jun 1, 1969 - "Fortunate Son" - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Riley Paredes)
“Fortunate Son” was released by Creedence Clearwater Revival on their 1969 album Willy and the Poor Boys. The song was written by the band’s lead singer, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter, John Fogerty. “Fortunate Son” was released during a crucial time period of the Vietnam War. In the latter 1960’s more specifically during the year 1968, just one year prior to the release of Willy and the Poor Boys, the Vietnam War began taking a turn for the worst. The year 1968 marks the beginning of the Tet Offensive, which was carried out by North Vietnamese forces. The Tet Offensive lead to the attack and invasion of the U.S. Embassy in South Vietnam while also resulting in the death of 543 American troops in a single week; the highest recorded number of U.S. deaths during the war. As the war turned, its threat was felt by all Americans. These foreign factors combined with domestic issues of the time including the civil rights movement lead to an anti-war movement which is portrayed in the song “Fortunate Son”. The primary goal of “Fortunate Son” is to give a voice to middle and lower class Americans who are forced to fight while the wealthy upper class are protected. This idea is most obviously made in the chorus of the song:
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
These lyrics can be explicitly defined as Fogerty making known that he, like most people, isn’t fortunate enough to be protected from going to war because he, bluntly said, “ain’t no senator’s son”. Furthermore, the song can be seen as advocating for the middle and lower class due to the way it is played. The use of synthetic sounds are not incorporated, instead the song focused on basic rhythm kept by guitar and drums which pairs with Fogerty’s raspy voice which creates a very real and authentic sound, one of the people who are being represented in the song. The simple verse-chorus form of the song keep it uncomplicated which allows for the simple yet powerful guitar lines to compliment Fogerty’s voice to mimic the call for help from those suffering due to the war.
History.com Staff. “Vietnam War Timeline.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2017, www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war-timeline.
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