This song is John Fogerty's take on the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band, and the overall tension in the group at a time when they should have been enjoying their success. The line, "I want to know - have you ever seen the rain comin' down on a sunny day?" refers to Tom leaving while CCR was at its commercial zenith. The flip side of this single, "Hey Tonight," is John reassuring the band that all would go well despite the adversity.
Tom Fogerty left the group in early 1971, after this album was released. He released three solo albums before dying of tuberculosis in 1990. A fourth album, completed in 1988, was released posthumously.
According to John Fogerty, this song's meaning changed for him over time. Introducing the song at a 2012 show in Arizona, he said: "This song was originally written about a very sad thing that was going on in my life. But I refuse to be sad now. Because now this song reminds me of my little girl, Kelsy, and every time I sing it, I think about Kelsy and rainbows."
Fogerty added that this is his all-time favorite song, even though it's one he wrote himself.
Musically, this song was inspired by the group Booker T. & the MG's, whose most famous song is "Green Onions." They opened for Creedence Clearwater Revival before CCR recorded the Pendulum album. John Fogerty loved the sound of Booker T. Jones' Hammond organ, so he used it on some tracks for the album, including this one.
John Fogerty did almost all the overdubs for the band until the Pendulum album, when other members contributed. Their bass player Stu Cook played some of the piano on this track.
According to Stu Cook, this song and another track on the album, "Pagan Baby," were written and rehearsed from scratch during one recording session. "Pagan Baby" was done in one take."
This was used in the TV show Tour Of Duty, which was set in Vietnam during the war.
Suggestion credit: Brian - Shaker Heights, OH
Bonnie Tyler covered this song for her 1983 blockbuster album Faster Than the Speed of Night. Her version reached #47 in the UK.
Suggestion credit: Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
In 2006, Rod Stewart covered this song on his album Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time.
Suggestion credit: Talena - Arcata, CA
Allison Moorer covered this for her 2015 Down To Believing album. She explained why to Billboard magazine: "The record label wanted me to do a cover. I said 'I don't really think the record needs a cover on it,' and we certainly have enough songs, but in the spirit of being cooperative, I said 'OK, if you really want one, I'll come up with something.'"
"If I was going to do a cover, it was going to be something that I had always wanted to do," she continued. "I'm a huge Creedence fan, and that song might be my very favorite song of theirs. I've always thought it was the perfect country / rock song, and this record to me is a country / rock record, so I thought 'If I'm ever going to this, this is the perfect time. I think what you hear on the record is actually the second take."
As part of the CCR50 campaign to honor the 50th anniversary of Creedence Clearwater Revival, a video was commissioned for this song starring Jack Quaid, Sasha Frolova and Erin Moriarty as childhood friends in Montana. Directed by Laurence Jacobs, it takes a nostalgic turn when one of the friends moves away.
Bill from HomeThank U, for this fantastic Web-site.
Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers,
I think that the idea of the lyrics of the song came from the song called 'Fire And Rain' written and sung by James Taylor in 1970. Because all the key words on this song like 'sunny', or 'rain', or 'I've seen', are very similar, Seen on that song 'Fire And Rain', too. I think when the songwriter, John, heard the song 'Fire And Rain', he started writing the song. Because there was a big hit song called 'Rain Keep Fallin' On My Head' sung by B.J. Thomas in 1969. I think that John liked this song and wanted to write a song like this, too. Fortunately James's song came out at the same year and it helped John wrote it a lot, too, I think. The rest is history.
Jennifur Sun from RamonaTo Steve and Old Pink, no it isn't about Nam (He has said so in his book and his interviews. Neither was Running Through The Jungle) and years ago you could sell your blood. My dad did it a few times when he was in his 20's (WW2 era). And yes I agree that I wish he and his brother could have reconcilled. Lost two of mine, to cancer and can't imagine something like that. Sadly it is one of the things I hate most about (especially Rock and Roll) music. What songs that brought so much happiness to the listeners wound up bringing strife and discord to friends, band mates and families.
Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaActually, back in the late '70s and early '80s, people were paid to donate blood. I had a friend who paid his way through college donating blood. Soon after that, AIDS reared its ugly head and much of that went by the wayside.
I saw John Fogerty in concert last weekend (May 2015). He will be 70 years old in a couple of weeks (28 May), and he moves around the stage like a teenager. I loved watching him and his son Shane playing together -- it was just magic. John is my next-to-last concert on my bucket list, and I have wanted to see him for many years. So glad I got the chance -- he was amazing.
It breaks my heart that John and Tom did not reconcile before Tom's death. John really was the voice of CCR almost from the beginning, and it's sad that Tom could not accept that and left the band with such acrimony. Sibling rivalry just stinks.
Randy from Houghton Lake, MiMy favorite song by CCR makes me feel good but sad.
