Album: Bayou Country (1969)
Charted: 8 2
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  • In the beginning, "Proud Mary" had nothing to do with a riverboat. Instead, John Fogerty envisioned it as the story of a woman who works as a maid for rich people. "She gets off the bus every morning and goes to work and holds their lives together," he explained. "Then she has to go home."

    It was Stu Cook who first introduced the riverboat aspect of the song. The idea came to him as the group watched the television show Maverick and Stu made the statement, "Hey riverboat, blow your bell." John agreed that the boat seemed to have something to do with the song that had been brewing in his mind for quite some time, waiting to take conscious shape. When he wrote the music, he made the first few chords evoke a riverboat paddlewheel going around. Thus, "Proud Mary" went from being a cleanup lady to a boat.
  • Fogerty wrote the lyrics based on three song title ideas: "Proud Mary," "Riverboat," and "Rolling On A River." He carried around a notebook with titles that he thought would make good songs, and "Proud Mary" was at the top of the list.
  • The song came together on the day that John Fogerty got his discharge papers from the US Army. Fogerty had been drafted in 1966 and was part of a Reserve unit, serving at Fort Bragg, Fort Knox, and Fort Lee. His discharge papers came in 1967. Fogerty recalls in Bad Moon Rising: The Unofficial History of Creedence Clearwater Revival by Hank Bordowitz:

    "The Army and Creedence overlapped, so I was 'that hippie with a record on the radio.' I'd been trying to get out of the Army, and on the steps of my apartment house sat a diploma-sized letter from the government. It sat there for a couple of days, right next to my door. One day, I saw the envelope and bent down to look at it, noticing it said 'John Fogerty.' I went into the house, opened the thing up, and saw that it was my honorable discharge from the Army. I was finally out! This was 1968 and people were still dying. I was so happy, I ran out into my little patch of lawn and turned cartwheels. Then I went into my house, picked up my guitar and started strumming. 'Left a good job in the city' and then several good lines came out of me immediately. I had the chord changes, the minor chord where it says, 'Big wheel keep on turnin'/Proud Mary keep on burnin'' (or 'boinin',' using my funky pronunciation I got from Howling' Wolf). By the time I hit 'Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river,' I knew I had written my best song. It vibrated inside me. When we rehearsed it, I felt like Cole Porter."

    So it was that an all-American classic was born from the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the late 1960s. Fogerty suspected right away that his "Tin Pan Alley" song was a radio-friendly hit, and he was right. The song hit #2 in the US, reached #8 in the UK, and #1 in Austria.
  • This was the first of five singles by Creedence that went to #2 on the US chart; they have the most #2 songs without ever having a #1.
  • Despite popular belief, John Fogerty was not writing from experience when he wrote this. Thanks to his military commitment, he hadn't ventured further east than Montana. After the song was recorded, he took a trip to Memphis so he could finally see the Mississippi River.
  • The original CCR version peaked at #2 in March 1969. In June, Solomon Burke's rendition hit #45. His was the first to include a spoken into:

    I know a lot of you folks would like to know what the old Proud Mary is all about
    Well, I'd like to tell you about her
    She's nothing but a big old boat
    You see, my forefathers used to ride the bottoms of her as stokers, cooks, and waiters
    And I made a vow that when I grew up, I'd take a ride on the old Proud Mary
    And if you'd let me, I'd like to sing about it

    Burke then sings, "looking for a job in the city," as opposed to "left a good job in the city."
  • This was a #4 hit in the US for Ike & Tina Turner in 1971, and a highlight of their live shows. Tina Turner recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1971 how they came to record this on their Workin' Together album: "When we cut the album, we were lacking a few tunes, so we said 'Well, let's just put in a few things that we're doing on stage. And that's how 'Proud Mary' came about. I had loved it when it first came out. We auditioned a girl and she had sung 'Proud Mary.' This is like eight months later, and Ike said, 'You know, I forgot all about that tune.' And I said let's do it, but let's change it. So in the car Ike plays the guitar, we just sort of jam. And we just sort of broke into the black version of it. It was never planned to say, 'Well, let's go to the record shop, and I'd like to record this tune by Aretha Franklin'... it's just that we get it for stage, because we give the people a little bit of us and a little bit of what they hear on the radio every day."
  • "Proud Mary" attracted 35 covers in the year 1969 alone. Over 100 have been made since.

