About the song
Welcome to my blog, where I share my passion for music and its history. Today, I want to talk about one of the most iconic songs of the Vietnam War era: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”. This song was released in 1969 on their fourth studio album, Willy and the Poor Boys, and it quickly became an anthem of the anti-war movement and the counterculture.
The song was written by John Fogerty, the lead singer and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival, who was drafted in 1966 and served in the Army Reserve until 1968. Fogerty said that he was inspired by his anger at the unfairness of the draft system, which favored the wealthy and powerful over the poor and working-class. He also said that he was thinking about David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who married Julie Nixon, the daughter of President Richard Nixon, in 1968.
The song begins with a powerful guitar riff and a defiant chorus: “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son”. The song then contrasts the privileges of the “fortunate ones” who are born to be senators, millionaires, or generals, with the hardships of the “unfortunate ones” who are sent to fight and die in a war they don’t understand or support. The song also criticizes the hypocrisy of the “fortunate ones” who claim to love their country but avoid serving it. The song ends with a repeated refrain: “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one”.
The song was a huge hit, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1969. It also received critical acclaim, being ranked as one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and the Library of Congress. The song has been covered by many artists, such as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Pearl Jam, and Foo Fighters. The song has also been featured in many movies, TV shows, and video games that depict the Vietnam War or the anti-war movement.
“Fortunate Son” is a song that captures the spirit of a turbulent time in American history. It is a song that speaks to the injustice of class and war, and to the courage of those who resist it. It is a song that still resonates today, as we face new challenges and conflicts around the world. It is a song that reminds us that we are not alone in our struggle for peace and freedom.