Monday, May 11, 2009

Walking On The Water

"Late last night, I went for a walk,
Down by the river near my home
Couldn´t believe, with my own eyes,
And I swear I´ll never leave my home again..."

With its typical staccato rhythm and dark imagery, the early, lesser-known Creedence track Walking On The Water has always appealed to my imagination. Creepy little song. Makes you wonder who it is he actually sees, walking towards him from across the river, who has him so scared he won´t go out ever again...

"I saw a man walking on the water
Coming right at me from the other side
Calling out my name - do not be afraid
Feet begin to run, pounding in my brain
I don´t want to go... I don´t want to go... Oh no no no..."

Probably not Jesus, who´s known as the prime example of someone braving the briny without the help of a floating object. It is said the disciples in the bible story were admittedly a bit afraid at first, but they soon relaxed when they found out it was their main man performing that impossible feat. The devil then, in a typical trickster act, impersonating his eternal opposite? The grim reaper, or his trusted aide-de-camp the ferryman? This one would explain the other side and the "I don´t want to go" line at the end. Or is it just the protagonist´s alter ego?

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Walking On The Water MP3

If only for completion´s sake, here´s the Fogerty brothers pre-Creedence version of the song. A nice blueprint, with a fun over-the-top guitar solo as icing on the cake.

The Golliwogs - Walking On The Water MP3

The Creedence version may be a treat, but I am even more enamoured of New York proto-punk Richard Hell´s 1977 interpretation of the song. Maybe just because I heard that one first? Or is it Hell´s truly desperate vocal, coupled with Robert Quine´s razorsharp guitar licks? Questions, questions.

Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Walking On The Water MP3


Denier said...

Like you I heard the Richard Hell cover version first, wasn't till much later I heard the CCR original. This is a rare case where I can't pick a favorite, but I agree that Quine's guitar work is astonishing here.

Ramone666 said...

Thanks Warden. It´s a tough choice indeed. Same with Creedence´s Run Through The Jungle and The Gun Club´s great cover of that song btw...

Denier said...

The Golliwogs' version is amazing in its own right! Amazed at how clean and fresh it sounds considering how old it is.

Unknown said...

why would anyone want to make a cover of the golliwogs version, could it be that they just wanted to sing songs that had next to nothing to do with the original?