Here is my analysis of the lyrics:

Each of the 3 main verses are describing a different status of society.

•The 1st main verse describes an achieved status of a senator, or even could be interpreted as president.  They are  “born to wave the flag” and support the “red, white, and blue.”  The song “Hail  to the  chief” is associated with the president.  In the lines “And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”, / Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,” this  presents political leaders as individuals who put themselves above the blue-collar public and even above God .  Also, the lines describes  how countries go to war in spite of their religion . (Die for God & your country.)
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Some folks are born 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,

-CCR

•The 2nd main verse is talking about the ascribed status of wealth and how some people are born into better situations than others, or “born with a silver spoon in hand.”  The rich are looked upon as greedy and “they help themselves.”  In the lines “But when the taxman comes to the door, / Lord the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,” there is a metaphor about the consequences of not paying “THE MAN.”  This  is how blue-collar  society is presented: a “house look[ing] like a rummage sale.”  The struggling lower class is metaphorically having their belongings stripped of them by the high class “taxman.” These verses  present a true Marxist view of  society.
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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,

-CCR

•The 3rd  main verse again is describing an achieved status of an American soldier.  The metaphor of “inherit[ing] star spangled eyes” hints to the drafting of men into the service. (Doug and John)  People do not choose to be drafted, but inherit the job.  Again, political leaders are being critiqued in the lines “And when you ask them, ‘How much should we give?’/ Ooh, they only answer More! More!  More! yoh.” The connotation of the political leaders is negative and represents them as being greedy wanting “More! More! More!”  out of their people.  In my opinion, this represents the true antiestablishment of the entire song.
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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,

-CCR

My Historical Analysis of “Fortunate Son”: by Caitlin Lambert

Creedence Clearwater Revival, (CCR) was in its early stages of band development right as the Vietnam War began.  The band was not officially called “Creedence Clearwater Revival” until about 1968. (“Creedence Clearwater Revival”).  CCR is considered to be a core band during the Vietnam War.   They were popular for their country rock style and political opinionated songs like “Fortunate Son.”  This music group was the first to point out the division of social classes in America and how the majority of the people fighting in war are of the lower class (“Fortunate Son”).  “Fortunate Son” is not only a protest song, but a social commentary of how blue-collar society views the Vietnam War.

The lyrics in “Fortunate Son” are quite plain, blunt, and evoke frustration with American pride.  People usually misconstrue the message of this song as being an American pride song or a song that praises war.  Not only does “Fortunate Son” go against the Vietnam War, but criticizes American politicians and military officials in the song.  The main verses of the song are talking about achieved and ascribed statuses.  Politicians and soldiers are the types of achieved statuses mentioned in the lyrics, while wealth is used as an example of an ascribed status in the song.

There are a few religious connotations within Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.”  The singer uses a call and response technique during the song and repeats the chorus verses twice.  “Lord” is the only reference to any type of religion in the song.  Each time the word is used, it is placed after a verse.  This makes the singer seem like he is having a conversation with God.  The verses seem to portray the singer as confessing to God what has been happening in the world.  Also, the singer knows that he was not ascribed into wealth, high military standing, or high political standing.  This song reveals a predestination concept and every person is either ascribed, or born into their social standing.  Truly CCR’s song reveals the harsh truth about people not all being “fortunate” in the proud country of America.

Sources: “Creedence Clearwater Revival.” Artistfacts. Artistfacts. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.artistfacts.com/detail.php?id=205&gt;.

“Fortunate Son.” By Creedence Clearwater Revival Songfacts. SongFacts. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1916&gt;.

 

 

P.S: I know it’s a lot of writing, but it’s a good insight into a great song, by a band existing during a time of war. Hope it’s worth the read & enjoy the video. :)

 

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