Song of the Day: Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Have you ever seen the rain? by akreon

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is a song written by John Fogerty and released as a single in 1971 from the album Pendulum (1970) by roots rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Lyrics:

Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm,
I know; it’s been comin’ for some time.
When it’s over, so they say,
It’ll rain a sunny day,
I know; shinin’ down like water.

[Chorus:]
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

Yesterday, and days before,
Sun is cold and rain is hard,
I know; been that way for all my time.
‘Til forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow,
I know; it can’t stop, I wonder.

[Chorus:]

Yeah!

[Chorus:]

……

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.

This was used in the TV show Tour Of Duty, which was set in Vietnam during the war. (thanks, 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. (thanks, Jerro – New Alexandria, PA)

The song charted highest in Canada, reaching number one on the RPM 100 national album chart in March 1971. In the US, it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the same year. On Cash Box pop chart, it peaked at number three. Billboard co-listed the b-side “Hey Tonight”. In the UK, it reached number 36. It was the group’s eighth gold-selling single.

  • The song is playing in the background in the film “Philadelphia” during the bar scene where Denzel Washington’s character responds to homophobic taunts from some of his colleagues.
  • “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” was heard playing in its entirety, at the very end of “Look Again”, the first episode of the TV series Cold Case.
  • This song was heard playing in the film Evan Almighty (during the opening sequence).
  • It is heard featured in The Longest Yard 2005 remake.
  • In the film December Boys, it is heard in both the released CCR version and a quieter instrumental version.
  • It is heard in one of episodes of Tour of Duty, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Dead” (in the ending scene).
  • Heard playing throughout the Dexter episode “Father Knows Best”.
  • Heard playing during the season 1 finale of Nurse Jackie.
  • Heard playing during the series finale of Stargate SG-1, “Unending”.
  • It was made available to download on January 24, 2012 for play in Rock Band 3 Basic and PRO mode utilizing real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards plus vocal harmonies.
  • Made available for download on RockSmith as of April 2013

Cover versions

  • Spin Doctors for the film Philadelphia, and also released as a single
  • Brian Fallon has covered this song live
  • Boney M.
  • Bonnie Tyler (Spain #8, IE #13, France #40, UK #47, Germany #63)
  • Cassandra Wilson
  • Dr. Sin
  • Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels [6]
  • Emmerson Nogueira
  • Hi-Standard
  • Heroes del Silencio
  • Joan Jett (included on all her compilation albums), her version is also heard playing in the second season finale of The Wire: “Port in a Storm”
  • Johnny Cash
  • Paula & Willie Nelson
  • Sass Jordan
  • Mango, did a piano and vocal version from the album Acchiappanuvole (2008)
  • Melanie Safka
  • Priscila Y Sus Balas De Plata covered the song in Spanish, entitled “Ven Por Favor.”
  • The Minutemen
  • Needtobreathe often covers this song live in concert
  • R.E.M. have covered this song live
  • Rod Stewart covered this song in 2006 and released it in the cover album Still the Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time
  • Smokie
  • T.Love
  • Teenage Fanclub
  • Karen Souza
  • The Fray
  • The Jeevas
  • The Ramones covered this song on their thirteenth studio album Acid Eaters, recorded in 1993 (album entirely composed of covers)
  • The Ventures
  • Rise Against
  • Saving Abel plays this song live on some occasions
  • The Low Life
  • Justice Friends
  • Amy Gilliom
  • Love Psychedelico Recorded on their album Abbott Kinney
  • It was performed on American Idol Season 11 by Phillip Phillips, and again on the results show with John Fogerty.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival 1968.jpg

Origin El Cerrito, California
Genres Roots rock, country rock, blues rock,swamp rock, Southern rock, rock and roll
Years active 1967–1972
Labels Fantasy Records
Associated acts The Blue Velvets, The Golliwogs,Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Website http://www.creedence-online.net
Past members Doug Clifford
Stu Cook
John Fogerty
Tom Fogerty

image by akreon © The BradField Company Ltd.

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