Due to the time period in which it was made and the resigned but somewhat angry feeling of the song, many see "Who'll Stop the Rain" as a thinly-veiled protest against the Vietnam War, with the final verse lyrics and its references to music, large crowds, rain, and crowds trying to keep warm, being about the band's experience at the Woodstock Festival in August of 1969. There is also a line during the song's second verse about "five-year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains" that may indicate a general cynicism altogether about politicians. For his part, when asked by Rolling Stone about the meaning of the song's lyrics, John Fogerty was quoted as saying,
“ Certainly, I was talking about Washington when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, 'Daddy stop the rain.' And my wife and I looked at each other and said, 'Well, not quite." ”
In 2007 during a concert he said the following about the song:
“ Well this next song has a bit of a fable surrounding it. A lot of folks seem to think I sang this song at Woodstock way back when. No. I was at Woodstock 1969… I think. It was a nice event. I’m a California kid. I went up there and saw a whole bunch of really nice young people. Hairy. Colorful. It started to rain, and got really muddy, and then (yelling) half a million people took their clothes off!!! (Normal voice again) Boomer generation making it’s presence known I guess. Anyway then I went home and wrote this song.
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