As Independence Day weekend gets into full swing, the Top 100 Songs of Summer countdown highlights another song from America’s catalogue of patriotic rebel music. John Fogarty’s hit criticizes the political and economic elite of the day, and argues that their children would likely be exempt from serving in the Vietnam War, but it also speaks up for the common man and exercises his Constitutional freedom to question the ruling class.
Hamptons 100 Songs of Summer #61
“Fortunate Son” By Creedence Clearwater Revival
Anyone who’s seen even a handful of Vietnam War films, or even films about the era, will recognize this authentic and impassioned rallying cry by Fogerty and his band Creedence Clearwater Revival. It may indeed bring to mind visions of Huey helicopters flying over dense, Southeast Asian jungle, embattled soldiers in drab olive green fatigues and the chaotic protests that were so common when the song was released on Willy and the Poor Boys in 1969, but beyond those implications, “Fortunate Son” is also just a rocking tune. Lyrics and sentiment alone wouldn’t have kept it alive and kicking more than four decades after it was published.
In the last 10 years alone, the song has been used to criticize a president, it’s been featured in movies and video games, and even misguidedly used as the soundtrack in a commercial for Wrangler jeans (though Fogerty balked and Wrangler—to their credit—eventually stopped using it). Enjoy some true American grit and a heartfelt message with this addition to your summer playlist.
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