Sheryl Crow – Soak Up The Sun

I was reading Jeremy in Hong Kong’s post about Negative Visualisation which was really interesting. It made me think of a line in this song “It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got.” Check out the post if you can…

The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100, #24 in Canada, #19 in New Zealand, and #16 in the UK in 2002.

The song was on the C’mon, C’mon album that peaked at #2 in the Billbord Album Charts. During the Glastonbury Festival in June 2019, Sheryl Crow dedicated the song to Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

In the video, Sheryl Crow showed off more skin than she ever had before. She also posed provocatively for the cover of Stuff magazine around the time this was released. She said she did it to prove that women over the age of 40 could still be sexy.

Image result for stuff magazine sheryl crow

Songfacts

Crow’s co-writer, Jeff Trott, came up with the idea for this on a flight from Portland, Oregon, to New York. He told Songfacts: “I’m thinking this is really ironic that I’m leaving Portland being soaked in rain, and I’m actually going to New York to soak up some sun. I’m going to New York to soak up some sun. That’s got a ring to it. That’s kind of cool.

Then I started thinking about the sun, and I started thinking of these Beach Boys-style harmonies. On that five-hour flight, I had come up with the whole song completely in my head, not all the lyrics necessarily. I had a good chunk of the chorus of ‘Soak Up The Sun,’ but I had harmonies and everything all in my head, and I’m just having to scratch it down on a piece of paper.”

As Trott and Crow started working on the song together, they started talking about the then-recent Columbine shootings, where two students went on a killing spree at their high school before committing suicide.

“We kind of carried that over into the song as the voice of Sheryl as a young teenager with a lot of oddball friends who can’t really quite make out why people are the way they are,” Trott told us. “There’s a reference to ‘I’ve got my 45 on so I can rock on.’ The 45 on was like a kid with a gun, originally, and then we thought that’s a little scary.

We were talking about Columbine and we’re like okay I’ve got my 45 on, so I can rock on, like I can blast you guys. I’m going to blast all the people that are bugging me. That’s kind of where we were at with it, and then we said that’s just a little too… over the top.”

The video was part of a promotional deal with American Express. During the shoot, footage was also collected for an American Express commercial, which came out looking very similar to Crow’s video. American Express helped pay the production costs, hoping that viewers would remember their product every time they saw the video, since it looked so much like the commercial. MTV does not allow sponsors to pay for videos, but because the card never appeared in the video, they didn’t know about the deal and gave it plenty of airplay. Sting had a similar deal with Jaguar in his video for “Desert Rose.”

Crow had some high-profile help with the backing vocals on C’mon C’mon. Liz Phair sang backup on this track, and Stevie Nicks sang on the title track and “Diamond Road.” In 2001, Sheryl helped Stevie write and produce some of her album Trouble In Shangri-La.

This casual song about enjoying the simple things in life was very marketable for Crow, as it enjoyed success on pop radio and was a #1 on the Adult Top 40 chart.

Trott was shocked when he first saw the music video, which completely dulled the song’s edge and transformed it into a fun-in-the-sun surf song. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, Sheryl’s surfing. What the hell is that? It’s not even close to what it’s about.’

I think having Sheryl on a surfboard, being at the beach, is probably more palatable then having her in a trench coat shooting people in a lunch cafeteria. Not that I thought that that’s what the song was, but my impression from writing it was that it was much edgier than what came across. The video of course is like, hey, we’re having a holiday. We’re surfing. We’re catching some sun. Everything’s cool. Strum acoustic guitar. Like, wow! That’s not even close to what we thought it was about.”

Best Buy used this song in television commercials to pitch their electronic consumer goods, conveniently ignoring the song’s message of enjoying the simple things in life:

I don’t have digital
I don’t have diddly squat
It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got

Crow performed a kid-friendly version on Sesame Street in 2003, joining Elmo and the gang to sing about the adventures of the letter I in “I Soaks Up The Sun.”