Oldpink from Farmland, InTo Dave from Midlands, UK: There you go, making silly assumptions about the U.S., based entirely on what you've been told rather than upon what is. People getting paid to donate blood are the EXCEPTION, not the rule. I've donated over two gallons so far, and I've never gotten a dime. I'm good friends with a woman who has donated north of ten gallons...not a dime. I was told of an elderly gentleman during my last donation who has donated a whopping 39 gallons! Again, never a dime for his services. Get a clue, dude.
Katy from Los Osos, CaMore hits in 4 years and not a single #1 according to John in an interview on a CMT Crossroads with Keith Urban! Yet this song and so many others by CCR are still heard everywhere 40 years later.
Jorges from Oaxaca, MexicoI consider this song one of the best songs for all times ever. It has rhythm, harmony and melody in a perfect balance and with the same bit, is this bored? no! of course the lyrics are a great value to create so my · 1 song worlwide like the best.
Leo from Westminster 1, MdI mean who really cares what it all means when it's all about feeling and emotion! Have You Ever Seen the Rain? is one of the most underrated and best Classic Rock songs of all time because the writing of John Fogerty and the legacy/performance of CCR is timeless. It should come as no surprise that this sad and beautiful song has been covered many times because haven't we all felt that way at some point in our lives? Yes! Hooray for and long live Creedence!
Jim from London, United KingdomREM used to play it live early in their career - luckily it was filmed for German TV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7hiKTKUa9I
Mike from Clinton, Ok1 of the greatest bands ever!!
Sara from Union City, TnMy favorite CCR....so simple yet so touching.
Erika from West Band, WiAmazing, touching, deep. Fabulous job, overall. One of the best songs of all time. Love it. :)
Dave from The Midlands, United KingdomI'm sure Tom would want us to learn from his (and many other people's) death. AIDS was in the medical blood supplies in the USA, at the time, because patients normally have to pay to use the health services. The knock on effect is that the health services in turn, appear to be expected to pay blood donors for their blood. Thus it is a very easy way for a down and out to get money and many of them sold infected blood to the hospitals. In the UK we have had a tradition of a free national health service, so we do not expect to charge to donate our blood and do not. Thus ordinary healthy people make a point of donating blood for free. Our blood banks were not infected in the same way or to the same extent, as the USA. I'm sure Tom would want all of us healthy people to donate as much blood as possible. And of course, nowadays there are much more, and much better, tests for HIV. All the western health services take as much care as they can to give us safe blood.
Gary from Watford, United Kingdomraw pop music - great song
Sandra from Gardnerville, NvWith the exception of a some jam jessions over the years, I am rediscovering my old bass playing roots after over 30 years! I heard this song a few times, recently, on our local classic rock station and just bid on a bass guitar on ebay; mostly because I am compelled to play this very simple, little, melodic bass line. I just HAVE to play it! I love the vocals, also. The down-home feel to CCR's music has always been very comforting. As for the lyrics...I don't know all of the lyrics. I do know that they are certainly not difficult! I find the song uplifting...It's moved me to want to play again. What the hell? p.s. I used to work in a nightclub in Salinas, CA, circa 1976-77, where Tom Fogerty played one night with his band, Ruby. LOL My future-to-be-first husband was in the audience with his band members that night and started "pseudo-stalking" me; ahem, I mean courting me. That's how my music career began. Isn't that sweet? You all want to debate lyrics? LOL I wonder what "Take This Job and Shove It" is about! LOL Happy Trails, Everybody! Love Music, Harmony and Lyrics!
Lynn from Columbia, ScOne of the greatest songs of the past 30+ years. Blew me away to hear it on SG-1 finale. Cut up the volume, cry and sing it!
Lynn from Columbia, ScThis has been one of my all-time favorites for nearly 40 years. Hearing it on the SG-1 finale simply blew my mind. Just cut the volume up, sing it and cry.
Lynn from Columbia, ScFor almost 40 years, I have thought this one of the simplest, but greatest songs ever written. Hearing it on the SG-1 finale, blew me away. Cut the volume up, sing it and let the tears flow!
Joe from Bellingham, WaIt makes you think back, even if you're young, like me. I need to take a drive, or overlook scenery from a hill when i listen to this song. it brings back memories of some stuff for me. its almost sad. The vocals, or, the way its sung is so exceptional, i cant even imagine. "Someone told me llooonggg ago. There's a calm bbeeffooorree the storm." "have you ever seen the rain; comin down, on a sunny day."
Henk from Middelburg, NetherlandsGreat song,Great band,I visited a concert of John Fogerty last June in Rotterdam and this song sounded live even beter
Steve from Baltimore, MdThis song is about Vietnam the rain is agent orange
Nady from Adelaide, AustraliaI'm kinda addicted to this song at the moment. Its kinda suitable to the situation we are in down here in Oz. We are going through the worst drought in Australia's recordred history, and so thats why I think I like this song. "I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?" not in a long time! Fogherty is a musical genious.
