John Fogerty took time out on his social media platforms to criticize Donald Trump for the use of Fogerty's 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Fortunate Son” at political rallies.
Fogerty, a U.S. Army Reserves veteran, had written the song in defiance of the wealthy children of the blood blood elite, who were able through their status to obtain defirments from being drafted. The war in Vietnam took the lives of nearly 47,500 Americans, with many of the draftees coming from poor or less advantaged families.
Variety.com transcribed most of Fogerty's statement regarding Trump's usage of “Fortunate Son”:
Hi everybody. Please wear your masks. Recently, the president has been using my song 'Fortunate Son' for his political rallies, which I find confounding, to say the least. So I thought I’d explain a little bit about what 'Fortunate Son' is about.
I wrote the song back in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War. By the time I wrote the song, I already had been drafted and had served in the military, and I’ve been a lifelong supporter of our guys and gals in the military, probably because of that experience, of course. Anyway, back in those days we still had a draft. And something I was very upset about was the fact that people of privilege — in other words, rich people, or people that had position — could use that to avoid the draft and not be taken into the military. I found it very upsetting that such a thing could occur, and that’s why I wrote ‘Fortunate Son.’ That’s really what the whole intent of the song (was).
The very first lines of 'Fortunate Son' are: 'Some folks are born made to wave the flag, oooh, they’re red white and blue / But when the band plays 'Hail to the Chief,' they point the cannon at you.' Well, that’s exactly what happened recently in Lafayette Park when the president decided to take a walk across the park. He cleared out the area using federal troops so that he could stand in front of St. John’s Church with a Bible.
It’s a song I could have written now. So I find it confusing, I would say, that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies, when in fact it seems like he is probably the Fortunate Son.
Because of his lower middle class upbringing and his own military service in the U.S. Army Reserves, John Fogerty was able to take a long and hard look at how the was in Vietnam shaped a generation of Americans. He recently explained to us that when the muse and the groove come together — like it did for “Fortunate Son” — it's an almost otherworldly experience: “It was just the happiest of things that that first line was 'Some folks are born. . . ' — and then I said something. That gave me a way of accessing the next thought in the next verse. Where did that come from? I don't know. And I didn't know it was comin.' But, the fact that it did that afternoon when I did that, for 'Fortunate Son,' it meant that I was just flyin'! All the stuff just changed. That one took about 20 minutes.”
We asked Fogerty — the man who wrote “Fortunate Son” in the age of Richard Nixon over 50 years ago — what he makes of our current Commander in Chief, Donald Trump: “Well, having lived through both eras, I wanna thank Donald Trump for doing what he can to return us back to the Nixon-era. He's managing to bring us all together (laughs). The project you're working on is America, so you kinda want him to get business done — whatever that is. I mean, yeah, there's a lot of things he wants to do — I'm not necessarily in favor of; for instance, that wall. I happen to be a liberal and a democrat, so I think all that becomes pretty obvious, actually. I don't want him to fail. . . I mean, certainly the thing with North Korea, we don't want him to mess that up — y'know what I mean?”
AUDIO: JOHN FOGERTY ON TRUMP MIRRORING NIXON
AUDIO: JOHN FOGERTY ON WRITING ‘FORTUNATE SON’