“Fortunate Son”


In “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, we are invited into the in’s and out’s of a soldier’s plight. These men, simplistic despite their personal eccentricities, tell the story O’Brien writes. These soldiers were men of the late 1960’s in a war in Vietnam that, more than likely, they were drafted for. Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” came out as a sort of anthem for the anti-Vietnam War efforts. This song tells the story for America’s rebellion during this turbulent time. Just as the song begins, almost upbeat and gearing up for something (like America unknowingly was) we are quickly met with a raspy, strong depiction of who was really fighting this war. Just as America was supportive of the war in the beginning, as the draft takes the lower classes by the handful, it becomes alarmingly obvious as to who was exempt from such atrocities as the draft. Support dwindled quickly by the majority of America.

It is thought that the upper social classes, those born with “silver spoons” as Fogerty says, or hyper educated were somehow overlooked in the draft. They were able to buy their way out or be exempt. The song repeats “It Ain’t Me, I ain’t no fortunate son” meaning that the sons of those senators, those politicians and rich men in office quick to sign America up for a war, did not want their sons lost in the battle, they weren’t prepared to make the sacrifice in lives – or pockets. The revolt of middle and lower class America called for representation in every way, most efficiently or effectively rather in the most common form of poetry, music.

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