Fortunate Son-CCR

Fortunate Son is a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival (also known as CCR); it was released in the album Willy and The Poor Boys in 1969, during the Vietnam...

Fortunate Son is a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival (also known as CCR); it was released in the album Willy and The Poor Boys in 1969, during the Vietnam War.  Both and anti-Vietnam war anthem and a working class shout, the song is full of frustration, born from a generation of people who were starting to open their eyes to the huge mistake that the Vietnam war was.  In the first years, many supported the Vietnam war, but as it dragged on and the death toll reached hundreds of thousands without any sign of victory, it became clear to many that this was a useless war where US could only lose: in spirit, number of deaths, and in the war itself.

The song came out right at the time when the anti-war movement had begun to grow exponentially, and therefore became one of the anthems of the time.The song is a critique to militant supporters who support such wars without really paying the consequences.  It divides America between fortunate and unfortunate sons. The former, sons of politicians and millionaires, are born with “silver spoon in hands” and have an easy cotton-coated life protected by class privilege and a system that inevitably favours the wealthy and well educated (it is sad that this is still very much a reality now). The fortunate sons will probably never have to serve in the military and fight in Vietnam, having the luxury of seeing the war from a distance, rather than living it. The latter lack any inherited privilege and have to pay the consequences of an absurd war orchestrated by the rich.

John Fogerty, lead singer and lead guitarist of the band, was inspired by the wedding of Julie Nixon, daughter of President Richard Nixon, and David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight David Eisenhower. Forgerty himself served the army in for less than a year in 1967, after his return he joined the band and enjoyed the success some years later.  The song is quite clearly sung by the unfortunate son, who finds anger and irony in his destiny whilst he watches the fortunate sons “hail to the chief” and raising the flag, whilst the cannon is pointed at him. This was one of the first band to publically point out that the people serving in the war were mainly from the lower classes. Here are the full lyrics:

Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
Ooo, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, y’all
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Yeah, yeah
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”, y’all

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, no, no, no

Fortunate Son-CCR
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Virginia Vigliar

Virginia is a freelance journalist and editor based in Barcelona, consults for Oxfam in Spain and the Netherlands, and she is the Chief Editor of WIB. She is a passionate advocate of human rights and freedom of speech. And a meme enthusiast. She has worked in the development sector in Malawi and Kenya and Somalia before returning to Europe, where she gained experience in the United Kingdom, Norway, and Spain. To see her work, look at her website here: http://virginiavigliar.com/
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