Fortunate Son. By: Creedence Clearwater Revival By: Riley Stout.
By: Creedence Clearwater Revival
By: Riley Stout
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",oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,It ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no senator's son,It ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no fortunate one, no,
Some folks are born silver spoonin hand,Lord, don't they help themselves? oh.But when the taxman come to the door,Lord, the house look a like a rummage sale, yes,
It ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no millionaire's son, no, no.It ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no fortunate one, no.
Yeh, some folks inherit star spangled eyes,ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,And when you ask them, how much should we give, oh, they only answer, more, more, more, yoh,
It ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no military son, SON, NOIt ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no fortunate one, NOIt ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no fortunate one, no no no,It ain't me, it ain't me,I ain't no fortunate son, so
Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American Rock band that gained popularity in the 60’s and 70’s. John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook were all born in the same year of 1945, and they met each other in middle school in El Cerrito, California. They began playing instruments together, and they called themselves “The Blue Velvets.” They had a fourth member who happened to be John Fogerty’s older brother. His name was Tom, and he was three years older than John. The group disbanded for a while when in 1966 John Fogerty and Doug Clifford were drafted for the Vietnam War. John enlisted in the Army Reserve, and Doug went to the US Coast Guard. In 1970, CCR was at their peak, and they traveled around the country doing performances in numerous environments. In 1971, Tom Fogerty left CCR permanently, and after Tom left the band started to go downhill. CCR disbanded in 1972, and they never reunited, but Stu Cook and Doug Clifford started the band Creedence Clearwater Revisited. (Creedence Online).
“Hail to the Chief” is a song played with the appearance of the President of the United States at any formal or public appearances. The United States Marine Band and other military bands usually perform this song with the arrival of the President. I believe that the in text reference towards “Hail to the Chief “ means that people are chosen to serve in the military. These people have no choice, and they are forced to serve. Many people during the Vietnam War didn’t like the idea of war, and protested serving in it. (“Hail to the Chief”)
The song was written in the perspective of working class who were drafted, but they didn’t want to go to war. Many of the men in the working class went to war, because they didn’t have connections who could get them out of the war. The song states that these men couldn’t get out of the war, because they were not a son of a senator. Many critics of the Vietnam War say that former President George Bush was a perfect example of this. According to some critics, George Bush never went to Vietnam, because of his father being a politician in the federal government. (“Fortunate Son by Creedence”)
A hyperbole is a literary term that shows exaggeration in some way. For example, “Some folks are born with silver spoon in hand,” no one is born with a silver spoon in their hand. Silver spoon in hand usually is in relevance with people who are very wealthy. For the most part, most of it is inherited meaning that some people do nothing and are gifted with great wealth. This is another example of the writers being critical towards the Vietnam War. Only the rich and wealthy can get out of the war which is unconstitutional.
Anaphora is the repetition of a the same of the same word or phrase at the beginning of consecutive clauses, lines, or sentences. Anaphora is usually used to show emphasis on a particular phrase or word in a song. In this song, “it ain’t” is repeated at the beginning of each line for several stanzas. The writer is trying to show emphasis on people not wanting to go to war or not being a senator’s son during the period of the Vietnam War.
Similes are comparison between two things that are not alike by using the words like or as. Authors usually use similes to make their writing more interesting or entertaining. In this song, it compares a house to a rummage sale. A house is a place where people live and store their belongings. A rummage sale is a sale of objects contributed by donors to raise money for a charity, or it could be a sale of unclaimed or excess goods. A house and a rummage sale are not similar but they have a connection and they are joined together by like or as making that sentence a simile.
During the Vietnam War, there were several ways for young males to avoid the war. One way was by being the son of a politician. Another way during that time period would have been to be a son of a millionaire. Money can do many things in our world, but they can either be bad or good. Many young males avoided going to Vietnam, because of their rich parents or relatives. The relatives of these boys may have paid the government more taxes, or their relatives had connections with powerful politicians. Some wealthy families didn’t do this they believed that their children who have to go to war like every other child instead of receiving a special treatment.
