Zimbabwe, United States
The cheeriest "end of the world" song I've ever heard (with the possible exception of R.E.M.) I love the part where John Fogerty sings "Hope you are quite prepared to die" - he sounds almost as happy as Johnny Olsen shouting "Come on down!" on the Price is Right!Clarke - Pittsburgh, Pa
J. Fogerty, it's too bad that CCR wasn't from Lodi. They were from El Cerrito, CA. Lodi is in the middle of nowhere; no former rock star would choose to live there.Ro~jo - Saratoga, Ca
I saw a John Fogerty concert live and he said "There's a bathroom on the right." I don't get why, but maybe there's nothing to get. Maybe it was just a commedy act he came up with in the middle of the song maybe not though. Great song anyway.John - Kalamazoo, Ky
I've always wondered about that bathroom on the right. Folks in the audience crossing legs tightly and wiggling? I feel so much better now, knowing that I was actually hearing what's on the CD, that the audience is OK, and that the floor's dry.Nick - Raleigh, Nc
For me CCR was a very good band and I can say that "Bad Moon Rising" is a super good song. From time to time I hear it on the Belgian radio called "Classic 21"; it's always a joy to hear it again and I don't care what it is about, that's not important for me.Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
There is no lead singer of CCR, that band is no more. You can just call me Willie, of Willie and the Po' Boys. I can't believe no one has replied to my song interpretation. Is everybody that disappointed that the song isn't about Vietnam or war protests?J. Fogerty - Lodi, Ca
I know a song from Creedence Clearwater Revival called "Lodi" so me too I would like to ask to
J. Fogerty of Lodi if he is the lead singer of the CCR. If it is you I would like to say that I like your voice and your songs very much and that
"Bad Moon Rising" is my favorite one.
Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
This comment is addressed to J.Fogerty in Lodi, CA: This is just a simple question, sir. And it has a Yes or No answer> ARE YOU THE TRUE JOHN FOGERTY THAT WAS THE LEAD SINGER, SONGWRITER, AND LEAD GUITARIST FOR CCR?Tomcat - Richmond, Va
The song is about Judgement Day, when man will be held accountable for his sins. "The voice of rage and ruin" will be the Lord giving the order to rein fire and brimbstone down, the rivers will overflow, the earth will quake. This song is asking you to get your life in order for the end is coming soon. It's word for word from Revelations.J. Fogerty - Lodi, Ca
it is very possible it is about vietnam.the opening lines,i see the bad moons arising i see troubles on the way i see earthquakes and lightning i see bad times today. ok alot of fighting in vietnam was at night from what i understand it was the first war that night fighting took place maybey by the cover of a full moon. earthquakes could be mortars,gernades and other explosive devices. and the lightning could be the firing of automatic rifles.
dont go around tonight ,its bound to take you life could mean dont go away from the platoon because if you are caught alone there is less of a chance of survival than if you stay with them.
i hear hurricans a blowing, i know the end is coming soon,i fear the rivers over flowing i hear the voice of rage and ruin. ok hurricans could be helocopters,or napalm, mabey more possibly napalm because he states i know death is coming soon the river could be rivers of blood and voice of rage and ruin could be the vietnamease. the lastpart could mean you best be right with god,because you will die for everything we do to them they do back.
i could be very wrong in the analogy of the song but that is what i get from it.someone mentioned paint it black back in the 80's there was a tv show called china beach that was about vietnam just a little fact i thought i would share
Anthony - Oakland, Nj
I've heard many times Bad Moon Rising is a song about the vietnam war, perhaps a protest song. it may 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. although this is one of the best ccr songs of all time, it leaves me with a really uneasy feeling.Mike - Houston, Tx
The use of this song in "An American Werewolf in London" was genius.Adam - Poplar Bluff, Mo
I am really curious as to what these lyrics actually mean. I have a couple differnt friends who all give me different meanings for this song. And all I want is the truth. I've grown up on this song and I really don't like listening to music if I don't even understand the lyrics. But the beat is so great and its been a staple in my family for so long. So if anybody truly knows what the lyrics mean, please, let me know...John - San Diego, Ca
My brother posted the comment below about having a friend who's father wrote "bad moon rising". And although his friend's father was personal friend's with ccr, he didn't write the song. He had helped then co write a couple other songs that were never used and were later thrown away. I talked to her dad about it and cleared this up. From what I understand he had told his daughter he wrote the song, but had to come clean tonight after I aproched him about it. I don't know how he could take credit for a great song like "bad moon rising"Lisa - New York, Ny
This song is quoted in Stephen King´s The Shining. It marks the upcoming of the blizzard who kept Jack, Wendy and Danny stuck in the Overlook Hotel.Joepeople - Oklahoma City, Ok
I wonder if this song was written as a result of the 1966 floods in New Orleans... and is that why everybody on BBC radio 2 seems to be playing it the last couple of weeks?Riitta - Drumnadrochit, Scotland
Hurricanes have eyes...Joseph - Modesto, Ca
This was written about the election of President Nixon.Cal - Vicksburg, Ms
My favorite song of Creedence Clearwater Revival, even if I don't understand the meaning of this song, it's always good to hear it again, it has a superbeat.Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
Aactually, the CCR song that was used in "Twilight Zone: The Movie" was "Midnight Special", not "Bad Moon Rising." It was placed in the beginning when Albert Brooks picked up Dan Ackroyd when Ackroyd asks him if he "wants to see something REALLY scary?" It also plays when Ackroyd drives John Lithgow away in an ambulance at the end of the movie.Lisa - Manchester, Ct
Bad Moon Rising was also play every night as the Spookies were taking off on missions in Vietnam war. Why? i don't know. Guess someone liked the song and it fit the occassion.Tina - Tampa , Fl
I think that this song is about mutually assured (nuclear) destruction. The line "One eye is taken for an eye" seems to me to indicate this. I also think that the "happy" sound of the song may be a kind of sarcastic view of this. Almost like the Country Joe and The Fish song, "looks like I'm Fixn' to die Rag. "Whoopie! We're all gonna die"!Patrick - Boston, Ma
It also appeared in the movie My Girl. Great Chick Flick!! :-)Amber - Sydney, Australia
The Rolling Stones were among one of the most influential groups in rock history, just like the Beatles, and have influenced many. One group especially being Creedence Clearwater Revival, and their song: "Bad Moon Rising." The song deeply influenced by the Stones' "Paint It Black".

The two songs have many similarities. The songs both use a word in the titles that indicate darkness: black and moon. The songs start out with similar lyrics: ?I see a red door ?? and ?I see a bad moon ?? ? same words and same meter. Both songs use death references: ?Paint it black? and ?It?s bound to take your life.? The opening riff of "Paint It Black" also has the same notes as the beginning of the instrumental bridge of "Bad Moon Rising". And, one more influence: The lyrics from "Paint It Black", ?I could not foresee this thing happening to you!?, are replied in "Bad Moon Rising" that say: ?Looks like we?re in for nasty weather!? And, even though the music is vaguely similar, it is more the lyrics that bond these two songs.
Brandon - Seattle, Wa
Perhaps CCR 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. I admit; I myself was too busy enjoying the music to have any idea what the lyrics were about, until I checked them here. I mean, compare this to "Eve of Destruction"- similiar lyrics, but "Eve"s music is quite intense and serious sounding, so people actually listened, resulting in it's ban (although it also made it extremely popular).Brett - Edmonton, Canada
The song also appeared in the movie Blade(Wesley Snipes). Great song, happy sounding, but dark lyrics...Well dark for CCR.Brian - Paoli, In