Dr. Wayne Baker welcomes back popular guest columnist Terry Gallagher.
This is his fourth column this week …
In the presidential campaign, we’ve been hearing about the influence of certain books and authors among American conservatives, and wondering which books might have had the same impact on the other side of the aisle. Or as historian Barbara Gage wrote in Slate: “Why isn’t there a liberal Ayn Rand?”
Here’s a suggestion you might not expect, not a book but a song.
While there’s certainly nothing highbrow about it, John Fogerty’s song “Fortunate Son” has never been equaled for its concise and powerful expression of class consciousness in American popular culture.
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no.
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no.
The original recording by Creedence Clearwater Revival rose to #3 on the Billboard charts in 1969, and has been in heavy radio rotation ever since. It’s been covered by dozens of bands and singers since, and is a mainstay of movie and television soundtracks.
Fogerty has said the song was inspired by the knowledge that sons of powerful men weren’t likely to face combat in Vietnam. But the song’s continuing popularity might reflect our awareness that access and privilege are still key factors helping the rich get richer in America today.
The song also has a killer guitar lick.
So let the Republicans drowse over their well-thumbed copies of The Fountainhead.
I’ll be listening to Creedence.
How about music? What music inspires liberals?
What are timeless conservative hits?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.