Proud Mary
Creedence Clearwater Revival Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Left a good job in the city
Workin' for the man every night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin'
Worryin' 'bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turnin'
Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river

Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
'Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen

Big wheel keep on turnin'
Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Rollin', rollin' (rollin'), rollin' on the river
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river

If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don't have to worry 'cause you have no money
People on the river are happy to give

Big wheel keep on turnin'
Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river





Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival tell the story of a hard-working individual who has left a good job in the city for unspecified reasons, and is now reflecting on their life. The person worked every night and day for "the man", but never lost a minute of sleep over worrying about the way things might have been. The lyrics suggest that the person is content with their life, despite the hard work that they have endured.


The chorus of "Big wheel keep on turnin', Proud Mary keep on burnin', Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river" is a metaphor for the person's life. The "Big wheel" represents the person's daily grind, the "Proud Mary" represents their spirit and determination, and "rollin' on the river" symbolizes the journey of life, with its ups and downs.


The lyrics also mention the cities of Memphis and New Orleans, where the person had to work hard and clean plates or pump pane (gasoline) but never saw the good side of the city until they hitched a ride on a river boat queen. The final stanza talks about the generosity of people living on the river, who are happy to give despite having no money.


Overall, the lyrics to Proud Mary encourage the listener to persevere through the hard times, to keep their spirit and determination burning, and to appreciate the people around them who are willing to help. It's a song that celebrates the journey of life and the resilience of the human spirit.


Line by Line Meaning

Left a good job in the city
I quit my well-paying job in the city that I had been working at every day and night.


Workin' for the man every night and day
I was working hard for my employer, never taking any time off.


And I never lost one minute of sleepin'
I didn't worry about the decision to leave my job because I knew it was the right move for me.


Worryin' 'bout the way things might have been
I didn't second-guess my decision to leave and wasn't concerned about how my life might have been different if I stayed.


Big wheel keep on turnin'
Life goes on and doesn't stop for anyone.


Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Keep on going and never give up.


Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river
Life is like a river and it keeps flowing no matter what.


Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
I worked at a lot of different jobs in Memphis, including washing dishes.


Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans
I worked hard and did a lot of manual labor in New Orleans.


But I never saw the good side of the city
Despite working hard, I never got to see the more positive aspects of either city.


'Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen
It wasn't until I took a ride on a riverboat and saw the river that my perspective changed.


If you come down to the river
If you come down to the river


Bet you gonna find some people who live
You're likely to find people who live and work on the river.


You don't have to worry 'cause you have no money
You don't need to have money to be happy on the river.


People on the river are happy to give
People who live on the river are happy to share what they have.


Rollin', rollin' (rollin'), rollin' on the river
Life is still like a river, always flowing and never stopping.


Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river
Life keeps moving forward, just like a river.




Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: John Cameron Fogerty

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@cachoeiradagratidaoemnovax2321

Left a good job in the city
Working for the man every night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleeping
Worrying 'bout the way things might have been
Big wheel, keep on turning
Proud Mary, keep on burning
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
Pumped a lot of pain down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
Until I hitched a ride on a river boat queen
Big wheel, keep on turning
Proud Mary, keep on burning
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don't have to worry 'cause you have no money
People on the river are happy to give
Big wheel, keep on turning
Proud Mary, keep on burning
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river



All comments from YouTube:

@srp960

I first heard this song waiting in my father's gas station in '68, I was 8 years old. When the song ended the mechanic who was listening nearby stated "man, that guy" (speaking of singer) "is gonna be
great some day". This song brings back this memory.

@giuseppeg5318

Please, listen to my cover and subscribe the channel if you like it🙏:

https://youtu.be/s0hd2lPZ0yU?feature=shared

@ClaudeLemeunier

John foggerty aune voix reconnaissable parmi des milliers j adore

@Stray7

Well, he certainly wasn't wrong...

@clifftanton8385

The greatest American Rock nRoll band other than the Doors this country has ever seen

@LoneLoba8

I am 15 years old and my friends think I'm weird for liking CCR but I don't care. I love their music!

@HaROFLMFAOhA

Same Same!

@kurtz7221

Same as you ;)

@Idie11

good 4 u.  good music last 4ever!!!!!

@deathstrike626

Tell them to eff themselves then. Listen all you want my friend

More Comments

More Versions