Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
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. (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.
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
The Wishbone Ash guitarist on how touring with The Who inspired one of their most enduring songs, and why they moved to America at the peak of their powers.
Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.
Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James
, and Running On Empty
. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."