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About the song

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Fortunate Son, a veritable rock and roll anthem that reverberates not just with catchy guitar riffs and John Fogerty’s powerful vocals, but with the very spirit of a tumultuous era. Released in 1969 by the iconic American band Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son became an instant sensation, capturing the disillusionment and frustration of a generation caught in the throes of the Vietnam War.

Now, when we delve into classic rock, it’s important to understand the context. The late 1960s in America were a period of immense social and political upheaval. The fight for civil rights raged on, the counterculture movement challenged traditional values, and the Vietnam War cast a long shadow, claiming the lives of countless young men. Fortunate Son taps into this zeitgeist, becoming a powerful voice for those who felt disenfranchised and unheard.

The song’s brilliance lies in its masterful use of sarcasm and social commentary. Fogerty doesn’t explicitly preach against the war; instead, he employs a sardonic tone, highlighting the hypocrisy of a system that sends working-class youth to fight a war seemingly orchestrated by the privileged.

The opening lines, “Some folks are born made to wave the flag,” establish this contrast. These “fortunate sons” of senators and millionaires inherit patriotism and privilege, remaining insulated from the harsh realities of war.

Fortunate Son isn’t just a critique of the draft system; it’s a lament for the working class. Fogerty emphasizes this through the repeated refrain, “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son.” This isn’t the anthem of a proud soldier marching off to defend his country; it’s the cry of a young man thrust into a conflict he doesn’t understand, a conflict seemingly orchestrated by those who wouldn’t dare send their own sons to the frontlines.

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Musically, Fortunate Son is a powerhouse. Fogerty’s instantly recognizable vocals snarl with righteous anger, perfectly complementing the driving rhythm section and the searing guitar riffs. The iconic “Fortunate Son” guitar solo, with its raw energy and bluesy swagger, further amplifies the song’s rebellious spirit.

Fortunate Son transcended its time. It became a powerful symbol of the anti-war movement, finding its way into countless films and television shows depicting the Vietnam era. Even today, the song retains its potency, a reminder of the human cost of war and the importance of questioning authority. So, as we delve into this classic track, let us appreciate not just its musical prowess, but its enduring message: a call for justice, a plea for peace, and a voice for those who are often unheard.

Video

Lyrics

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”
Ooh, 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, oh
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house lookin’ 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

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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!” Yo

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
It ain’t me, it ain’t me