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Misunderstood Song #4

This one’s a little mild.

Misunderstood Song #4: Fortunate Son

What People Think: I don’t really know. All I know is that I hear it a lot during the credits/trailers of movies that it doesn’t seem to apply to at all.

The Truth: It’s not really terribly patriotic at all, so I’m not sure why it pops up like it does.

Some folks are born
made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue.
And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”,
they point the cannon right at you.
It ain’t me,
it ain’t me.
I ain’t no senator’s son.
It ain’t me,
it ain’t me.
I ain’t no fortunate one.

Basically the song’s about being drafted to Vietnam and how unlucky that was. I know it played during the credits of the latest Die Hard movie and it’s been in a few others too, including one I think about a NASCAR racer. I think it may have showed up in like, one Vietnam war movie.

I think it’s because the first few lines contain the words “flag” and “red white and blue” and then he starts his yelling/singing thing and people just stop listening so they figure they can just throw it into American themed stuff.

In Conclusion: I know it’s underwhelming, but I do kind of wish I knew what exactly people think this song is about.

8 Responses to “Misunderstood Song #4”

  1. on 14 Jun 2008 at 9:50 am Brad Brown


    In your next misunderstood song article, could you cover “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann? The “wrapped up like a douche” line has disturbed me since I was a kid.

  2. on 14 Jun 2008 at 9:56 am Cameliabud

    This is a classic example of an anti-war, anti-establishment song. It was also played in the movie “Forrest Gump”, as a period song relating to the Vietnam war and protests.

  3. on 16 Jun 2008 at 1:10 pm MrMarkAZ

    The general population here in the US has the same knee-jerk reaction whenever “Born in the U.S.A.” starts playing (at the Olympics, for instance ). Irony, take a bow.

  4. on 17 Jun 2008 at 7:03 am Foreigner

    Well if you listen very carefully to the song, its about how poor folks kids were drafted for the war and the sons of senators an the likes didn’t have to be, just because they had the money to do so. Yeah everyone waves the flag in the name of patriotism but when action is needed, its not the fortunate ones who end up doing anything. The rich are quick to take all they can but when its time to give back they resist and act as if they have nothing to give.

  5. on 18 Jun 2008 at 3:25 am Andy

    I for one never had any trouble understanding exactly what that song was about. But I must admit, the first time I heard it WAS in some Vietnam war movie…………..context definitely makes a difference.

  6. on 18 Jun 2008 at 10:11 pm Karen

    Haha, Brad, it’s “revved up like a deuce.”

    A deuce is a kind of harley motorcycle, right? Revved like a deuce, not wrapped like a douche. Haha, oh man, I’ll never hear that song the same way again.

  7. on 22 Jun 2008 at 10:38 am tchai

    Hey, Brad, I always thought it was “wrapped up like a douche” too! Karen has, basically, changed my life and pretty much altered my past.

  8. on 29 Jul 2008 at 4:22 pm Ron

    I never consider Fortunate Son either patriotic or anti-war, but
    more like an anthem for the guys overseas who faced horrors every day while folks back home waved flags, burned flags, argued and enjoyed their freedom to do so.
    A solidier’s song.
    And a good one.

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