    These are the US charting versions:

    Creedence Clearwater Revival (#2, 1969)
    Solomon Burke (#45, 1969)
    Checkmates, Ltd. feat. Sonny Charles (#69, 1969)
    Ike & Tina Turner (#4, 1971)
    Glee Cast (#115, 2009)
  • The line, "Pumped a lot of pain down in New Orleans" is actually "Pumped a lot of 'Pane," as in propane. He was pumping gas.
  • The Checkmates, Ltd. did a horn-powered, gospel inflected version of this song that was produced by Phil Spector and featured Sonny Charles on lead vocals. Running 4:30, it's substantially longer than the 3:07 original, and went to #69 in November 1969.

    This arrangement was clearly an influence on the Ike & Tina Turner version, which they started performing soon after. There was speculation that Spector, who produced Ike & Tina on their 1966 single "River Deep - Mountain High," brought this version to Ike Turner's attention.
  • When CCR recorded this song, John Fogerty wasn't happy with the harmony vocals, so he recorded them himself and overdubbed them onto the track. This caused further tension in his already-tenuous relationship with his bandmates. The group split up in 1972.
  • Fogerty came up with the famous chord riff on guitar when he was playing around with Beethoven's "5th Symphony." That one goes "dun dun dun duuunnnnn...," but Fogerty thought it would sound better with the emphasis on the first note, which is how he arrived at "do do do do."

    This part reminded him of the paddle wheel that impels a riverboat. "'Proud Mary' is not a side-wheeler, it's a stern-wheeler," he explained.
  • Even though Creedence Clearwater Revival was from El Cerrito, California, many people thought they were from New Orleans or some other part of the South because of their swamp rock sound. They helped feed the rumor by naming their second album Bayou Country.
  • Tina Turner recorded a solo version for her 1993 album What's Love Got To Do With It, which was the soundtrack to her biopic of the same name. In the film, it was lip-synced by Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne (who played Ike and Tina), but on the recording, Tina's sax player Tim Cappello did Ike's bass vocals. By recording her own version with no trace of Ike, it made sure he could not profit from its use in the film or soundtrack - an important distinction considering Tina's accusations of spousal abuse.

    When Tina performed the song live, she would usually do a variation on the spoken part, but without the male vocal.
  • Ike & Tina Turner's version charted for the first time in the UK on the chart dated October 2, 2010 after it was performed on X-Factor by auditioneees Diva Fever. This version was credited to Tina Turner only.
  • Ike and Tina performed their version on the Season 2 premiere of Soul Train in 1972, becoming the first big act to appear on the program. The show became very popular its first season because of the dancers, but they were able to book many famous guests in subsequent seasons.
  • The first time Fogerty heard Ike and Tina's version he was in the car. He told Spinner: "When it ended, if they had a camera and came back to me it'd be like, when Shrek and the donkey go to Far, Far Away and they push the button for that little arcade machine and it tells the whole story of their town! And the Donkey's like [Eddie Murphy impression] 'Let's do that again!' That's how I felt when that ended. I loved it, and I was so honored. I was like, 'Wow, Ike and Tina!' I had actually been following their career for quite some time. Way back in the day, when Janis and Grace Slick started to get known by the kids who were my age, I'd be like, 'Man, Tina Turner, c'mon!' She finally got her due, but for a while there, she wasn't noticed. It was a really good version, and it was different. I mean, that's the key. Instead of the same thing, it was really exciting."
  • On February 19, 1987, John Fogerty went to the Palomino Club in North Hollywood to see Taj Mahal, an artist Fogerty calls "an American treasure." As told in Fogerty's memoir, while trying to remain incognito and listen to Taj, he noticed that Bob Dylan was doing the exact same thing in the corner of the venue. Fogerty went to Dylan and learned that George Harrison had gone there, too.

    Someone let Taj know who was in the house, and Taj promptly called them all onstage.

    Dylan played one of his songs. Harrison played "Honey, Don't" and then they all did "Twist and Shout." At that point, Dylan called out that Fogerty had to do "Proud Mary."

    At that point in his life, Fogerty had sworn off all of his old CCR material, out of bitterness and spite against both his old band and his old label. So Fogerty said he didn't want to play the song, but Dylan responded, "If you don't do 'Proud Mary,' everybody's gonna think it's a Tina Turner song."

    With that, Fogerty ripped into the song and had a great time playing it. When he was done he said, "Eat your heart out, Tina."

