This morning I couldn’t decide what to listen to on what turned out to be a very long ride into work. So I set my iPod to Shuffle, and the very first song it picked was Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.”

My first thought was to run out and get lottery tickets.

Of course, CCR’s music is (sometimes deliberately) ironic on multiple levels. A “Louisiana swamp band” from the San Fransisco Bay area, four middle-class Californians trying to sound like rednecks “Born on the Bayou.” Both Fogarty’s managed to avoid Vietnam despite being drafted, and thus wrote authoritatively about situations with which they had no experience. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” is apocryphally about the use of Agent Orange and its effects on American troops, and inspired a spectacularly good and under-appreciated Nick Nolte movie.

It was in fact written about the incessant rain at Woodstock, where CCR’s sets were all played wet.

Sometimes, however, irony works out.


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