Soak Up The Sun

My friend the communist
Holds meetings in his RV
I can’t afford his gas
So I’m stuck here watching tv

I don’t have digital
I don’t have diddly squat
It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got

I’m gonna soak up the sun
I’m gonna tell everyone
To lighten up, I’m gonna tell ’em that
I’ve got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I’m looking up

I’m gonna soak up the sun
I’m gonna soak up the sun

I’ve got a crummy job
It don’t pay near enough
To buy the things it takes
To win me some of your love

Every time I turn around
I’m looking up, you’re looking down
Maybe something’s wrong with you
That makes you act the way you do

I’m gonna soak up the sun
I’m gonna tell everyone
To lighten up, I’m gonna tell ’em that
I’ve got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I’m looking up

I’m gonna soak up the sun
While it’s still free
I’m gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me

Don’t have no master suite
But I’m still the king of me
You have a fancy ride, but baby
I’m the one who has the key

Every time I turn around
I’m looking up, you’re looking down
Maybe something’s wrong with you
That makes you act the way you do
Maybe I am crazy too

I’m gonna soak up the sun
I’m gonna tell everyone
To lighten up, I’m gonna tell ’em that
I’ve got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I’m looking up

I’m gonna soak up the sun
Got my 45 on
So I can rock on

Donovan – Atlantis

I first heard this song while watching Goodfellas as Joe Pesci is beating Billy Batts. Donovan is reading a poem and then the song really kicks in with it’s sixties goodness around the 1:50 mark with Way down below the ocean…

Atlantis peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. The background vocals are credited as “Donovan’s fans.” It was rumored that Paul McCartney, who had earlier contributed to Donovan’s hit “Mellow Yellow,” sang backing vocals,It has since been discredited by Mark Lewisohn (Beatle historian),  McCartney spent the month of November 1968 mostly at his farm in Scotland.

The song was originally the B side in America to To Susan on the West Coast Waiting.

From Songfacts

This song begins as a long narrative poem in which Donovan tells of the legendary island of Atlantis. Exotic and mythological images were on the minds of many Hippies in the ’60s, and Atlantis was the symbol of the counterculture moment with the hope that if true love is found, Atlantis will be reached. The only sung lines in the song are:

Way down beneath the ocean
Where I wanna be she may be

The song was used in a violent scene in the movie Goodfellas.

Donovan re-recorded the song as a parody “Hail Atlantis” on the animated series Futurama. He also redid the song with the German group No Angels for the German soundtrack of Atlantis: The Lost Empire entitled “Atlantis 2002.”

Atlantis

The continent of Atlantis was an island
Which lay before the great flood
In the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean
So great an area of land, that from her western shores
Those beautiful sailors journeyed
To the South and the North Americas with ease
In their ships with painted sails

To the east, Africa was a neighbor
Across a short strait of sea miles
The great Egyptian age is but a remnant of The Atlantian culture
The antediluvian kings colonized the world
All the gods who play in the mythological dramas
In all legends from all lands were from fair Atlantis
Knowing her fate, Atlantis sent out ships to all corners of the Earth
On board were the Twelve
The poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist
The magician and the other so-called gods of our legends
Though gods they were
And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new
Hail Atlantis!

Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be
Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be
Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be

Way down below the ocean
Where I wanna be, she may be
Way down below the ocean (she may, she may, she may)
(She may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be (she may, she may, she may)

My antediluvian baby (she may, she may, she may)
Oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
(She may, she may, she may)
I want to see you some day (she may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be
My antediluvian baby (she may, she may, she may)
Oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah (she may, she may, she may)
(She may, she may, she may)
My antediluvian baby

Way down below the ocean (she may, she may, she may)
(She may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be (she may, she may, she may)
My antediluvian baby
Way down below the ocean
I love you, girl
I want to see you some day (she may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be
My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
Way down below the ocean
I want to see you some day (she may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be
My antediluvian baby
Way down below the ocean
(She may, she may, she may)
Where I wanna be, she may be
My antediluvian baby
Way down below the ocean
I want to see you
Where I wanna be, she may be
My antediluvian baby
You gotta tell me where she gone
I want to see you some day
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, oh yeah
Oh glub glub, down down, yeah
Where I wanna be
My antediluvian baby

Slade – Gudbuy T’Jane

This is another song I heard for the first time on the 2006 Britsih show Life On Mars. Slade never really broke America until the 80s with Run Runaway and Oh My My. Quiet Riot covered the Slade songs Cum On Feel The Noize and Mama, Weer All Crazee Now and had hits in the 1980s.

“Gudbuy T’Jane” was Slade’s follow up to their hit single “Mama Weer All Crazee Now.” In his autobiography Who’s Crazee Now?, guitarist and lead vocalist Noddy Holder explained the inspiration for the song.