    The occasion didn't inspire Fogerty to start regularly performing CCR songs again, but it did break it for that one evening as four legends of rock jammed together.
  • According to the book Bad Moon Rising, Bob Dylan called "Proud Mary" his favorite song of 1969.
  • A film about a hitwoman titled Proud Mary was released in January 2018. Not only does the action movie take its name from the song, but altered lyrics from the tune appear on the poster promoting it, with the tagline, "Killing for the Man every Night and Day."

    John Fogerty took to Twitter to complain:

    "I wrote the song 'Proud Mary' 50 years ago, and I was very excited to have written such a good song. In fact, it was my very first good song.

    My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses.

    This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it."

    He added: "No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of Proud Mary."

    The film, as well as the trailer, features the Tina Turner version of the song. Fogerty lost the rights to his CCR songs in 1973, so there was nothing he could do about having a cover version of the song used in the film.
  • Leonard Nimoy, who played "Mr. Spock" on Star Trek, recorded an infamous cover of this song. Near the end, he sings the chorus Elmer Fudd style - "Big wheel keep on toynin', Pwoud Mawy keep on boinin'..." It is included on a CD called Golden Throats.
  • This song was used to disastrous effect to open the 1989 Academy Awards ceremony in a bit where host Rob Lowe sang it with an actress playing Snow White, with the lyrics changed to be about Hollywood:

    Klieg lights keep on burnin'
    Cameras keep on turnin'
    Rollin' Rollin'
    Keep the cameras rollin'
  • Tina Turner sang this song for nearly 40 years, performing it until she retired in 2009. Many of her hits were ballads, so "Proud Mary" was an opportunity to electrify the crowd with a high-energy number that let her show off her impressive dancing.

Comments: 64

  • Eric from The Virginia SwampNot “pumped a lot of Pane”.

    It’s “pumped a lot of Tane”

    So the double meaning of Octane or Poo-tane, can carry forward.

    Rolling Proud Mary… that’s Mary Jane,
    The green stuff. Devils weed.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1969 {December 13th} Andy Williams performed "Proud Mary" on his NBC-TV musical variety program, 'The Andy Williams Show'...
    In the calendar year of 1969 three versions of "Proud Mary" made Billboard's Top 100 chart, CCR's original version peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in March, Solomon Burke's covered version reached #45 {for 1 week} in June, and the Checkmates' covered version peaked at #69 {for 1 week} in October...
    Between 1956 and 2007 the Wall Lake, Iowa native had forty-six records on Billboard's Top 100 chart, eight made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Butterfly", for three weeks on March 14th, 1957...
    He just missed having a second #1 record when his "Can't Get Used to Losing You" peaked at #2 for 4 weeks in 1963, during it's first two weeks at #2, "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons was at #1, and for it's 3rd and 4th week at #2, "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March occupied the top spot...
    Howard Andrew 'Andy' Williams passed away at the age of 84 on September 25th, 2012...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Yuk from UsaPumped a lot of propane in New Orleans in the sixties?
    More likely it was 'tane (octane, in gasoline)
  • Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers,

