- On Thursday, President Trump arrived a campaign rally in Freeland, Michigan, walking off Air Force One to the 1969 song “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- John Fogerty, the musician who wrote the song, responded to Trump’s use of his song via a Facebook video on Friday.
- “It’s a song I could’ve written now, 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,” Fogerty said.
- Other musicians — such as Neil Young, and the family of the late Tom Petty — have criticized the use of their music at Trump-sponsored events.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump led a campaign rally in Freeland, Michigan, and walked off Air Force One to the 1969 song “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The song points to the wealthy and influential families who were able to get their sons out of the Vietnam War draft.
John Fogerty, the rock musician who was a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival and wrote “Fortunate Son,” shared a video on Facebook on Friday addressing the Trump campaign’s use of the song.
“Recently, the president has been using my song ‘Fortunate Son’ for his political rallies, which I find confounding, to say the least,” Fogerty said in the video.
In his video, Fogerty also sheds light on the meaning behind the lyrics, which include:
“Some folks are born silver spoon in hand / Lord, don’t they help themselves, no” and “It ain’t me, it ain’t me / I ain’t no millionaire’s son.”
“I wrote the song back in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War,” Fogerty said. “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.”
Fogerty continued in his video, saying: “Back in those days, we still had a 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 be taken into the military. I found that very upsetting that such a thing could occur, and that’s why I wrote ‘Fortunate Son.'”
He then noted the song’s opening verses: “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag / Ooh, their red, white and blue / And when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief’ / Ooh, they point the cannon at you.”
In his video, Fogerty compared the beginning lines of “Fortunate Son” to Trump using federal troops to remove protesters from a June demonstration Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, so he could stand in front of St. John’s Church and hold a bible for a photo opportunity.
“It’s a song I could’ve written now, 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,” Fogerty said, ending the video.
Other musicians have responded to or criticized the use of their songs in Trump campaign events
Petty’s family tweeted that they issued a cease-and-desist order to the Trump campaign.
In July, singer-songwriter Neil Young tweeted that he was “not OK” with his music being played at Trump’s Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore. Young’s songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Like a Hurricane” were apparently played at the president’s event.
Since his first presidential campaign, Trump has prompted a number of other musicians to take issue with their songs being played at his events or have issued statements asking the Trump campaign to not use their music.