In a Nutshell
Two minutes and twenty seconds of pure rock n' roll. That's Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," a hard-driving scorcher that sounds like the anguished cry of a working-class people watching the crumbling of the American Dream, a churning anthem of protest against a Vietnam War that many young people had come to see, by 1969, as a rich man's war and a poor man's fight.
Forty years later, the political heat of the moment has faded (maybe), but the song remains one of the great rockers of all time. Tap your feet and shout along with John Fogerty: "It ain't me, it ain't me…"
About the Song
|Artist||Creedence Clearwater Revival
||Musician(s)||John Fogerty (vocals, guitar), Tom Fogerty (guitar), Stu Cook (bass), Doug Clifford (drums)
|Album||Willy and the Poor Boys|
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
The Vietnam War
spawned more than its fair share of protest records—at times it seems that the 1960s antiwar movement became almost synonymous with 1960s rock n' roll
—but "Fortunate Son" may well have been the definitive anti-Vietnam anthem. All the forces that ripped apart American society in the 1960s
—the generation gap, class resentment, clashing worldviews and assumptions about the nature of America's place in the world—pulse through this song.
On the Charts
"Fortunate Son," the B-side from Willy and the Poor Boys
, peaked at #14 on the U.S. charts. "Down on the Corner," from the same record, was a bigger commercial hit, peaking at #3. Rolling Stone
ranked "Fortunate Son" #99 on their list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."