On Wednesday, a day that saw supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump swarm the U.S. Capitol, emboldened by his speech reiterating claims that the election was stolen from him, John Fogerty released a new song, “Weeping in the Promised Land,” that offers a pointed critique of Trump’s leadership.
The gospel-flavored song, which is available as a digital single, finds the ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman reflecting on such topical issues as Trump’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice.
Fogerty tells ABC Audio that he actually came up with the song’s title about 25 years ago, and says that, at the time, he felt the phrase “seemed bigger than the page I wrote it on,” so he always hoped to write a tune worthy of it.
The events of 2020 became John’s inspiration for one.
“I quickly realized there were at least two things I wanted to talk about, [one of] which, of course, was…the pandemic, and what has gone on around that,” Fogerty explains. “I also knew that I had to try to deal with prejudice, bias…in America.”
John says he spent a long time writing the tune because he wanted to make sure the lyrics said exactly what he wanted them to say.
Fogerty reveals that initial versions he recorded of “Weeping in the Promised Land” had a swamp-rock arrangement featuring guitar, bass and drums, but his wife suggested that he give it a more gospel feel.
With that in mind, John says, he sat at his piano and “played the first chords that to me were kind of evocative of…prairie gospel, like if someone was going to sing ‘Bringing in the Sheaves’ or ‘Amazing Grace."”
The final version features Fogerty on vocals and piano, accompanied by a small choral group.
By Matt Friedlander
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