When someone asks me about a song that I have a connection with, I have to stop and think a minute, because most of my favorite songs don’t immediately bring about an event in my life. Instead, they embody the lives of fictional characters in television and movies.
Recently, I’ve added a lot of songs with witch-y, haunting undertones to my library thanks to the new Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The addition of these songs was made easier by the release of a Spotify playlist with a few getting constant play.
One of the first songs I was drawn to from the soundtrack was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising,” and when I started digging I realized that it couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for the show.
The 1969 track was written by John Fogherty after seeing the film The Devil and Daniel Webster, in which a man named Daniel Webster makes a deal with Mr. Scratch, the devil. “Bad Moon Rising” was inspired by the hurricane scene where everyone’s crops were destroyed save Daniel Webster’s.
During a 1993 interview with Rolling Stone Fogherty revisits the song saying:
My song wasn’t about Mr. Scratch, and it wasn’t about the deal. It was about the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us. It wasn’t until the band was learning the song that I realized the dichotomy. Here you got this song with all these hurricanes and blowing and raging ruin and all that, but it’s [snaps fingers] “I see a bad moon rising.” It’s a happy-sounding tune, right? It didn’t bother me at the time.
Though rather foreboding, the song does have a rather snappy tune. It’s hard not to shake, as eerie it is that this song brings about the show’s main villain at the expense of the title character’s favorite school teacher.
I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today
Don’t go ‘round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
On Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Mary Wardwell is heading home from a horror movie. “Bad Moon Rising” is playing on the radio. She’s singing to the radio when she sees a girl in the road.
The music stops. She swerves and gets out of her car to make sure the girl is okay. She takes the girl home and is killed by the girl who later takes her form, assuming her life to deliver Sabrina Spellman to the devil.
While the demon continues to live as Mary Wardwell, it’s hard to shake the lyrics of the song as the last one the character was singing. Especially this verse, which — in a show about witchcraft — feels a lot like a premonition.
I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quite prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has nine episodes coming out in April 2019, and has already been renewed for sixteen more.
What does this means for the demon is unknown, but as I play the song, I can’t stop theorizing about what’s to come.
(Song recommendation by Lauren Busser)