Nikki from Ny, FlI played this song at my dads funeral last month because it has always felt like a song about death to me and sure enough in florida, where it often rains on a sunny day, it did the day of his funeral. I picked this song to play also because it makes me think of cancer deaths with the lines "Someone told me long ago There's a calm Before the storm I know And it's been comin' for some time" or maybe just my personal situation with my dad having brain cancer and us being in denial and him going into remission 1 yr after original diagnosis (calm before the storm) as typical brain cancer victims do before the fatal recurrence. This song will always remind me of my dads death and will make me cry like a baby. It's a great piece of art though, and I'll always love it.
Todd from Brooklyn, NyGeorge, Gary, IN -- Tom Fogerty was never spat on by protesters.
There was extensive research done in the 1980s trying to confirm any incidents ever of returning veterans being spat on by protesters. This turns out to have been a popular urban legend and a metaphor for the lack of jobs and genuine lack of fanfare for these long suffering, often traumatized vets returning from the first out and out U.S. military defeat.
There was an exception: Vietnam Veterans Against the War locals marched in various veteran parades, sometimes having to use force to join in, and were repeated spat at by nationalist attendees and other parade participants.
But no veteran was ever literally spat on by a protester. This was a well funded hoax.
Jodi from London, OnTo correct two factual errors amidst all of the cacaphony found on this page: John Fogerty was not into drugs. He was once quoted as saying something to the effect of that the other guys in the band did more of that stuff than he did, but it didn't do anything for him. Also, Tom Fogerty died from AIDS as a result of a bad blood transfusion (he did have other health issues--kidneys or liver, I believe, but the true cause of death was AIDS).
Fulu Thompho from Limpopo, South AfricaThis song is 100% figurative. Dont take it literal.It is about the occurance of strange things. Just go through the lyrics then you'll agree with me. For instance "Have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day?" i hope this is enough evidence to prove its factuality. A rain can't fall while it is sunny, there should be clouds.
Steph from Atl, GaThis song is sad, but I hae good memories of my dad crankin this album on Sunday.....he still does to this day....and me and my younger brothers love it!!
David from Wilson, NyTom died of aids from blood transfuion for tuburculosis
David from Wilson, Nyi always associated this song as departing. i played it on my leaving on greyhound from ny to fl back in 94, and i played it when i left korea for kid when getting out of the army. i asociate it from the last episode in tour of duty when they played it when there flying out of the war zone in a UH60 helicopter
Melanie from Seattle, WaI love this song, definitely my favorite by CCR. Its so sad though :(
Dj from Cincinnati, OhI don't know if anyone remembers, but this song was played on the A-Team when the group went back to Vietnam. They were reflecting on their experiences during the War.
Adam from Philadelphia, PaI love this song even though it's sad. CCR were a amazing band. It's a shame they fell apart. I think the line Have You Ever Seen the Rain means have you ever cried and seen the tears run down your face. Really sad song since it's about CCR' breakup.
Ogden from Wichita, Ksi dont care what you think and im not sure anyway. ive been told i think and ive confirmed this personally, when you get high on pot and stay quiet, you can see the tears coming down, washing your eyeballs.
Davie from Scotland, IrelandI Heard this song for the first time yesterday - believe it or not - always thought it was a Bonnie Tyler song - But it is way better than her version - absolutely BRILLIANT !!!!
Paul from Laddonia, MoI am sure glad that I am not the only one who thinks this is a sad song. I love the song and alway's turn up the radio when it plays. I think it is CCR's best song, with Bad Moon Rising running a close second.
Linda from Mcalester, OkThe song also is played in the film "Evan Almighty".
Byron from Vegas, NvI had heard somewhere that it was a Vietnam protest song & that "rain coming down on a sunny day" was about the bombs being dropped.
I was surprised no one else had that here so maybe I am wrong!
Geonn from Yukon, OkThis song is used in the series finale of "Stargate SG-1." In ten years and 214 episodes, it's the first time the series had used classic rock music or any kind of non-orchestral music.
Ethan from Portland, OrRod the mod Stewart's version is fantastic. It was one of the highlights of his Portland show this March!
Mike from Hueytown , AlSad gut gripping song. CCR was incredible
Brian from London, EnglandWill now have to dig out, what is probably a greatest hits, CCR double album to hopefully hear this. Came to it via The Minutmen version which is great check it out. First post of many i hope on what looks like a great site!
Andrew from Puyallup, WaI don't know what the song is actually about, but I do know that when it rains on a sunny day you get a rainbow. Anyway, I love the song.