Jane was the co-host of a TV chat show in San Francisco whom Slade met on their US tour. They wrote the song in about half an hour, “one of the easiest songs we ever recorded.” The line, “Got a kick from her ’40s trip boots” is a reference to her kicking Holder up the backside when the band was having a laugh at her expense.

Jane had bought a pair of platform shoes which she called her “’40s trip boots,” and somehow managed to lose them. “She thought they were original ’40s shoes and she told us that she had paid a fortune for them,” he said. “She was a real loony, a typical San Francisco hippy.”

The song peaked at #2 in the UK and #68 in the Billboard 100 in 1972.

 

From Songfacts

Jim Lee came up with the title; Holder wanted to call it “Hullo T’Jane,” which doesn’t have the same ring to it. They recorded it in two takes, and, backed by the typically misspelled “I Won’t Let It ‘Appen Agen,” it was released on Polydor and went on to become a monster hit. The single was produced by Chas Chandler.

There was a second track on the A-side: “Take Me Bak ‘Ome.” The sheet music credits “Gudbuy T’Jane”: “Words and Music by Neville Holder and James Lea.” >>

This was kept off the UK #1 spot by Chuck Berry’s live recording of “My Ding-a-Ling.” Coincidentally, Slade was present at the Coventry gig where Berry’s hit was recorded.

Jim Lea recalled the story of the song to Classic Rock magazine: “I’d been round to Nod’s house and played ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’ to him, lyrics and all. He said, ‘S’alright.’ He was always very phlegmatic, had dodgy adenoids.”

“We had some time left at the end of the recording, so we put it down very quickly. Nod said he’d done something with the words on the train down. He started singing, ‘Hello to Jane, hello to Jane.’ I was mortified. He told me he thought that was a bit more optimistic – f–king hell. But with all of them, I knew when we were writing a hit.”

Gudbuy T’Jane

Goodbye to Jane, goodbye to Jane
She’s a dark horse see if she can
Goodbye to Jane, goodbye to Jane
Painted up like a fancy young man
She’s a queen,
Can’t you see what I mean, she’s a queen,
See, see, she’s a queen
And I know she’s alright, alright, alright, alright

I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, you’re so young

I said goodbye to Jane, goodbye to Jane
Get a kick from her forties tip boots
Goodbye to Jane, goodbye to Jane
Has them made to match up to her suits
She’s a queen,
Can’t you see what I mean, she’s a queen,
See, see, she’s a queen
And I know she’s alright, alright, alright, alright

I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, you’re so young

I said goodbye to Jane, goodbye to Jane
Like a dark horse see how she ran
Goodbye to Jane, goodbye to Jane
Spits on me ’cause she knows that she can
She’s a queen,
Can’t you see what I mean, she’s a queen,
See, see, see, she’s a queen
And I know she’s alright, alright, alright, alright

I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, you’re so young
I say you’re so young, she’s alright, alright, alright, alright
I say she’s so young, so young, alright, alright
I say you’re so young …

 

 

Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good

This song peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100 in 1978. Walsh lived this song out. He hung out with fellow stars such as Keith Moon. He said that Keith showed him the ropes of hotel destruction and Walsh was quite accomplished in that art.

The song was on his 4th album But Seriously, Folks… and it peaked at #8 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1978. This is Joe’s highest-charting song.

Joe Walsh: “I wanted to make a statement involving satire and humor, kind of poking fun at the incredibly silly lifestyle that someone in my position is faced with – in other words, I do have a really nice house, but I’m on the road so much that when I come home from a tour, it’s really hard to feel that I even live here. It’s not necessarily me, I think it paraphrases anyone in my position, and I think that’s why a lot of people related to it, but basically, that’s the story of any rock star – I say that humbly – anyone in my position. I thought that was a valid statement because it is a strange lifestyle – I’ve been around the world in concerts, and people say ‘What was Japan like?’, but I don’t know. It’s got a nice airport, you know… so it was kind of an overall statement.”

 

From Songfacts

This is a humorous look at the spoils of fame and fortune associated with being a rock star. Walsh pokes fun at the lifestyle of wealth and fame and the spoiled mentality – how it’s not me that’s changed, but everyone else.

Walsh lived up to this song, indulging in the hedonism he sang about long after it was released. “I started believing I was who everybody thought I was, which was a crazy rock star,” he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “It took me away from my craft. Me and a lot of the guys I ran with, we were party monsters. It was a real challenge just to stay alive.”

