Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Links to Social 30-1
“Fortunate Son” by American band Creedence Clearwater Revival, was released in September 1969, during the height of the Vietnam War. During this time, conscription played a prominent role in recruiting men for the United States to combat the communist forces in South-East Asia, though it was not without criticism and opposition. “Fortunate Son” offers a voice to the anti-war movement. Its arguments against conscription, as well as against the prevailing U.S. policy of containment (of communism), were echoed by a large segment of America society during the Vietnam War. Fogerty raises the issue of unenforced rule of law, as well as class conflict in the United States, as the privileged allegedly received preferential treatment in regards to position in the draft, as those “fortunate son[s]” who were “born [with] silver spoon in hand,” who had relation to the government or the elite were not at risk of being conscripted and sent to Vietnam. In this way, the song is a war protest anthem created for the working class who were not protected by the shield of privileged life in the upper class. This concept is built upon later in the song by describing those in positions of power who were apparently very patriotic and had “inherited star spangled eyes,” as the ones who sent others to war, and continued to demand sacrifices from others, which was the ironic extent of their involvement in the war. More indirectly, the song challenges the legitimacy of conscription, and the freedom and liberties it infringes upon. This is perhaps best illustrated by the lines: “ And when the band plays "Hail to the chief"/ Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord.” The song “Hail to the Chief” is the official anthem of the President of the United States, which was Richard Nixon at the time. Immediately following the song, it is customary procedure for a 21-gun salute to occur, to honour the President. While this could...
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