BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A new documentary chronicling the creation of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Fortunate Son” will feature a brief appearance from the obscure, 20-year Vietnam War, according to a press release distributed this morning.
“Most people only know the song from commercials for blue jeans and beer,” said filmmaker Mary Sloan. “People often forget that the song came out during the late ’60s, which was apparently a very tumultuous time. This documentary will show the song’s evolution from its humble beginnings as a lullaby sung to John Fogerty as a child, to its current status as a pro-American, patriotic advertising anthem.”
The classic rock song, interpreted as an anti-war and anti-classism statement against American drafting practices during the little-known Vietnam War, ultimately paired well with the war for the final cut.
“At first, we didn’t even think to include the Vietnam War in the documentary at all. But once we added a brief cameo from the war, it really seemed to bring the film together,” said Sloan. “We think that, over time, the repeated playing of the song over dramatized reenactments and footage from the Vietnam War somehow convinced the public that the war and the song go hand in hand.”
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One particularly gripping moment captures an immersion therapy treatment for veterans overcoming their trauma from hearing the song over and over during their service and beyond. In the scene, Vietnam veterans listen to the song from the interior of a helicopter, flying over an abandoned golf course decorated with Vietcong-uniformed mannequins.
“It reminded me of that scene in Forrest Gump,” said Sgt. Doug Gibson, breaking into tears. “I mean, it was really like being back there in that movie theater.”
Music historians have since discovered that Creedence Clearwater Revival wrote at least 11 songs — leading to rumors that the songs have been licensed for future films examining the much-overlooked ’60s.
For her part, Sloan hopes her documentary will revive interest in Creedence and lead to a greater exploration of the band’s mythic catalogue. “We have this song,” said Sloan. “Who knows how many more could be out there?”