July 4, 2008
In the spirit of the holiday, Leeann and I have published reviews of two recent patriotic singles. Check out her take on Phil Stacey’s “Old Glory” and mine on Donna Fargo’s “We Can Do Better in America”, both right below this open thread.
Singles by both a legend and a new artist on the same theme going to radio helps illustrate how country music has a long history and association with songs about America. Today’s the perfect day to share our favorite country songs on the subject.
My favorite of all-time is Waylon Jennings’ “America.” It strikes the perfect balance of celebrating what’s best about our country while still challenging us to make sure we live up to the ideals our country is founded on.
Other favorites of mine from the challenging category include Iris Dement’s “Wasteland of the Free”, Sawyer Brown’s “Cafe on the Corner”, and Johnny Cash’s “What is Truth.”
From the celebratory side, I adore Dolly Parton’s version of “God Bless the U.S.A.”, Phil Vassar’s “American Child” and Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This.”
As for takes on the standards, nobody touches the Dixie Chicks’ take on “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the Super Bowl, and my favorite version of “America the Beautiful” will always be Willie Nelson’s from the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon concert right after September 11.
Those are a few of mine. How about yours?