Album: Green River (1969)
Charted: 19 2
  • This song was written by group leader John Fogerty, who explained in his Storytellers special: "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." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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.
  • Asked about his song writing by Mojo magazine, John Fogerty replied: "More common is me fooling around on the guitar coming up with a riff or a lick or even just a tone which sparks some kind of creativity. Your mind gets a vibe, like the lick for 'Green River' - that's what it sounded like, a green river, ha ha. And that was a title I had carried around since I was about eight years old."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 24

  • Kandy from Vacaville CaI can tell you fist hand, When I tell people about the song, its like nobody believes me, and this was before it was even posted on line. I know this because I grew up in Winters California. (yep) Good ole Green River, is Putah creek, where we all swam and jumped off the rope hanging to the tree! Oh how I love and listen to this song, Funny thing the video takes me back too, I know every spot it shows. I still blast CCR songs. Still get a rush listening to it. Only wished I could have met them. Those were the days of music that had meaning.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 20, 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival performed "Green River" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "Green River" was at #2* on Billboard's Top 100, that would also be it's peak position on the chart, it spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on the same 'Bandstand' show the group also performed "Green River's" B-side, "Commotion", it also made the Top 100 and peaked at #30 on Sept. 7th, it stayed on the Top 100 for 8 weeks...
    The quartet never had a #1 record, they did spent a total of eight weeks at #2 with five different records; "Proud Mary" {3 weeks}, "Bad Moon Rising" {1 week}, "Green River" {1 week}, "Travelin' Band" {2 weeks}, and "Lookin' Out My Back Door" {1 week}...
    Between 1968 and 1976 the quartet had twenty songs on the Top 100 chart, eight made the Top 10, besides their five #2s, their three other Top 10 records were "Up Around the Bend" {#4 in 1970}, "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" {#8 in 1971}, and "Sweet Hitch-Hiker" {#6 in 1971}...
    Sadly, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty passed away at the young age of 48 on September 6th, 1990...
    May he R.I.P.
    * The week "Green River" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaHave read this year that Long Cool Women was written as a (for lack of a better word) thank you to CCR. evidently Allan really liked their music(works for me) i believe, that it was either this Lp or Born on The Bayou's guitar that got stolen years ago. John finally got it back. YES
  • Randy from Fayettevile, ArGreat 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!
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlThe first 8 track I bought as a teenager was CCR, had Green River on it. "I can hear the bullfrog callin me."
  • Bert from Baton Rouge, LaThere 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.
  • Jeff from Panama City , Flwish 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.
  • Bob from Berkeley, CaI 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!
  • Wayne from Las Vegas, Nvreminds me of that time in my life when there were no problems, just times to be enjoyed
  • Darrell from EugeneI 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.
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlOne of my all time favorite songs from my all time favorite band. Fogerty kicks a**!
  • Elie from Londoni love this song ccr are great the lyrics too their music is so raw
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaProbably 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.)
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScO 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.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoStefanie,

    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!
  • Phil from Borrego Springs, CaThere is a great live version on Fogerty's live CD Premonition. Smoking guitar.
  • John from Kalamazoo, KyI agree with mark. The song is way too short Still the best ever
  • Mark from Virginia Beach, Vasimple but great, I agree with whoever said its too short, that is a fact.
  • Marc from Vancouver, CanadaI would say that this is one if those songs that's so cool, but it's short. Too bad it's not longer.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScThe 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 from Rock Hill, ScTjis 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?
  • Brandon from Morristown, TnGood song.Also used on the game Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas on the radio station K-DST.With Axl Rose as the dj.
  • John from Calgary, CanadaTruely great guitar part... I just love the lyrics to this one.
  • Randy from Beaumont, TxThe 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".
see more comments

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Evolution Of The Prince SymbolSong Writing

The evolution of the symbol that was Prince's name from 1993-2000.

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."