The Fortunate Soldier
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The Fortunate Soldier
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Who really wants to delve into the reality and horrors of war? Does anyone really want to know what the men who fight experience? The question posed by the film's title is one that many military brats, including myself, may be hesitant or afraid to ask. For me and other military brats, I suspect, questions linger when a parent leaves home for a tour of duty deployment in a war zone. We know they leave for a war zone. Intellectually, we know it will be a dangerous place and that bad things could happen and, in fact, will happen.
But still, a huge information void exists—what are our parents doing, what are they feeling, and do they really need to be there. During the s, when I was living through my father's two tours of duty in Vietnam, the evening news, in graphic fashion, brought some of the sights and sounds of war into the American home.
Those reports, however, didn't really answer the question—what was my father doing? When my father returned home, he volunteered small bits and pieces over the years, but not much. In the late s, my father flew to Washington, D. He stayed at my house because I lived in a D. I drove him to the hotel where the reunion was taking place.
My plan was to drop him off and return home.
But, when I drove up in front of the hotel entrance, there was something in his voice when he asked me to go in and meet these men he had served with years earlier. I did not feel like I could say no, but I didn't want to go. Logically, I knew that these men had faced horrible things and I didn't want, or need, to hear about them.
Don't Get It Twisted
While that initial reunion was even worse than I imagined it might be, it started me down the path to meeting the men who served with my father during his second tour of duty in Vietnam that began late in As their first sergeant, they called my father "Top. Doug "Cosmo" Clifford kicks the song off with just a simple drum line, followed closely by John Fogerty with what may be one of the most understated yet powerful guitar lines in the history of rock music. It has a heavy twang that resonates in your ears for days. This intro sets the stage perfectly for Fogerty's raspy, unrestrained vocals.
The vocal melody kicks in with a kind of power and verve that leaves you feeling like all hell has broken loose for the next two minutes. Maybe in this sense, the song itself is an apt metaphor for America's role in the Vietnam War. What seemed at first like a simple and straightforward project soon degenerated into noisy chaos. Creedence Clearwater Revival, even more than other antiwar musicians of the era, were able to give voice especially to the class-based grievances let loose by the Vietnam War.
Fortunate Son Meaning
But it was also a Springsteenesque working-class anthem—just one that happened to be written well before Bruce Springsteen himself broke onto the scene. And "Fortunate Son" was every bit as poignant a protest song as anything written by Bob Dylan—only this song, unlike most of Dylan's stuff, is a tune you can rock out and dance to.
Even decades after its release, "Fortunate Son" remains a song that makes you want to pump your fist. This is punk rock before punk rock was even invented as a musical genre. Now that's pretty punk rock. Like Springsteen's " Born in the U. Just as many fans hear Springsteen's spar-spangled chorus and totally miss the bitterness of the words in "Born in the U. Many then miss the strong anti-establishment message that follows. Both artists also work in a style drenched in Americana, making it easy to assume that the lyrics contain messages that are patriotic or even jingoistic in viewpoint.