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12 Patriotic Songs Better than Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A."

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 01:09 pm
From Paste Magazine

12 Patriotic Songs Better than Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A."
By
by Josh Jackson and the Paste staff
on July 4, 2009 6:00 AM

Today, we celebrate the birth of the good ol' U.S. of A. We gather in back yards, pools and lakes. We roast hot dogs and hamburgers and let watermelon juice trickle down our chins. We light fireworks smuggled in from less pansy states. But at some point, these wonderful traditions are marred by the schlocky strains of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." (as they will be on CBS' Early Show today). Call me an unpatriotic snob, if you will, but I believe we as a nation can do much better when it comes to celebrating America in song. I don't care if he is a member of the National Council on the Arts, there are plenty of better songs to add to your patriotic playlist. Give a listen to the following 12, and drink an American small-brewery craft beer for me.

1. Bruce Springsteen - "Born in the U.S.A."
While critical of the war, and fully aware of the struggles that affect blue-collar America, Springsteen makes no apologies about his birthplace, repeatedly letting the world know where he's from. It's the kind of reality check necessary to true patriotism. "The Rising" would have been another great addition to this list. Come to think of it, I'd like to nominate him for the National Council on the Arts. Or Secretary of the Interior.

Plus there's always that scene in Canadian Bacon where John Candy and crew scream down the highway in full windows down, road-trip mode belting out the chorus...because they can't remember the verses.

2. Johnny Cash - "Ragged Old Flag"
The intro is almost as great as the song itself"a simple, compelling tune about loving one's country for what it stands for, and despite its mistakes. No one was ever as earnestly cool as Johnny Cash. My kind of patriot.

3. Paul Simon - "American Tune"
It basically tells the story of America set to chords he stole from Bach. And it's just beautiful.

4. Ray Charles - "America, the Beautiful"
I'm proud to be from the same country as this guy.

5. Estelle featuring Kanye West - "American Boy"
I mean, it mentions L.A. and New York and everything, and she's liking it all.

6. Wilco - "Ashes of American Flags"
Tweedy sings with some regret for what America has become, but to me, patriotism doesn't gloss over the problems we face.

7. Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Fortunate Son"
Have we learned to stop questioning the patriotism of protesters yet? Right now, one need only to look to Iran to see that the biggest acts of patriotism don't always fall in line with the governing bodies. We love Cat Power's cover.

8. Aaron Copland - "Appalachian Spring"
This wakens a sense of patriotism in us that little else can. It's an orchestral suite, so it's not technically a "song," but the music is so uniquely American (borrowing from the traditional Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts") and so sonically vivid, that it expresses the beauty of our country better than any set of lyrics we know. Copland was undoubtedly the Norman Rockwell of music"both intensely patriotic and populist but in a gentle and agreeable way. The piece premiered as a ballet score during the tail end of WWII, and was rearranged as suite the following year during the height of American patriotism.

9. Ryan Adams - "New York, New York"
The upbeat hook "But I still love you New York" paired with the video, featuring Adams performing in Brooklyn with the WTC in the background on Sept 7, 2001, always gives us goosebumps.

10. Violent Femmes - "American Music"
What's more American than rock 'n' roll?

11. Bob Dylan - "With God on Our Side"
Leave it to Dylan to take the arrogance, pomposity and aggression out of patriotism so that we can move on to the better aspects: love, thankfulness and a desire to keep making our country even better.

12. Jimi Hendrix - "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Some people were offended at the time, Jimi himself considered it beautiful and patriotic, and we couldn't agree more.

follow the link for youtube videos of each song

12 Patriotic Songs Better than Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 4,946 • Replies: 10

 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 02:46 pm
@djjd62,
Let's give propers to Kate Smith for "God Bless America".
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 03:27 pm
The Weavers' cover of Woodie Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land."
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:05 am
Years ago, John Wayne did a spoken "song" about the pledge of allegiance and what it meant to him...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jf3MQpffBc

And there was also Red Skeltons version...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBTyTWOZCM&feature=related

John Wayne also did one called "America, why I love her"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sekHkR5BKOY
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:20 am
Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith know their audiences and know that the lowest common denominator has discretionary money to spend Wink
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:20 am
@mysteryman,
Also, lets not forget John Wayne's "the Hyphen"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fuzLTrwVbc&feature=related
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 08:30 am
And of course, there is this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDA9NbPAK8o&fark
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:15 am
Three more better

James Brown "Living in America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHqUipinDyw

John Mellencamp "R O C K in th USA" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6mC3bGftEA

Steve Miller Band "Living in the USA" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmBDIj2fbB8

Rap
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 10:19 am
Too many times, writers of patriotic songs display an edge of jingoism, which I find disagreeable. I prefer such as This Land is Your Land.
0 Replies
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 01:15 pm
@djjd62,
Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" is still my favorite. It always will be. That is what is so great about living here in the USA, everyone is entitled to their opinion.


Lee Greenwood - God Bless The USA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RssIN3ustUw&feature=fvst
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 06:06 am
@raprap,
raprap wrote:

Three more better

James Brown "Living in America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHqUipinDyw

John Mellencamp "R O C K in th USA" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6mC3bGftEA

Steve Miller Band "Living in the USA" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmBDIj2fbB8

Rap


somebody get me a cheeseburger...
0 Replies
 
 

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