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Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Album: Green RiverReleased: 1969Charted:
2
19
  • This song was written by group leader John Fogerty, who explained: "Green River is really about this place where I used to go as a kid on Putah Creek, near Winters, California. I went there with my family every year until I was ten. Lot of happy memories there. I learned how to swim there. There was a rope hanging from the tree. Certainly dragonflies, bullfrogs. There was a little cabin we would stay in owned by a descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody. That's the reference in the song to Cody Jr. ["Up at Cody's camp I spent my days..."]

    The actual specific reference, Green River, I got from a soda pop-syrup label. You used to be able to go into a soda fountain, and they had these bottles of flavored syrup. My flavor was called Green River. It was green, lime flavored, and they would empty some out over some ice and pour some of that soda water on it, and you had yourself a Green River." (thanks, George - Stockton, CA)
  • John Fogerty has said that Green River is his favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival album, in part because it sounds like the '50s albums by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash that came out of Sun Records in Memphis.
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Comments: 21

Great song! I love CCR songs to this day. Back in '69 when this was climbing the charts, I was in the Army with orders to go to Vietnam. I took leave to go home & I saw my youngest brother had bought the LP "Green River." We played the heck out of that album while I was home. Times were rough then. Demonstrations, riots, bombings, shootings, kids getting beat up by the cops, kids getting shot and killed by the cops! The Vietnam War was in full swing. Unity in the U.S. was spiraling out of control. Thank God for CCR. Their songs are what their fans loved and helped us get through those times. The lyrics describe a river amidst a sort of garden of eden. Kind of like where I am from: the northwest Arkansas and extreme eastern Oklahoma areas. It's just like the jungles of southeast Asia there. "Green River" is a song for our generation - the baby boomers of the Vietnam War era! Peace!Randy - Fayettevile, Ar
The first 8 track I bought as a teenager was CCR, had Green River on it. "I can hear the bullfrog callin me."Jim - West Palm Beach, Fl
There are gunna be alot of upset folks around Ramah Louisiana;they think the song was written by ccr when they were playing a little bar along the atchfaylaya spillway.Bert - Baton Rouge, La
wish I had a dollar for everytime Ive played that tune in one band or another over the past many years...still one of my all time favorites...fogerty would have been lost without that E chord and its bluesy riff variations....so many of his songs were in that key....swamp music extravaganza....mystical, mysterious, that feeling creedence projected through those vinyl grooves mezmerized me when I was a teen...something about that sound brought me to an even younger period of my life...didnt know it then but later on I realized it was the connection of rockabilly and early elvis...creedence had such a profound affect on me..I would have never learned the guitar if it wasnt for that band...period.Jeff - Panama City , Fl
I used to work in Venice, California in 1960 and ate at a lunch counter in a Thrifty drugstore. A Green River was a squirt of green lemon-lime syrup and a blast of soda water. Not bad at all!Bob - Berkeley, Ca
reminds me of that time in my life when there were no problems, just times to be enjoyedWayne - Las Vegas, Nv
I love Green River, that is, the soft drink as well as the song. If you mix it with whiskey, you might get away with violating "open-container" laws because it looks kind of like ginger ale. As for the serial killer, screw him. Gary Lee Ridgeway deserves to be burned at the stake for what he did.Darrell - Eugene
One of my all time favorite songs from my all time favorite band. Fogerty kicks a**!Mike - Hueytown , Al
i love this song ccr are great the lyrics too their music is so rawElie - London
Probably my all-time favorite song by CCR, one of my favorite bands. The opening guitar licks give me chills, and the mental image of "barefoot girls dancing in the moonlight" has stuck with me for years. (By the way, I've had more than one "Green River" at a now-defunct diner in Phoenix, Arizona, the only place I've ever seen it on the menu.)Clarke - Pittsburgh, Pa
O cool. Someone else noticed. I'm not that crazy after all. Thanks Fyodor. "Long Cool Woman" it what I thought the title was, but I wasn't sure.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Stefanie,

When I first heard 'Long Cool Woman' on the radio as a kid, I was sure it was CCR, and I remained amazed for some time that it wasn't and that someone else would so brazenly copy their style!
Fyodor - Denver, Co
There is a great live version on Fogerty's live CD Premonition. Smoking guitar.Phil - Borrego Springs, Ca
I agree with mark. The song is way too short Still the best everJohn - Kalamazoo, Ky
simple but great, I agree with whoever said its too short, that is a fact.Mark - Virginia Beach, Va
I would say that this is one if those songs that's so cool, but it's short. Too bad it's not longer.Marc - Vancouver, Canada
The Holly's song I was referring to is the one that starts with "Saturday night I was down town, workin' for the FBI..." I'm not sure I even have the title right.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Tjis is a weird tidbit, but if you listen to "Green River" by CCR, and "Long Cool woman" by the Hollies back to back, they kind of sound alike. Does anyone agree?Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Good song.Also used on the game Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas on the radio station K-DST.With Axl Rose as the dj.Brandon - Morristown, Tn
Truely great guitar part... I just love the lyrics to this one.John - Calgary, Canada
The camp site was run by a decendant of Buffalo Bill Cody. There was an old-fashioned drug store in Winters the had the old fountain drinks using syrup and carbonated water. The syrup used for Limeades the Fogerty used to love was called "Green River"
Fogerty later recorded a companion song on "Blue Moon Sawmp" called "Sawmp River Days".
Randy - Beaumont, Tx