Toby Keith, “American Ride”

Toby AmericaThe intro could pass for a Hamster Dance rendering of Reba’s “Strange.” The verses rattle off about tidal waves at the Mexican border and impressionable kids on “the YouTube.” And the chorus – the chorus is like that song from Team America (you know the one – “America, [Shucks] Yeah!”) crossbred with the soundtrack of one of those overcooked Super Bowl car commercials where you don’t know it’s a car commercial at first, but then the car comes out and climbs over a mountain or something and you’re like, “oh, all that for a friggin’ car commercial!”

Yeah. But seriously, what else can you say about a song like this? There was a time when the sheer audacity would have surprised me, but coming from late-00’s Toby, it just seems like one more cog in a big wheel of Ridiculous. And maybe that’s kind of on purpose?

…Or maybe not? Honestly, I don’t even know that I get the point well enough to judge. Is the big, machismo chorus – “That’s us! That’s right!” – supposed to be satirical of those who shrug off America’s shortcomings and contradictions? Or is it a sincere acknowledgment that such difficulties are an inevitable part of society, and that we must grit our teeth through them?

And like, what in the world does saying “look Ma, no hands” have to do with all that, anyway? Maybe he’s assuring his mother that he had “no hand” in the composition of this song? Do I just not know a good non sequitur when I hear one, or will people really just stick any syllable-filling phrase into their songs nowadays?

Whatever the case, I can’t say I don’t find it all amusing on some strange level. There seems to have been a serious attempt to make social commentary here, and it was pretty hit-or-miss, or maybe more of one than the other, depending on your perspective. I suppose you can make a case either way, and I invite you to do so in the comments. As for me, I’m afraid the “Ride” has just left me stranded too deeply in WTF-limbo to render a verdict.

Written by Joe West & Dave Pahanish

Grade: AMERICA! I mean…N/A

Listen: American Ride


  1. Well hunker down because this song is already shooting up the charts. And if you don’t like it complain to the WRITERS. Toby didn’t write it so why come down on him.

  2. Even if an artist doesn’t write a song, when he sings it, he’s endorsing it as far as any of us knows. If the song were wonderful and he hadn’t written it, we wouldn’t say, “Ah, but he didn’t write it, so we won’t give him credit for recording it” Although he didn’t write it, he gets to take the credit or fall for recording it. Also, since he owns his own record label, he doesn’t even get the possible benefit of the doubt that label executives are forcing him to record songs that he wouldn’t personally choose.

    There’s something catchy and amusing about this song, but it definitely elicits a “What?” from me in the end. Maybe his yelling through the choruses comes off better in a higher quality recording, but it’s off putting here.

  3. Satirical? Really? No!!! God knows Country Music can’t ever be anything but heartfelt, earnest, and sincere. Look folks – that stuff has its place but it’s high time that country lyrics went beyond treacle and platitudes. I like this song a lot and it’s an interesting, albeit boundary-stretching, song for the artist (Toby Keith) as well as the genre. Then again, it probably doesn’t resonate with those who don’t like their boundaries stretched. Excited that this will be a hit, for the benefit of a talented writing-producing duo. The song was originally titled “This American Life” and it seems quite possible that the producers of Toby’s version changed the title to avoid any connection with Ira Glass. But if you don’t know who that is, it won’t matter much anyway. IMO this song perfectly captures the tension between amusement and aggravation that so many of us feel when exposed to what passes for ‘culture’ in the popular consciousness – and for me, the amusement wins out. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

  4. I think I’ve just always had trouble digesting songs that just list of little vignettes of culture in an attempt to make a point. Offhand, I don’t know that there have been many really strong attempts at that template since “Ball of Confusion” back in the Motown days, although I’m probably forgetting some good ones.

  5. lol…I love the grade on this one. All I could think of was the title of Stephen Colbert’s book, “I Am America…and So Can You.”

    I admit, the song’s catchy, and there are a couple of neat little digs in there…but this tune’s just strange. I don’t think you can look to derive meaning from it. It just feels like one of those songs that was written for the purpose of being a catchy ditty that has a chance of getting airplay, and wasn’t meant to have any clear, coherent point. And, it will probably succeed at doing just that. Still, I think Toby Keith can do a bit better than this.