    I think that the idea of the lyrics if the song 'Proud Mary' came from the theme song of TV series 'Rawhide' in 50s to 60s. 'Rawhide' was an American Western TV series aired from 1959 to 1966. It was a very popular TV series and it was aired in Japan, too. I think the songwriter of the song,'Proud Mary', John Fogerty, must have been watching this TV series at that time. Because the lyrics of the song has including a very impressive phrase 'Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river'. It reminds me of the theme of 'Rawhide'. REALLY! I think that John as a kid thought the theme of 'Rawhide' was very cool and that he wanted to write a song like this someday in the future. And he did in 1969 as writing the song 'Proud Mary'. By the way, I think that the intro of 'Proud Mary' came from the intro from the song 'Sunshine Of Your Love' written and played by the British rock band called 'Cream' in 1967. So let's take a look at both 'The theme of Rawhide and 'Sunshin Of Love' compairing the song 'Proud Mary' AND sing!
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLOVE this song because I LOVE LOVE LOVE old paddlewheeleers. Have rode the two in Tahoe and didn't want to get off. Am not crazy about the Tina version either but that's ok. Thanks John for such a great tune.
  • Sam from Nychmmm, aren't these the same guys who wanna know if you ever seen the rain? lol uhhh yea, this song is about smoking a joint. if anyone ever seen a pot rolling machine, you'll know what they mean by "big wheel keeps on turning". If you haven't seen a pot rolling machine, you can just drop in on any smoke shop and ask to see a Zig Zag.. cost you around 10 bux lol. then you too will find yourself "rollin, rollin rollin" and understand why your "proud mary keeps on burning" lol. Have a good day.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 16th 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the acts* to appear at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, California...
    Three days later on January 19th CCR's "Proud Mary" would enter Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #62, a little over six weeks later on March 2nd it would peak at #2 for three weeks...
    {See 11th post below}...
    * Other acts on the bill were Fleetwood Mac and Albert Collins.
  • Johnny from Boston, MaI love this song as I do all John Fogerty songs and I think the guitar solo is one of the best of all time--short and sweet.
  • Garett from IlAlas, it is sir Walter Scott as author of the poem. My apologies sir W.
  • Garett from IlProud Maisie, by Longfellow, preceded the riverboat. Maisie, as a name, dropped from history, mostly, for practical reasons. I can hear the children taunting:
    Don't see Maisie
    She is crazy
    Mind is hazy
    Will is lazy
    If you fancy
    Go see Nancy
    Soon you'll learn to
    Do her pants - eee!
    Still in the oral tradition, our culture replaced the name with Mary, and it is a short poem.
    In the poem, Mary is so proud, too proud, that she learns her only marriage bed will be her grave, and the shovel is mentioned that digs it. A steamboat broiler looks like hell itself, the overwhelming fire and heat. Mean work for any man. What deserves to be shoveled into hell itself? Someone with an intractable sin, like Proud Mary. Hey let's name the boat that. She should keep on burnin after all, right?

  • Bob Wallace from California"Proud Mary" is apparently riverboat slang for dried horse manure which was sometimes used as fuel on steamboats. It burns hot and clean (think buffalo chips for the pioneers and dried cattle manure commonly used South Asia).

    In an interview on American Roots with a riverboat captain the captain says that there were a number of things burned under boilers in order to get the temperature up quickly. Pine knots, hams and Proud Mary were some.

    Big wheel keep on turnin'
    Proud Mary keep on burnin'
  • Markantney from BiloxeMay 2015
    Susan, I'm from the Deeep South (MS) and I'm amazed that CCR doesn't have a Southern Background? How their songs can sound as Southern as Lynyrd Skynyrd is freakin amazing to me:):)

    And to the folks harping on the "Drugs", say the song IS about Drugs, now what?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 9th 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival performed "Proud Mary" on the CBS-TV program "The Ed Sullivan Show"...
    At the time the song was in its second of three weeks at #2 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, that would also be its peak position on the chart...
    {See fourth post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 16th 1971, a video of Ike & Tina Turner performing "Proud Mary" was aired on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Eight days later on January 24th, 1971 the duo's covered version entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #99 {See posts below for more chart info}.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GaLuke from Manchester, I think I love you! It annoys me no end that on virtually every song covered in this site, some proud soul showing off his or her new lobotomy declares the song to be about drugs.
    I love CCR, and John Fogerty is one of three concerts left on my bucket list. I remember being shocked to find that they were originally from California and not, as they alluded in various ways, the bayou area or somewhere along the Mississippi River. Thanks to whoever explained that faux "Cajun" accent John was trying to affect with "toinin'" and "boinin'" in this song.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJune, 2014:
    1. I don't care if it's about Drugs, Dishes, Gasoline, Typewriters, or even Pet Rocks,'s a great song, both CCRs and Ike and Tina's Versions.

