John Fogerty on Trump’s use of “Fortunate Son”: “confounding to say the least”
Donald Trump's deplaning at his Thursday night (9/10) rally in Michigan was soundtracked by a strange choice of song: Creedence Clearwater Revival's anti-war (and anti-draft dodger) anthem "Fortunate Son." Lots of artists, including Neil Young, The Animals' Eric Burdon, Mick Jagger, R.E.M., Green Day, and Lorde have come out against the Trump campaign's use of their music, but surely there was some more appropriate song to pick than this one for the entrance of Trump, who notoriously received five deferments from being drafted into the Vietnam War, including the infamous "bone spurs" excuse.
John Fogerty, "Fortunate Son"'s songwriter, has now spoken out about its meaning. He shared a post on Facebook, where, after speaking in favor of mask wearing, he talks about the song and its resonance in the past and present. "Well recently, the president's been using my song 'Fortunate Son' for his political rallies," he says, "which I find confounding to say the least."
"I wrote this song back in 1969," Fogerty continues, "at the height of the Vietnam war. By the time I wrote the song I had already 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 the 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 get taken into the military. I found that very upsetting that such a thing could occur, and that's why I wrote "Fortunate Son," it's really what the whole intent of the song, that was the inspiration for the song."
"The very first lines of 'Fortunate Son' are 'Some folks are born, made to wave the flag, ooh their red, white and blue, but when the band plays 'Hail to the Chief' they point the cannon at you.'" Fogerty says. "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've written now," he continues, "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."
Watch Fogerty's video below.