  6. Yeah this is just weird weird weird. On top of everything else, did it seem like Toby Keith didn’t sound like Toby Keith?
    (Oh how I wish we had late 90’s Toby back…)

  7. Are you kidding me! This song is amazing!!!! Love it, love it, love it… It’s already a hit on the radio. You all are too funny! Music is for fun and this song is a blast!

  8. Wen I first heard this song I ended up neutral too. I wanted to like it because I love Toby’s music and loved the feel of the song, but at the same time I found it to be very out there and maybe to loaded with comentary. This song will probably grow on me very fast and become a favorite of mine, but I can safely say if I followed it word for word it would certainly contradict with a lot of my personal beliefs.

    Definitly one of the most interesting songs of the year.

  9. This song will shoot up the country charts — if not the pop charts. There are a lot of American’s not happy about the NOBAMA culture — and we want a way to laugh about it. We’re tired of just living and working and worrying about how to feed our families. This song is fun!

  10. And just in case you don’t know all the lyrics — here you go….

    The American Ride Lyrics









  11. If this is supposed to be some kind of social commentary, it seems that “women sucks” is the message he’s trying to get across here.

    Half of the song focuses on women and not in a flattering way: Lazy Mom who watches Desperate Housewives while Daddy’s working his ass off to pay for the good life; it pays to be a mean girl with no mention of mean boys (yes, I’m aware of the movie the line is referencing), and a fallen Miss America who gets cosmetic surgery and is given an undeserved record contract.

    It would be one thing if this were meant to be a macho male anthem or a story song that sympathizes with the male protagonist, but as a song that’s probably meant to be social commentary (albeit a strange one), it’s derisive toward females. The spectacle of the presentation covered it up for me at first, but I couldn’t help but notice it after the lyrics were posted above.

    Oh, and, what the heck does singing Christmas carols have to do with anything?

  12. Aw. I get the Christmas carol line now. It’s very random where it is though. Shouldn’t it be in the “bigger plasma/smaller Jesus” stanza? Obviously organization is another shortfall of this song. And the “fit hits the shan” line just makes me cringe.

  13. Social commentary about “Women Sucks” — where do you even get that… this has got to be the least of what was written about….

    This song has a lot of spoofs — the primary one being on the whole environmentalist thing, and then there’s the oil price thing, the whole effort to be beautiful on the outside instead of on the inside —

    This is a great song — The writer of the song deserves every bit of credit — and Toby will make him very rich and famous with this recording — after all isn’t it all about money any more anyway?

  14. Not to mention that oil prices are significantly lower than they were this time last year. So, that part of the message is a bit out of date.

  15. It’s a remarkably inane song with a lack of focus, and Leeann’s right: the only common thread is an undercurrent of misogyny.

  16. I to agree with the one person to who said that they would like to have the earlier Toby back — I own at total of 1, maybe two TK CD’s(from the mid-90’s), from back when he was someone I enjoyed listening to — it is funny a song came on my ipod the other day “New Orleans” that he wrote – and they is the kind of music that I wish he was still singing, becuase the the song was amazing, not this stuff that he has been putting out for the past almost 10 years….

  17. Toby Keith is AMERICAN in every sense of the word, and the fact that you judge him and this song is why there are songs like this…. sorry, but I hated hated hated this song the first two times I heard it and by the 3rd time, I got it. Toby is Man enough and American enough to say anything about America. If you don’t agree with the song, you live with your blinders on or you shouldn’t live in America. Period. Our Country is F’d Up and we’re damn proud of it. “That’s us! That’s Right! Gotta Love this American Ride!!!!”

  18. only a liberal would find fault with the lyrics,again TOBY is right on,, Just saying whats wrong with the right,,,

  19. “Just don’t get busted singin’ Christmas Carols” is a social comment about the loss of the ability in many areas (mostly metropolitan areas) to sing Christmas songs or even mention Christmas in public buildings or stores.

  20. Cutting the Treacle,
    Don’t mind if I do…

    Yeah, Matt, I figured that out after I asked the question. :) I was a little slow there. Now that I know what it means though, I still wonder why it was placed randomly in the first verse rather than the line about Plasmas getting bigger and Jesus getting smaller. This whole song is haphazardly strewn together as far as lyrics go.

  21. I haven’t been able to get into the last couple of Chapin albums, actually, but her 1989-1994 output is solid. Enjoyed the TSL album, too.

    This is the first Toby Keith single in a good while that I can’t even enjoy as a guilty pleasure. The lyrics are too disorienting. It’s like a rambling speech you’d hear a person with a rudimentary knowledge of politics and social issues give after a few too many drinks!

