I did not know anything about Credence Clearwater Revival (or “CCR” as they are affectionately known) until I took a road trip a few years ago with my sister. We had, as the only CDs that were acceptable to all members of the van (my sister, her husband, myself, and their 4 children), two CCR greatest hits albums and one album which we only ever listened to one song from. We drove to Seattle. And then back. With only this music.
And it was awesome. Unlike the U2 album that sustained my class and I for 2 weeks in Africa, I can actually listen to CCR songs. When I do, I am immediately transported back into that 15 passenger van, singing at the top of my lungs along with lyrics that were iffy.
Part of what we did while listening to CCR (over and over and over) was speculate on what the lyrics were and what they might mean (“let the midnight special shine it’s ever loving light on me”?!). It would be another 3 years before my sister and I discovered that “chooglin” is the sound that an original VW bug makes. My sister still calls me to ask what certain lyrics are (since I know how to use teh Intarwebs); most recently, we discussed the meaning of “I went down Virginia, Seekin’ shelter from the storm. Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.” Our conclusion? Drugs. (Interestingly, that video appears to have been beset by the selfsame cause that inflicted the lyrics.)
But, oddball lyrics aside (“a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high heels”), I love singing along to these at the top of my lungs. This is not my favorite, but it’s hard to choose one. And it’s one with good memories of trying to figure out what the lines were…
It’s like a gospel song—you can’t help singing along, whether or not you know the lyrics (whether or not it’s even possible to). It comes from deep in CCR’s soul & returns to deep inside yours, forces you to tap your feet, crank the volume, and all of a sudden you’re seeing Miss Rosie (piece of paper in her hand) and doin’ right in Texas. Maybe even clapping; or at least wailing on your air drums.
(My favorite lyrics are “down on the corner, out in the street, livin’ in a boat house’ll play ya, give a nipple, grab your feet!” that song includes “rooster hits the wacko”, something about “a nutface”, and “the devil’s only zoo”. Seriously, listen to that song and see if you can discern English in it!)