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Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Vietnam War

When I was taking a walk this morning, I was thinking of writing about either Chuck Berry and Charles Bradley. I almost decided on Charles Bradley when I listened to “Ain’t it a Sin” today morning.

But, it all changed when I accidentally stumbled across “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival or shortly known as CCR among fans.

Some of you might ask me “What is so special about this band?” (Die Hard 4.0 has a scene where they talk about the band)

Well, there is so much to say

Before talking about the significance of their songs, let me introduce you the band.

Creedence Clearwater Revival is a swamp rock band that formed and functioned during the late 1960s to early 1970s.

If you’re wondering what is Swamp rock, it is a blend of classic rock and soul music. The explosion of rock during the 1960s has led to the fusion of soul and rock resulting in Swamp rock, which is also commonly known as “Swamp pop” or “Swamp Blues”.

Swamp rock tracks usually feature a low, dirty guitar line that will be full of reverb. It also has soul elements such as the use of chorus, horns and sax solos.

Coming back to CCR, the band published five albums within a span of three years. In 1969, they released three full albums. This was also the time during when the Vietnam war reached its peak. More than 11,000 American soldiers were killed during the war.

The song “Fortunate son” became one of the most famous tracks of the band as it struck a chord with everything that was happening in America and in Vietnam.

The lyrics,

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”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!” yoh

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one

It 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, no no no

tell so much about the people in power and how they treat the people. According to John Fogerty, the lead singer of the band, the song written within 20 minutes. The song became an instant hit and is featured in a variety of TV shows, movies and video games, especially if they’re set around the time of Vietnam war.

Movies like the Forrest Gump, Tropic Thunder, Air America, Live Free or Die Hard, feature the song.

There is a whole list of movies that have used other songs of CCR.

Other notable songs of the band are “Green River”, “Have you ever seen the rain”, “Bad Moon Rising” , “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”, etc.

The band was disbanded in 1972 – four years after the formation.

I’m sure that when you listen to “Fortunate son” the next time, you will imagine a troop of helicopters flying into the dense forest of Vietnam.

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