  22. “Disorienting” is a good word for it. Something about the combination of the scattershot verses and the Chevy-commercial chorus just leaves my brain unable to even compute. It’s like watching hours of really mindless television, except condensed into a three-minute serving.

  23. Isn’t that kind of the point — America has grown very disoriented. We don’t know which cause to support, which one to turn down, which party is good, which party is evil… we are such a melting pot, that we are really just wondering around, mumbling about something.

    But, it really is a ride isn’t it? Only in America — could we say,


  24. I’ll admit the song is catchy and fun, but it is sort of a hot mess. Some of the lyrics are funny…and true,but things like “hey maw look no hands” is just plain stupid. My initial reaction of the song was also WTF. The worst part is I kind of like it! :P

  25. But what does “look maw, no hands” mean when the “ride” is a metaphor for the course of American culture? That’s why I don’t understand why it’s there.

  26. You know — i just really love this song. I think it is epitome of America and the way she is right now.

    “I like what Man from Nantucket said. We don’t just ride… we ride with no hands…”

    Hell yeah.

  27. This song is so the opposite of all his patriotic songs. He sings a different tune with a different administration. Sure some things are note worthy but honestly why is Toby suddenly the voice of opposition against our culture??

  28. the point of this song talks about ameriaca and how messed up some people are today. first it says that gas is too high and that they charge way more per gallon than per barrel, he talks about all this crap about global warming and how much its blown out of porportion, also how people are so damn glued to the tv and internet that if it all went away today then people would probably go crazy if they had to go out in the outdoors and have some real fun, also how many stars out there are getting records deals when they cant even sing but because they are popular they get one, how you cant take shit on planes these days cause of those damn rag heads, how jesus is getting smaller and tvs are getting bigger thats obvious, and last but not least that tidal wave of mexicans crossing the border and the government wont fund the border patrol to stop those tax stealing sons of ——

  29. And the “look Ma no hands” I take to mean no one is driving this car/country.

    Look guys, it is a tongue in cheek snapshot of where this country is right now. Ease up.

    We are more interested in pop culture, being cool, and accumulation of wealth than God and Country.

    We are headed for the ditch and no one is steering.

  30. This dude obviously doesn’t know a good song when he hears it. Toby Keith rocks! Not to mention he’s one fine hunk of a man! Yowsa! :)

  31. American Ride is Kick Azz!! Another fun song from Toby with Attitude. If you don’t dig it, you really don’t understand the Big Dog.

    Keep the liberal shmiberal crap outta the music world, it does not belong.

  32. to Katie–what??, this is not about opposition @ all. Toby does not change for anyone, preposterous that you say ‘change for administrations’.

    Toby is Patriotic,…and always will be…no matter who sits in the Oval office.

  33. to me, the “look Maw, no hands”….means America is daring, sometimes we do ride by the seat of our pants. But we always manage and we will survive.

  34. I love the firestorm this review has created! One thing that’s still great about this country is that we can all express ourselves on this forum. The “Look Ma, No Hands” line makes perfect sense to me in the context of being on a “ride” as it were. I also love the “Cheaper by the Barrel” line – I take it less as a reference to oil than as a dig on our super-size culture…I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve shopped at Costco for the case of tuna cans and industrial strength Oatmeal box! :-) Did I need it? Well, I thought so at the time….
    The Chrismas Carols line is interesting too; since it is the Right that’s traditionally pro-business (and therefore encouraging of consumerism, said without judgement) to juxtapose it with a line about political correctness (regarding Christmas songs) suggest to me that the writer thinks both sides in the culture wars have their blinders on. But, that’s just me.

  35. this blog is great — some people hate this song — and some people love this song…. but, definitely people are talking about this song…. Gotta love the big dawg!

  36. Well, if you look on the list of writers for this blog, you’ll notice that I’m on it. So, yeah, I’m kind of part of “the blog police.”

    You’ve posted under at least two names that I’ve caught so far, which does not adhere to blog commenting integrity. It is fine to choose a name that is not your own in order to protect your identity, but it is not acceptable to post under multiple names in order to create the appearance of support. That’s why most blogs ask that people choose one handle and stick to it. It helps keep this blogging thing somewhat less hectic/more honest.

    So, again, please stop using multiple names. Otherwise, we will have to delete your subsequent comments.

  37. to LEEANN and the numerous OTHER people rail roading “american ride”…. you’re a bunch of water heads who don’t deserve to call themselves country music fans. “mitch” and “k3” drove the nail in the coffin with their prior posts,… end of story. i mean, i fail to understand how a genre of such pridefull american music with the great spokesperson’s we have such as hank, b&d, alan,….,…..,……..,….,……,……,……,…
    ..,……,….,…..,…..,….., and toby could release songs that are held to so much scrutiny by pieces of shhhh…. like you people or immigrants, whichever it is you are, you definitely need to remove your rose colored sunglasses (for you slow ones i’m calling you oblivious right now). the life style of this country (as a person’s or as government) becomes goofier every day and if you cant see that, well… i envy you. until then keep bobbin your heads with the mute on while you make up conspiracy theories about great country music. should be a good simple minded excersise!!

  38. i do want 90s toby back…but i also want the one thats here now if that makes sense. i want a combination of both. i was and am a top fan of his. i own all his albums and that will never change. this song is great. catchy and spot on. its just funny though how if carrie underwood sang this song EVERYONE would be praising it, but since toby is getting old and is part of a different generation everyone is trying to push him out to make way for the younger generation eventhough he is far better than any of them. when will people understand sometimes the old ways are the best ways, not always but sometimes. anyway he does it again… Toby Keith takes a chance with a FRESH song and shatters the box with a think outside the box idea. But Toby doesnt need me to tell him he is great, he knows it but doesnt flaunt it. that what makes him great. sometimes you just gotta laugh at ourselves cause if we dont we are done for just like the romans

    Hot Dog, Hot dam. gotta love this American Ride.

  39. I’m not even American and I still find this song degrating to the state of the people and culture of today. It does not sound patriotic at all like Toby usually is!

  40. leeann- would make more sense if Dan, the writer of this blog was responding. Why are you all over this one? You have a problem with more than one person sharing a computer obviously. Blogs do not need your kind of editing.

  41. For those that may need clarification:

    Patriot defined as : one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests

    Toby did not write this song, but he took it on. It is a song of observations about America today. Artists have the freedom to sing or write about anything they desire. Toby seems to get ‘politicized’ about his craft and that is just not right.

  42. I technically don’t have a problem with people sharing a computer, but it honestly is hard for me to believe that there are four (Redwhitblue, I Heard That, How Do You Like Him Now, JackD) diehard Toby fans sharing one computer. So, it stands to reason that you may be one person posting under multiple names in order to create an illusion of support…or it’s possible that you grabbed some friends/roommates to post for the same purpose. Then again, I could be wrong, and there really could be four people living in the same house who feel strongly enough about this song to comment on a blog to defend it. At any rate, ask all of them to post under one name so that their comments won’t be deleted in the future, because there’s no other way of us knowing.

  43. fyi- yes, more than one supporter for Toby and his music. Why does it matter if it is a shared computer? Seems like many of your writers are commenting on the song and not too favorably. If you just wanted it available for writer comments, why open it up for comments?

  44. The CU writers often participate on these threads. It’s an important piece of this blog community. Furthermore, there are plenty of comments here that are not from the staff, even excluding the comments from the same computer under different names.

    So, you’ve chosen “I Heard That!” as the handle for this IP address from now on, I take it?

  45. Thanks for the explanation. And since you were counting it was at least 2 shared computers. At least supporter comments were heard. That is important.

    And you writers get points when more comments are posted anyway. So it is a win win situation.

  46. This song is catchy, and Toby does a good job singing it. But the lyrics are a mess.

    Basically, the lyrics are social commentary without the commentary. Toby brings up many aspects of life in the U.S.A., but he says virtually nothing about them. Its not clear how the things he discusses are related, either.

    And sometimes Toby is misleading or flat out wrong: if the line about spilling coffee refers to the McDonalds coffee case, the plaintiff did not “make a million dollars.” She apparently wound up settling for around $600,000. A tremendous difference. And, of course, she also received 3rd degree burns over much of her body, burns which would not have occured had McDonalds served the coffee a bit cooler. This point Toby does not discuss. The line, “spill a cup of coffee Make a million dollars” could just as well be “Sell a needlessly dangerous product, pay for customer’s injury.” Toby offers no insight whatsoever into the situation.

    Maybe the line doesn’t refer to that case: if so, then it’s totally silly: in America, few if any of us could “make a million” by spilling coffee all over ourselves. And even if we could, many of us wouldn’t want to.