    2. I like to listen to CCRs and see Ike and Tina's performed.

    3. Back to #1, based on the issues of the day (back then); it's hard to believe it's not about drugs but again, I could care less if it is or isn't.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 2nd 1969, "Proud Mary" by CCR peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top chart... (See post below)...
    Was the quartet's first in a string of nine straight records to make the Top 10; after 'Mary' came "Bad Moon Rising (#2 for 1 week), "Green River" (#2 for 1 week), "Down On The Corner" (#3), "Travlin' Band" (#2 for 2 weeks), "Up Round The Bend" (#4), "Lookin' Out My Back Door" (#2 for 1 week), "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" (#8), and finally "Sweet Hitch Hiker" (#6)...
    On June 4th, 1972 "Someday Never Comes" peaked at #25 (for 2 weeks); and that broke their streak of Top 10 records...
    And four years later in 1976 their covered version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was their last Top 100 record, it reached #43.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 19th 1969, "Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 2nd it peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 (and 7 of those 14 weeks were on the Top 10)...
    In its first week at #2, the #1 record was "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone and for its 2nd & 3rd week, "Dizzy" by Tommy Roe was in the top spot...
    Was their first of five #2s on the Top 100...
    "Proud Mary" was track three of side two on the group's second studio album, 'Bayou Country', the album reached #7 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Tom Fogerty passed away on September 6th, 1990 at the young age of 48...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 11th 1970 Ike and Tina Turner performed "Proud Mary" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    One year later on January 24th, 1971 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 21st, 1971 it peaked at #4 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    CCR's original version peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) two years earlier on March 2nd, 1969...
    And also in 1969 two covered versions made the Top 100; Solomon Burke (#45) and Checkmates, Ltd. (#69).
  • Luke from Manchester, United KingdomStop attaining songs to drugs unless they ARE about drugs. It's embarrassing for people with brains.
  • Karl from Seattle, WaI think this song very clearly draws connections to living an alternative lifestyle and doing drugs. It's about being a nomad, moving about a lot, experiencing the "high" life with drugs instead of the conventional finish highschcool maybe get a degree get a job get married, kids dogs and a house to live for the rest of your life in. It's about not fitting in the "system". And people who don't fit in are a lot more likely to smoke weed.

    "Proud mary keep on burning"? People who smoke weed are often very affectionate of it. There's a million songs out there who personalize marijuana as an object or a person i.e.e Mary janes last dance from tom petty.

    "Rolling, rolling, rolling"? Hard to believe a guy who probably smoked all day and was probably rolling a joint as he wrote the song didn't write this intentionally, right after proud mary keep on burning.

    Pumped a lot of painpane might just be a play on words. Heroin initially gives a high but i bet it can be painful for someone without resources to try to deal with the addiction when they are all out of money and need another dose, maybe living in the street. Maybe pain wasn't the ideal word to describe itbut he needed to make it ambiguous with pane.

    Now what really closes the deal

    If you come down to the river,
    Bet you gonna find some people who live.
    You dont have to worry cause you have no money,
    People on the river are happy to give."

    meaning - If you decide to give the hippie community (general umbrella term for people who believe in alternative lifestyles, not specific people anywhere) a chance i bet you would leave with a good impression. I bet you are gonna find some people who live good lives despite not following the norm of society that is equating money with the ability to achieve happiness.

    River = river of life, the flow of the universe and everyday life, a river is constantly changing and every second its flow and format is different, thought sometimes it might seem slow and at other times fast. Like life.

    Now, i like other interpretations of the song too, and im not trying to put them down. Songs can have multiple meanings. But to think that the author didn't intentionally reference drugs in this song is like being in a room with an elephant and deciding to close yours eyes and say theres no elephant. It is there.

    Also, it doesnt matter what the band said or didnt say. There could be a million reasons why he would rather give an answer in an interview rather than another, and Rob, Novi, MI - Did you write this straight from the DEA's headquarters? On your lunch break maybe? "Stop thinking and just hear", oh dear.
  • Meocyber from Alma, Co I've allways interpreted this as a blue collar working river man's song. He kind of spoke to the lonelines, along with romance of river life. For a Nocal guy Fogerty had to have a past life in the deep South. Has great empathy!
  • Ernie from Bronx, Ny, NyNew York City --song had went to #1 for 1 week on radio station WMCA - which played rock & roll with more of local sound-
    --WABC --song went to #2 -which played National hit songs-