This is the last song on the the album. On the original recording from this album, the music fades away into silence. Then, about 30 seconds later, there is a really funny secret message from Joe Walsh which says “Wha-oh…here comes a flock of wanh-wanhs!”, followed by a chorale of “wannh”, “wanh” “wahn” (collectively sounding like a bunch of ducks or sheep). >>

The cover of the But Seriously Folks album shows Walsh eating a meal… under water. In the same BBC interview, he said: “I had to do that a couple of times, but I did go down to the bottom of the pool, and almost drowned… but it was fun. Not at the time, but it was fun to do. We weighted everything down, but it was very involved and it took a long time, and I was real proud of it. As long as you have access to art, or visually presenting something with your record, I would like to use that, pursue it and try to make it an integral part of the music. It was hard to do, but when I look at it, I can’t believe it either, I can’t believe I was stupid enough to do that, but I was proud of it. I won’t be repeating it, I can assure you!”

In 1979, Walsh announced his campaign for President of the United States, promising “Free gas for everyone” if he won (he didn’t). 

A famous line in this song, “My Maserati does 185,” was used as the title to a 2005 episode of the TV series Entourage.

Joe did this to explain how he wrote it

Life’s Been Good

I have a mansion but forget the price
Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice
I live in hotels, tear out the walls
I have accountants, pay for it all

They say I’m crazy but I have a have a good time
I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life’s been good to me so far

My Maseratti does one-eighty-five
I lost my license, now I don’t drive
I have a limo, ride in the back
I lock the doors in case I’m attacked

I’m making records, my fans they can’t wait
They write me letters, tell me I’m great
So I got me an office, gold records on the wall
Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call

Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through
(Everybody say I’m cool, he’s cool)
I can’t complain but sometimes I still do
Life’s been good to me so far

I go to parties sometimes until four
It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door
It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame
Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed

They say I’m lazy but it takes all my time
(Everybody say oh yeah, oh yeah)
I keep on goin’ guess I’ll never know why
Life’s been good to me so far

Rosanne Cash/ Johnny Cash – Tennessee Flat Top Box

This is my favorite song that Roseanne Cash made. The song was written by her dad Johnny Cash and he released it in 1961 and it peaked at #11 on the Country Charts and #84 in the Billboard 100.

Rosanne released it in 1987 on her album King’s Record Shop. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard Country Charts. The first time I heard it I liked it right away.

 

This is the only video I could find of them singing it together. It wasn’t professionally recorded. It was in 1989 after the song was a hit for Rosanne… it was videotaped at John & June’s house to celebrate June’s latest book about Mother Mabel Carter.

Tennessee Flat Box

In a little cabaret
In a south Texas border town
Sat a boy and his guitar
And the people came from all around
And all the girls
From there to Austin
Were slippin’ away from home
And puttin’ jewelry in hock to take the trip
To go and listen
To the little dark-haired boy who played the
Tennessee flat top box
And he would play

Well he couldn’t ride or wrangle
And he never cared to make a dime
But give him his guitar
And he’d be happy all the time
And all the girls
From nine to ninety
Were snappin’ fingers
Tappin’ toes
And beggin’ him don’t stop
And hypnotized
And fascinated
By the little dark-haired boy who played the
Tennessee flat top box
And he would play

Then one day he was gone
And no one ever saw him ’round
He vanished like the breeze
They forgot him in the little town
But all the girls
Still dreamed about him
And hung around
The cabaret until the doors were locked
And then one day
On the hit parade
Was the little dark-haired boy who played the
Tennessee flat top box
And he would play

Rosanne Cash – Seven Year Ache

I knew who she was and I knew this song well because it was played endlessly at the time on a pop/rock station I listened to. I really thought she would have gone on to have many pop hits but that didn’t happen…She was very successful in the country charts though.  It peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the Country Charts in 1981.

Rosanne had 23 songs in the Country Charts and 11 number 1’s, and 15 top ten songs. This wasn’t my favorite of hers but it was a solid pop hit. This is by far the biggest hit for Rosanne Cash, whose only other Hot 100 chart appearance is Blue Moon With Heartache, which peaked at #104 in 1982.

