John Fogerty questioned Trump’s use of “Fortunate Son” at a recent campaign rally, stating in a video posted to his official Facebook page that Trump’s use of the song was “confounding.” The song, which had been written at the height of the Vietnam War and commented on how those who were born with wealth and privilege managed to find a way out of serving in the war.
Fogerty described the meaning behind Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” in the video he posted to Facebook, explaining the lyrics and how he found it ironic that Trump chose to use the song as he walked off Air Force One and headed toward a rally in Freeland, Michigan.
“I wrote the song back in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War,” Fogerty said in a Facebook video. “By the time I wrote the song, I had already been drafted and served in the military, and I’ve been a lifelong supporter of the 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 some of the privileged, in other words, rich people, or people that had a position, could use that to avoid the draft and not be taken into the military. I found that very upsetting, that such a thing could occur, and that’s why I wrote ‘Fortunate Son,’ that was the whole intent of the song, that was the inspiration.”
Fogerty went on to explain that the song begins with the lyric, “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag/ Ooh that red, white and blue/ And when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief’/ Ooh, they point the cannon at you,” and how when Trump had cleared out Lafayette Park when he took a walk across the park using federal troops the lyric came to life. “It’s a song I could have written now,” Fogerty said.
During the second chorus of the song, Fogerty sings “It ain’t me/ It ain’t me/ I ain’t no millionaire’s son,” another line which could describe Trump, who had received five deferments for the draft during the Vietnam War and who’s father had been a multi-millionaire. “He is probably the ‘Fortunate Son,'” Fogerty had said in his video.
Fogerty is only the most recent in a long list of artists who have denounced Trump’s use of their songs during campaign rallies. Eric Burdon of The Animals criticized Trump using “House of the Rising Son,” Tom Petty’s estate filed a cease and desist after the use of “I Won’t Back Down,” Prince’s estate have also requested that Trump not use his songs, with Guns N’ Roses, Panic! At The Disco, The Village People and Ozzy Osbourne all making similar requests.