    this took wedding bands by storm-- when a band was asked to play a rock & roll song- they would always play "PROUD MARY"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny"Proud Mary" started the string of three consecutive records that peaked at #2; "Proud Mary" for three weeks, then "Bad Moon Rising" for a week, and finally "Green River" for one week!!!
  • Rick from Belfast, Methis song should of been #1 for the worst, definitely #2 for the year 1969
  • Jeff from Panama City , Flthe intro doesnt instill the paddlewheel for me...its the lead riff in the middle...and the fills are phenomenal...very soulful...the single reason for me learning the guitar at an early age...the big one that put creedence on the map...forever indebted to stu, doug, tom, and of course john for giving me the inspiration to follow a music career...advocation
  • Luke from Saint Augustine, Fldo you know that i always thought this song was about a semi truck driver, for example rolling down the river, proud mary keep on burnin' which i thought he ment truck wheels keep on burnin down the road, even though everyone says proud mary was a boat i still like to think its a truck :)
  • Garrett from Phenix City, AlHello Jose from Barcelona,
    How can I find the Conway Twitty album "I Love You More Today? Is it still In Print? If you have an answer, let me know por favor.
  • Garrett from Phenix City, AlMarta, I tried going to the direct YouTube address that you have sent. I could pull up the song itself, but I couldn't find Conway's version When I tried typing it in the youtube search box it just gave me all of his other songs. If you know what page number in the listings it would be on, or anywhere else that has it for sure, or if there is anyone else that knows the about this please let me know I appreciate it. God Bless!!!
  • Marta from Szczecin, Poland :)))
  • Garrett from Phenix City, AlDoes Anybody know where I can find Conway Twitty's version of proud Mary? If you do, please tell me. I have looked on the web and can not find it anywhere.
    Garrett Miles
  • Garrett from Phenix City, AlFirst of all, I'd like to say the lyrics to the second verse are as follows; "Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis, pumped a lot of 'pane or 'pain down in New Orleans." I used to think it was "Pumped a lot of tank down in New Orleans." Later, I heard a friend of mine's son singing the CCR version, and he said it was 'pane. Then I listened closely to Creedence Clearwater Revival's version, and it was clear that Fogerty was saying "'Paine" or "'pain," and not "tank as i thought it was, or even "'tane" as Ike & Tina Turner sang. So I asked several people what they thought it was and they all said it was "'pane" as a contracted form of propane. I have listened to the lyrical content of the song and clearly do not think it is about smoking dope. I have never heard heroine called "Pain." The song is about a riverboat going down the Mississippi. Now that i got that point clear, Yesterday I was reading some of the comments on this site, and I heard someone mension that Conway Twitty sang the song. I had heard that a long time ago, but had forgotten about it. I was wondering if you knew how or where i could find it, because I have looked all over the internet and I can't find it If you read this, and you have an answer, please let me know.
  • Harry from Myrtle Beach, ScTo the person who made the comment about hating Tina's version - that's fine if you don't like it - Don't listen to it - But your excuse for a joke about Ike hitting her is apalling. Grow up a little!
  • Marion from Houston, Texas, TxOOPS! That should be JOHN Fogerty.
  • Marion from Houston, Texas, TxI am probably much older than any of you who posted comments and believe I can safely say have known Jim Fogerty and his music much longer than you have. Do not presume to second guess this great artist. He says what he means and means what he says. Instead of arguing about the words of any song, why not just buy the sheet music?
  • Kevin from Chicago, IlI'm surprised most people don't draw the connection this song makes to marijuana. "Proud Mary keep on burnin?" I would say that is a pretty obvious reference to smoking some "Mary Jane"
  • Kris from Wichita, KsI hate Tina Turner's version of this song. It's prolly the reason Ike beat her,"Damn Tina you messed that song up *Smack* Don't do it again!"
  • Marge from Blue Grass, IaI'm doing Memorial Tribute's in memory of an uncle who passed away that who used to work
    on the river as a deckhand years ago. My
    husband John has worked on the river for
    31 years. He's a Captain on a lineboat.
    He thought this song "Proud Mary" would
    be the perfect song to put on the Memorial.
    We always loved this song. It's a good song
    and I don't know why people have to talk
    trash about such a great song! Marge,BG,IA.
  • David from Wilson, Nyi used to think it was about the boat queen mary when i was younger.
  • Gare from St. Paul, MnI am disappointed to realize that I have had the lyrics wrong all these years - I thought the song said "pumped a lot of tang' down in New Orleans" as in poontang. Damn! I'm still gonna sing it that way, it's much more interesting that-a-way!
    A great song sung by anyone is still a great song!!!
  • Mark from Byrdstown, TnIt kills me when someone posts 'so and so did an awesome cover of this song'.I mean why would you want to hear anyone cover this song when you can hear CCR doing it? I mean hell, Fogerty himself is still playing in a traveling band and doing this song.Even Tina Turner sounded like crap trying to do this song.
  • David from Baden-baden, GermanyJohn always had a book with him in which he wrote down feelings or experiences he made on journeys or something. He wrote lyrics with the help of this book.
  • Street Strategist from Hong Kong, Hong Kong"Proud Mary" is number 8 in the list called "Sounds at the Speed of Music: 50 Rock Anthems at 100 kph"
  • Ken from Louisville, KyOn an NPR interview, Fogerty was asked to pronounce the words "turning" and "burning". Fogerty was amused when the host was shocked that John didn't pronounce them "toinin'" and "boinin'". He said he sang the song in a cajun accent, which, being fron Northern California, he had to fake.

