Music has the ability to do more than merely entertain us during our commute to work. It gives wordless emotions a voice, speaks complicated truths plainly, and brings understanding into chaotic times. Creedence Clearwater Revival played that kind of music during the unrest of the 1970’s. As a result, their song “Fortunate Son” became the song of the decade and is practically required for any Vietnam era movie. But we would be foolish to think of this as just an old song for another time. It’s the sort of song we need today. Ryan Kinder recorded “Fortunate Son” during YouTube’s Nashville Sessions and proved that no matter how out of control the world may seem, “it ain’t me and it ain’t us.”
“I’m not a political man, but I know everyone, in their own way, shares a common life objective to provide a safe place for themselves and their families, and to have pride in our homes,” he said in a statement. “‘Fortunate Son’ was written in a time of unrest in our country. John Fogerty’s observation on the landscape of his country gave voice to a class needing to be heard. A protest for their beliefs… I would be remiss to not find similarities in our times.”
The message of “Fortunate Son” may raise our political hackles or tempt listeners to classify what Kinder is trying to say into a neat political box. But in so doing, we would fundamentally misunderstand Kinder’s intent and hope.
“My protest does not lay on party lines but on a desire to see again an age of decency, compromise and compassion. We deserve that. So here I am, just a songwriter with a guitar and stories filled with hope gathered from around our beautiful country. That’s it.”
At the very least, Kinder’s cover is an exemplary cover. Hopefully, it can be more; a resolution to learn, grow and create a more perfect union.