There’s only a handful of reactions you can have to news like what we got yesterday, when a swing-voting Supreme Court justice announced his retirement and effectively left the country’s legal system to Trump’s wolves. Most options include a certain level of despair-induced inebriation, but a healthier one is to drown out the din of all that bad news with the protest music that defined another unsettled generation of Americans. Cue Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” the classic Vietnam-era protest jam that just received a new music video in honor of CCR’s 50th anniversary.
The song reflects frontman John Fogerty’s frustrations about the elitism that he believed fueled the war. “It made me so angry that the rich old men make the war, and the poor young men have to fight it,” Fogerty told Pitchfork in a 2007 interview. Fogerty was drafted into the Army prior to penning the track.
The new music video for “Fortunate Son” reflects that class frustration. Director Ben Fee (who has previously directed music videos for Band of Horses, The War on Drugs and The Lumineers) roadtripped from L.A. to Miami, filming scenes of everyday Americans who he felt embodied the song’s anti-one percent sentiments. The video shows a diverse, down-to-earth America, one that rides motorcycles, eats off paper plates and shoots pool. Against the idyllic backdrop of the American West and American South, the video celebrates those simple joys.
Creedence Clearwater Revival released their self-titled debut 50 years ago this month. Watch the band’s video for “Fortunate Son” below, and keep scrolling to hear them perform the track live at the Fillmore in 1971.