  • Linda from Omaha, NeI read that John Fogerty wrote "Proud Mary" because he was happy about having been rejected for service in Vietnam. Can't believe everything you read though.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumIke and Tina Turner didn't ruin the song, it's just different but very good also.
  • Paul from Warren, MiThis is a great song. It tells of a riverboat sailing down the Mississippi River with the paddlewheels going full force. Ike&Tina Turner ruined the song by speeding up the beat and now every musician follows the Turner way instead of doing it the way John Fogerty wrote it, the way the son was meant to be.
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, NjCool song. nice rhythmn. i danced to this song in my jazz class last year.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumI loved this song when it came out and still love it now, the version of Ike and Tina Turner is also very good. I can't say which one I prefer because they are so different.
  • Jeff from Staten Island, NyHeroin is called Boy & Coke is called girl because heroin or Dope = (D) & Coke = (C)
    (its code/slang) because a boy has a 'D'
    a girl has a 'C' (think of private parts)

    the word "Man" doesn't fit the equation
  • Joe from Charlotte, NcI saw Fogerty in Chrlotte, NC. He's still doin' it. The "Man" in this song is heroin. "Workin for the man every night and day." If you want proof, watch the movie 'Ray' with Jamie Fox. They refer to coke as the lady, and heroin as boy. The river is referred to in thousands of rock songs. If you listen to any classic rock song and replace any word relating to water with heroin, they all make sense.
  • Mitchell from Melbourne, AustraliaYeah I saw him in Melbourne too. Terrific sing/songwriter and an excellent performer. Every there loved the entire show and was going crazy. I'm 14
  • Jolene from Melbourne, AustraliaJust saw Fogerty two nights ago in Melbourne and when he did this song the crowd was jumping around and acting real crazy which is a surprise cause the crowd was made up of people from 15 to 75! Mind you we were going crazy to just about every song, incredible concert. If you get a chance to see him live, take it.
  • Diane from Nyc, NyIt's a big person who can admit when they are wrong. I am (was) wrong. Straight from the horse's mouth:

    "Sometimes I write words to songs because they sound cool to sing. Sometimes the listener doesn't understand what I'm singing because I'm dedicated to singing the vowel, having fun with the word sounds coming out of my mouth. 'Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis, pumped a lot of pain down in New Orleans,' is a good example. I think Tina Turner sang 'tane' instead of 'pain,' as in a contracted form of octane. But I knew what she meant," Fogerty said.
  • Diane from Nyc, Nythe lyric is pumped a lot of 'pane (propane) gasoline. it's funny how people project themselves on to perfectly harmless and obvious song lyrics.
  • Jose from Barcelona, Spainthere is an outstanding version of Proud Mary
    (country style) by Conway Twitty
    from LP "I Love You More Today".
    I do have it in MP3

  • Ross from Independence, MoThis is #155 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyOne reason people thought CCR was from Louisiana was the song on the flip side of this single, "Born On The Bayou". In fact, CCR had orginally intended that song to be the A-side, but U.S. disc jockeys kept playing "Proud Mary" so often that the record company made it a "double A side" 45, as was sometimes done in the 1960's.

  • Rob from Novi, MiGood job, Cody. It seems to some people that every single song has some hidden meaning. Just listen to the music.
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaBest CCR song. Hands down. Well in my opinion at least. My dad is a really big Credence fan and listens to them a lot, so I got to know them well too. But I always though this was the best one.
  • Michael from Toronto, United StatesI always associated "pumped a lot of pain" with cranking heroin.

    I think it's great that the good songwriters' lyrics are open to interpretation.
  • Johnny from Hilo, Hii believe the lyric goes "pumped a lot of 'tain', down in new orleans", as opposed to "pumped a lot of 'pain', down in new orleans". it would make more sense that one could pump "tain" ( slang for octane, or gasolene ) at a low paying job, that would be compared to washing dishes. that, i can see being pumped, "pain" on the other hand, not so much.
  • Cody from San Antonio, TxWhy does everyone want songs to be about marijuana? Sometimes its not about pot guys. Come on.
  • Jude from Db, CaTrenyce sang this song very well on "American Idol."
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