The lyrics of “Fortunate Son” are a scathing commentary on capitalism and the privilege of those lucky enough to be wealthy, particularly in avoiding service during the Vietnam War.

Creedence Clearwater Revival was known not only for their hit songs but also for infighting among the group members. However, when it came to disapproval of the Vietnam War and the class divides in the United States that the war highlighted, the group was in agreement. Nowhere is this more evident than in “Fortunate Son.” Fogarty pulls no punches, highlighting the hypocrisy of privileged folks waving the flag as “the boys go off to war” while keeping their own children out of the meat grinder. He also sheds light on tax cheats who have all the money in the world but hide their assets so that they won’t have to pay taxes on it all. The caustic irony of folks with silver spoons in their mouths making their houses look like the remnants of a rummage sale gets uncomfortably and necessarily right to the point.

Freedom of Expression

Fogarty also makes the point that he doesn’t hate America. He praises our ability to protest. He says that it’s amazing and wonderful to be able to sing about such difficult topics that the power structure wants to keep hidden. He’s proud to have sung such an iconic protest song that thumbs its nose at the haves while championing the have nots. It’s interesting, too, that from his position as the lead singer of a famous rock group, he benefits from the very privilege he decries. Still, Fogarty sees himself as a spokesperson for those folks who don’t have a voice because of a lack of status. Others have also both supported him and taken up his mantle by doing covers of not only “Fortunate Son” but also of other Creedence Clearwater Revial songs. Some of the artists who have done this include Cat Power, the Foo Fighters, and Wyclef Jean.

Chart Performance

“Fortunate Son” broke into the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 14 and rose to No. 3 some weeks later. Because of its great American relevance, it wasn’t as popular around the world as some of the group’s other songs. Still, it reached the top 10 in Belgium and was a platinum record in both Denmark and Italy.

Other Media

In addition to appearances in blockbuster films like “Forrest Gump” and television programs like the reboot of “Magnum P.I.” and “American Horror Story,” the song features in many video games. Ironically for an antiwar song, these are mostly games about the Vietnam War, such as various versions of the “Call of Duty” franchise.


Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Hoo, 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 furtunate one, no

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, Lord?
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house lookin’ like a rummage sale, yeah

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

Yeah-yeah, some folks inherit star-spangled eyes
Hoo, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
Hoo, they only answer, “More, more, more, more”

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no military son, son, Lord
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
It ain’t me, it ain’t me…

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: John Cameron Fogerty

Fortunate Son lyrics © Jondora Music

Listeners that enjoy this song about Desire may also enjoy the song Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin