Friday Open Thread

Happy Independence Day!

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?


  1. Chely Wright’s “Bumper of My SUV.” Simple, thoughtful, unpretentious, country. Although I always wonder whether the lady who flipped her the bird and inspired the song might have just been pissed at Wright for cutting her off accidentally or something.

  2. Good choices Kevin. I don’t know why, but these songs always make me feel, if not patriotic, very American…

    “Centerfield” by John Fogerty
    “Country Roads” by John Denver
    “This Land is Your Land” by Woodie Guthrie (Bob Dylan/Bruce Springsteen versions)
    “American Land” by Bruce Springsteen (Seeger Sessions in Dublin)
    “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Flatt & Scruggs
    “Long Time Gone” by Dixie Chicks

    HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Enjoy the BBQs and fireworks! ;)

  3. “Back In The USA”–Linda Ronstadt
    “American Trilogy”–Elvis Presley (from ALOHA FROM HAWAII [January 1973])
    “America, The Beautiful”–Ray Charles
    “The City Of New Orleans”–Arlo Guthrie
    “Surfin’ USA”–The Beach Boys
    “Hymn To The Fallen” (from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN)–John Williams

  4. I know that this is a country blog, but to me, Celine Dion’s version of “God Bless America” is leagues above the rest. IMO

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