Sorry, internet. Bruce Springsteen isn’t the anti-American you all seem to think he is.
Springsteen’s performance at Concert for Valor, a Veterans Day event in Washington, D.C., drew a lot of criticism on Twitter. The 65-year-old classic rock legend played a number of songs in honor of vets, including his uplifting tribute to all things American, “Born in the U.S.A.”
But Springsteen’s choice to team up with Zac Brown and Dave Grohl to perform Creedence Clearwater Revival’s hit, “Fortunate Son,” had a lot of the Twitterverse talking — and few had anything good to say.
From “Hey Bruce Springsteen! Get off the stage with your anti American music!” to “‘Fortunate Son’ played at the Concert for Valor?! You ought to be ashamed,” fans let Springsteen know they weren’t pleased with his choice to play the Vietnam-era anthem.
Hey Bruce Springsteen! Get off the stage with your anti American music! Play born in the USA!
— Dandy (@whoschristian) November 12, 2014
"Fortunate Son" played at the Concert For Valor?! You ought to be ashamed, Bruce Springsteen, Zac Brown & Dave Grohl. Just lost this fan.
— Kris Christensen (@kc0828) November 12, 2014
Sure, “Fortunate Son” was a rallying cry for war protestors in the ’60s and ’70s. But those who say the song is anti-American need to take a closer listen.
“Fortunate Son” was never meant to be anti-American. It was, however, anti-war, and those are two very different things.
CCR’s front man, John Fogerty, has already spoken out to defend Springsteen’s choice and he puts it well: “Years ago, an ultra-conservative administration tried to paint anyone who questioned its policies as ‘un-American,'” Fogerty said. “That same administration shamefully ignored and mistreated the soldiers returning from Vietnam. As a man who was drafted and served his country during those times, I have ultimate respect for the men and women who protect us today and demand that they receive the respect that they deserve.”
The song is about protesting — income disparity, class divides and, of course, the war. All of the things “Fortunate Son” was speaking against are still issues our country faces today — though, it’s a different war this time — and those are things many Americans still actively exercise their right to protest. And, as Fogerty often pointed out during the height of “Fortunate Son’s” popularity, freely protesting anything is the exact opposite of anti-American.