Shanelle from Gold Coast, AustraliaI always thought that this song was about vietnam (like Kyle). And 'rain' on a sunny day relates to sadness, or depression. It was popular during the 1960s when the Vietnam war was raging, and the students were demonstrating. If you compare it with CCR's 'Fortunate Son' - well, I don't know that there's a relationship, but maybe there are similar themes involved.
Jon from Oakridge, OrPossibly CCR's best. Almost brings tears to your eyes.
Jill from Warren, PaI don't know what gets to me about this song. It's absolutely amazing.
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThis is a great song. Don't argue, it doesn't belong here. Wanna argue? go on a maralyn manson forum.
Fyodor from Denver, CoI was blown away to learn relatively recently that Tom Fogerty, the elder brother, was the leader of the band in their formative years, but they never went anywhere under his helm. But of course things turned around when John took over. This helps to explain why Tom split. Not only was he was unhappy with his subservient role, but it was very different from how they started out. And it's impressive to think that CCR never did use any of Tom's material. Hell, Noel Redding even got Jimi to do his songs occasionally! Maybe Tom's exit over this issue helps explain the more democratic song credit distribution of their last album, Mardi Gras. I should add that CCR was the first band I considered my favorite, back when I was 12 or 13, and I still can locate a few of their 45's in my basement!
Brett from Melbourne, Australiahats off to you aswell tim, i didn't see urs there
Brett from Melbourne, AustraliaRandy is correct. i dont know why everyone is so fixed on believing that it was about tom leaving. it fogerty's book "blue moon swamp" all is told. tis worth a read if you get the chance
Brettt from Grapevine, Txno Tom didn't serve in a war its still a good song
Tim from Washington, DcGeorge from Indiana... Tom Fogerty never served in Vietnam. Not sure he served anywhere, quite frankly.
George from Gary, InThe song is about his brother's return from Vietnam. He was spit on at the airport by protesters - John asked him about if he was upset...his brother just told him "no, these people have never seen the rain." Meaning that they weren't there and they couldn't possibly understand what he and his buddies went through. They shouldn't judge him unless they had seen what he had.
Marc from Vancouver, CanadaThis song was used in the 2005 movie "The longest yard" during football practices. Great song by the way.
Mark from Virginia Beach, VaJohn and Tom Fogerty never reconciled before Tom's death, very sad.
Jolene from Melbourne, AustraliaOne of my fav CCR songs, I wish all the dope heads would refrain from stating that every great song is about drugs. This clearly isn't as Fogerty has explained repeatedly. I just love the lyrics to this song so much.
Billy from M, CanadaToo close to Canada to be thinkin' about drugs? Hey kory from atlanta why don't you just get boozed up and go marry your sister alright pal...
Kory from Atlanta, GaOnly someone from New Hampshire would say it's a drug song. You've got to be that close to Canada to make drug remarks like that.......
Tim from Washington, DcAcid??? Another moronic post attempting to read drug references into every song. Rain on a sunny day makes sense if you've ever been to San Francisco, where the band originated. To quote Fogerty: "This happens in the Bay Area more often than in other places: the sun is shining, yet you have rain falling down, rainbows and raindrops falling, as the wind blows the rain into the Bay through the Golden Gate. "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" is about the break-up of Creedence Clearwater Revival. "Have you ever seen the rain coming down, sunny day?" Creedence was supposed to be sunny days, the golden time, yet look at the rain falling down on us." The song was off the Pendulum album, which also referred to the break-up, a pendulum swinging one way toward all the wonderful times, now it was swinging back the other way.
Jeff from Charlotte, Nhthis song is actually about acid. Thats right lsd. CCR often experimented with this drug. The line "Have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day?" refers to him seeing hallucinations. rain on a sunny day doesnt make sense. purple rain, have u ever seen the rain
John from Boston, MaRandy from Texas, I can certainly hear a "comin' down" in the lyrics...
Allan from Greebock, ScotlandSmokie did a brilliant cover of this, better than original in my opinion.
Kyle from Columbus, OhI heard a rumor about this song today. I heard that it was written under the circumstances of Vietnam. That the Agent orange, that was soon discovered to be cancerous, was what "have you ever seen the rain?" was talking about. Just wondering if this may have some truth to it? anyone?
Charles from Augusta,, GaTom had nine albums, not just three. see listing under main CCR fact page.
Shana from Pembroke, CanadaSweet song
Victor from Vienna, Vaunbelievable song
Heather from G-ville, ScLove this song it just makes me think.
Brian from Paoli, InLove this song, all time favorite of mine. These guys had more hits in like 4 years than most bands do in a life-time.
Randy from Beaumont, TxIt was actually written, according to Fogerty's website about the imminent breakup of the band. The actual line is "Have you ever seen the rain, sunny day." "Sunny Day" was fogerty's nickname for the band in the "golden years"