 

From Songfacts

The Seven Year Itch was the name of a particularly irritating skin complaint; by the mid-19th Century the phrase had become a metaphor for an annoying form of behavior. In 1952, it was transformed into a play in which the lead character, played by Tom Ewell, who worked for a publishing company, was reading a book called The Seven Year Itch which claimed that after seven years of marriage, many men started extra-marital affairs. In 1955, it reached the big screen, with Ewell again in the title role, and Marilyn Monroe as his leading lady.

Unlike the play and the film, this song by Rosanne Cash is no romantic comedy. The daughter of Johnny Cash met Rodney Crowell at a party on October 16, 1976, and they married on April 7, 1979. Like most relationships, this one was less than perfect, and after a fight with Crowell at a French restaurant on Ventura Boulevard, she penned this semi-auto-biographical number as a poem; she said it took her about six months to write, but clearly it was worth the labor, because it topped the Country chart in May 1981, as well as reaching #22 on the Hot 100.

It is unclear if Crowell was “playing away.” Probably not, because he produced the song, the title of which indicates that its subject matter is a world away from the whimsical Ewell/Monroe dalliance. 

Cash wrote this song in 1979. When she was looking for ideas for the album, she decided to construct a theme around this song. Based on the concept of lovers who fight, break up, then reconcile, the Seven Year Ache album included songs that dealt in some way with the feelings of falling apart and coming back together as a couple. Most of the songs were written by other artists: “What Kinda Girl?,” where she asserts her independence, was written by Steve Forbert; “I Can’t Resist,” where the couple comes back together, is the only Rodney Crowell composition on the set.

Cash never went for mass appeal in her songwriting, which makes her stay on the Top 40 an anomaly. “Seven Year Ache,” however, proved that she could generate a hit song, which led to more creative opportunities and a step outside of her father’s shadow.

Seven Year Ache was Cash’s second album (at least in America – a self-titled set from 1978 that she has since disowned was issued in Europe), but the first one she toured for. Her first album, Right or Wrong, was released in 1979 when she was pregnant, so she stayed off the road. She had been on stage as a backup singer for her father and for Rodney Crowell, but it wasn’t until the release of this second album that she began performing live as a solo artist.

Seven Year Ache

You act like you were just born tonight
Face down in a memory but feeling all right
So who does your past belong to today?
Baby, you don’t say nothing when you’re feeling this way

The girls in the bars thinking, “who is this guy?”
But they don’t think nothing when they’re telling you lies
You look so careless when they’re shooting that bull
Don’t you know heartaches are heroes when their pockets are full

Tell me you’re trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, “when is he gonna give us some room”
The girls say, “God I hope he comes back soon”

Everybody’s talking but you don’t hear a thing
You’re still uptown on your downhill swing
Boulevard’s empty, why don’t you come around?
Baby, what is so great about sleeping downtown?

Splitting your dice to be someone you’re not
You say you’re looking for something you might’ve forgot
Don’t bother calling to say you’re leaving alone
‘Cause there’s a fool on every corner when you’re trying to get home

Just tell ’em you’re trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, “when is he gonna give us some room”
The girls say, “God I hope he comes back soon”

Tell me you’re trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, “when is he gonna give us some room”
The girls say, “God I hope he comes back soon”

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son

Arguably the best song Creedence ever released. The single was Down On The Corner/Fortunate Son and the two combine peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. Fortunate Song also shows a #14 charting position by itself. Creedence and The Beatles released some of the best double A-Sided singles.

This is an anti-establishment song of defiance, both anti-Washington and against the Vietnam War. John Fogerty and Doug Clifford (drummer) both enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1966 (to avoid being drafted and shipped to Vietnam) and were discharged in 1968 after serving their military commitments.

 

John Fogerty: The thoughts behind this song – it was a lot of anger. So it was the Vietnam War going on… Now I was drafted and they’re making me fight, and no one has actually defined why. So this was all boiling inside of me and I sat down on the edge of my bed and out came “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son!” You know, it took about 20 minutes to write the song

“The song speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself,” “It’s the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them.”

 

From Songfacts

This is one of three political songs on the Willy And The Poorboys album. The others were “It Came From the Sky” and “Don’t Look Now (It Ain’t You or Me).”

Richard Nixon was president of the US when group leader John Fogerty wrote this song. Fogerty was not a fan of Nixon and felt that people close to the president were receiving preferential treatment.