The theme of this song was the negative attitude towards the Vietnam War and the draft. Two of the musicians in the band, that played this song were drafted, and their feelings were displayed in this song. This song was anthem for Americans in the late 1960’s who thought that the Vietnam War was a great mistake. Fortunate Son was anti-Vietnam protest song, and it was strongly against the political establishment of the 1960’s. The musicians stated that the song was unconstitutional, because protesting is legal and that is what the song was all about. I think that the last stanza of the song represents the theme the best. It states that “it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son”, meaning that he doesn’t want to go to war, and he can’t avoid it, because he is not a senator’s son. (Fortunate Son meaning)
In the first several years of the Vietnam War, the American public supported the war effort. As the war dragged out, it seemed that the United States didn’t move any closer to victory. In 1960, the United States had a few thousand troops in Vietnam, but eight years later in 1968, there were about 500,000 troops located in the Vietnam conflict. As the United States government sent more men down to war the support for the war effort of the American people began to decrease. Many of the people that were against the war were college students, hippies, and pacifists. As the war went on, middle-class families began to go against the war and protest. Many of the young men drafted burned their draft cards in protest. (“Vietnam War”)
Repetition is a word or phrase that is repeated within a sentence. Repetition can be anywhere in the line of a song or poem which is different from an anaphora. Anaphora is at the beginning of a line where repetition can be anywhere. The reason for using repetition is the same as Anaphora. It is to show emphasis on a word or a group words in the poem or song. In Fortunate Son, “more” is repeated three times in the same sentence. The writer is trying to display emphasis on the greed of the government, and that they don’t care about the welfare of the ordinary person.(Burton)
The were several ways to avoid going to Vietnam. One way would be if your father was a politician , and another way would be if your family was very wealthy. Also, being a military son could get a young male out of the war. A military leader could decide he doesn’t want his son going to war, because then there would be no male in the family if he and his son died. If they both died, then that family would be devastated. So that would be another way to avoid the draft or going to Vietnam. Sometimes, military leaders would want their sons to go to war, so they can experience what their fathers had gone through to get where they are. So being a military son wouldn’t always get a young male out of the war. David D. Eisenhower inspired this song, because his grandfather was a great war general , and David didn’t have to go to war. (“Mikkelson and Mikkelson”)
Being a military son, senator’s son, or a millionaire’s son were not the only ways to avoid going to Vietnam. High school seniors who had already gotten into college would not be drafted or forced to serve in Vietnam. Fathers of newborn children wouldn’t be forced to serve in Vietnam either so they can take care of their new child. After a decade, the government began to enforce rules that were more strict. Some people who got accepted to college ended up going to Vietnam anyway.
Anaphora. Anaphora. BYU, n.d. Web. 30 May 2010. <http://rhetoric.byu.edu/figures/a/anaphora.htm>.
Burton, Gideon. “Figures of Repetition.” BYU Rhetoric. N.p., 12 Dec. 2006. Web. 31 May 2010. <http://rhetoric.byu.edu/figures/groupings/of%20repetition.htm>.
College Acceptance. N.d. Smart College Planning. N.p., Dec. 2009. Web. 31 May 2010. <smartcollegeplanning.org/2009/12/>.
Creedence Online. N.p., 2010. Web. 13 May 2010. <http://creedence-online.net/history>.
David Eisenhower. N.d. Newswise. N.p., 2008. Web. 31 May 2010. <www.newswise.com/articles/david-eisenhower-gr...>.
“Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival.” Song Facts. N.p., May 2010. Web. 13 May 2010. <http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php>.
“Fortunate Son meaning.” Shmoop Beta. N.p., 2010. Web. 30 May 2010. <http://www.shmoop.com/fortunate-son/meaning.html>.