Song of the Day Jan 12
January 12, 2024
This month I’m focusing on some great hits from the 60s.
Today our song is: Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Wikipedia tells us this about the song:
The song, released during the peak period of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, is not explicit in its criticism of that war in particular, rather, it "speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself," according to its author, John Fogerty. "It's the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them." In 2015, while on the television show The Voice, he also said:
The thoughts behind this song—it was a lot of anger. So it was the Vietnam War going on. ... Now I was drafted and they're making me fight, and no one has actually defined why. So this was all boiling inside of me and I sat down on the edge of my bed and out came "It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son!" You know, it took about 20 minutes to write the song.
According to his 2015 memoir, Fogerty was thinking about David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who married Julie Nixon after he escorted her at the International Debutante Ball, the daughter of then-President-elect Richard Nixon in 1968, when he wrote "Fortunate Son". Eisenhower spent three years in the military, most of it as an officer aboard the USS Albany in the Mediterranean Sea.
"Fortunate Son" wasn't really inspired by any one event. Julie Nixon was dating David Eisenhower. You'd hear about the son of this senator or that congressman who was given a deferment from the military or a choice position in the military. They seemed privileged and whether they liked it or not, these people were symbolic in the sense that they weren't being touched by what their parents were doing. They weren't being affected like the rest of us.