This song spoke out against the war in Vietnam, but was supportive of the soldiers fighting there. Like many CCR fans, most of the soldiers came from the working class, and were there because they didn’t have connections who could get them out. The song is sung from the perspective of one of these men, who ends up fighting because he is not a “Senator’s son.”

Creedence performed this on The Ed Sullivan Show, probably because the show’s producers didn’t realize it was a protest song. The show tried hard not to offend anyone and usually had bands perform their least controversial songs or alter the lyrics for the show (see “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and “Light My Fire”).

Fogerty recorded a bunch of vocal takes for “Down On The Corner” before singing this. As a result, his voice was strained, which he thinks is apparent on the song.

This is one of those songs that came together very quickly. Fogerty recalled to American Songwriter magazine in January 2013: “When I felt it was about ready to hatch, I went into my bedroom and just sat down to write. The whole thing happened in about 20 minutes. That just poured out.”

Like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.,” this is often misinterpreted as a patriotic anthem when it is the opposite.

Wrangler jeans used this in commercials in 2000, taking only the first two lines: “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag, Ooh, that red, white and blue,” implying the patriotic misinterpretation. The next lines are: “And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief” Ooh, they’re pointin’ the cannon at you,” but those lyrics would not sell jeans very well.

John Fogerty was furious, but there was nothing he could do about it, since he didn’t own the rights to the song. Wrangler’s director of advertising responded by saying the brand heard the song as “more an ode to the common man. The common man is who we have been directing Wrangler toward.”

The ads ran through 2002, when Fogerty voiced his displeasure in a Los Angeles Times article and the company pulled the spots. Fogerty later explained that it touched a nerve because the ad distorted the meaning of the song. “If there’s some other song that was probably just a simple rock ‘n’ roll song, maybe I wouldn’t feel so strongly, but ‘Fortunate Son’ has a real point to it,” he said.

In 2016, Wrangler again turned to CCR to soundtrack a spot, this time using “Up Around the Bend.”

Fogerty does not own the publishing rights to this song. He lost them, along with all the other songs he wrote for CCR, in his contract with Fantasy Records, which the band signed when they were struggling. Fantasy’s boss at the time, Saul Zaentz, controls the rights and can use the songs any way he wants, as long as it isn’t performed by any member of CCR. Fogerty hates that his song is constantly misused, but has no choice. He expressed this frustration on his solo track “Vanz Kant Danz.”

This has been covered by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Kid Rock, Dropkick Murphys, Sleater-Kinney, Corrosion Of Conformity, Minutemen, Uncle Tupelo, Bob Seger, Circle Jerks, Joe Lynn Turner, Bunny Foot Charm, Death Cab For Cutie, Undead, Raccoon, and 38 Special.

When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked: “What inspired ‘Fortunate Son’?” His response: “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1969, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and like eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.” 

Wyclef Jean’s slow, passionate cover of this was the theme song for the 2004 political thriller The Manchurian Candidate. Another popular political film from the summer of ’04 was the controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, of which John Fogerty remarked: “With the Michael Moore movie, certain conservative talk show hosts call him un-American. Him and anybody else who says anything about the war… To question your country’s policy, especially in a war that kills people, is definitely not un-American. It’s probably the most patriotic thing you can do.” >>

This is one of the first protest songs that makes the point that it’s the poor who are most likely to fight the wars. During the Iraq war, System Of A Down covered this topic with their song “B.Y.O.B..”

Former United States president George W. Bush is often considered a “Fortunate Son,” as he reaped the benefits that came with growing up in a powerful political family, which may have helped him avoid combat. This is covered in a book called Fortunate Son. 

On November 6, 2014, Fogerty performed this at the White House as part of the A Salute to the Troops concert that was broadcast the next day on PBS ahead of Veteran’s Day. Fogerty wasn’t sure how the song would be received at an event honoring military personnel, but it got a great reaction from the crowd, including many of the veterans and President Obama.

This was featured in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump as the title character, played by Tom Hanks, is en route to serve in Vietnam.

Fortunate Son

Some folks are born
Made to wave the flag
Oh, 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

Some folks are born
Silver spoon in hand
Lord don’t they help themselves
But when the tax man comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale

It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no millionaire’s son
It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

Some folks inherit
Star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war
And when you ask them
“How much should we give?”
They only answer “More! More! More!”

It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no military son
It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no Fortunate Son