    As entertainment, this is a good song. Catchy, well sung, should be a hit. But as social commentary, this is an effort that the average 9th grader could beat.


  48. Jefferson’s comment, quoted by ironKross, should be taken with a grain of salt. Coming a few years after the American Revolutionary War, it is not surprising that Jefferson might extol the preservation of liberty with “the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    But the comment suffers problems in today’s world. First, in a monarchy (such as the one the American colonists chafed under), the problem of political succession is huge. Monarchs may stay in power long after they have worn out their welcome. And the heirs to the throne may prove incompetent or worse. In such a scenario, the need to “refresh” the nation wtih “the blood of patriots and tyrants” is clear. But out democracy, today, solves this problem of succession. We have term limits and short terms of office. We need not take up arms to remove unwanted rulers when we can vote them out of office. Jefferson’s rhetoric is powerful, and his comments relevant to the late 1700s. But they are less relevant in our present context.

    Also, Jefferson’s comment ignores the dark side of refreshing “the tree of liberty… with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Such refreshing has its own costs (“blood”) and moreover it may not even lead to more liberty. The “tree of liberty” may not wind up refreshed, but rather killed when people exercise their “power of resistance.”

    I’m glad we didn’t shoot Jefferson for uttering these words. But they deserve a skeptical reading.

  49. You don’t get the song??? Do you read the newspaper, listen to the news. It is nothing short of a commentary on our everyday life. And as nuts as it is, this is the best there is. So, yes, “I love this American Ride.” And that’s not even getting into the terrific instrumentals, that actually sound like a country song. And, personally, I just love Toby Keith’s voice. If you’re as prolific a songwriter as Toby Keith is, and you are attracted to something someone else has written enough to record and promote it as the first release off your upcoming album, that has be a very high compliment.

  50. I think “Sell a needlessly dangerous product, pay for customer’s injury.” should be the title of this song….

  51. Goood song,
    your stupid.
    The song aint got a country feel
    but it shore explains america.

    btw look ma, no hands is in other words,

    when you were litle and leardned how to ride a bike with no hands what’d you saY?
    yeah look ma no hands..right?

    Its america buddy, freedom of speech is fine,
    but think about stuff before you go puttin someones stuff down;
    this is a great song!

  52. Amazing, the amount of misinformation or downright stupidity run rampant through a blog or posting here, even on the internet.

    Third degree burns is charred flesh, the best a hot cup of coffee, for the momentary contact with your flesh, would be able to do to you is small blisters. Painful, yes, $1 mil worth I think not, or even $600,000. Ludicrous lawsuit and should have never been allowed to begin with.

    The song is awesome, if you know anything about the American Ride, you would understand it. There is no insult to women or battering of any person. If you got offended by a song, go see your shrink, you’ve got a few more sessions.

    I’m from the country side of life and get the entire song. Look Ma, No Hands is any American boy riding a bicycle for the first time without hands and trying to show his new skill off. He is taking little shots at what has happened during his timeframe. Kudos to him and the writer. Well done!

  53. Ha for you idiots trying to seem smart with your intellect and whitty phrases, stfu.. the song is about living in this great land, being able to accomplish just about anything if you put your mind to it, and simply being able to be wild and free(look maw, no hands, got to love this american…) The pessimists in this comment list do not know squat about anything.. go across seas.. see how others have to almost kill themselves just to keep food on the table.. You have to see it from their side, then you will know jsut how amazing this country really is.. now go ahead and stick your snotty nose in the air and tell me how im incorrect.. later!!

  54. I’m a big Toby fan and I’ll probably buy the new album when it comes out, but this isn’t good. The patriotic songs are fine in moderation, but he seems to be pigeonholing himself by doing them so often. It seems he can’t do an album anymore without recording at least one and it’s usually a single. That would be fine if they were quality songs, but lately the quality has been lacking.

  55. Ironically, pollolittle’s points support a position opposite his or hers. Pollolittle notes”the best a hot cup of coffee…would be able to do to you is small blisters”

    But, of course the McDonalds coffee gave the plaintiff 3rd degree burns, (“charred flesh”). She spent a full week in the hospital due to the spill.

    One obvious inference is that the McDonalds coffee was served much hotter than regular coffee. And that’s just what was shown in the suit.

    If regular coffee, when spilled, causes at most “small blisters” but McDonald’s coffee causes “charred flesh,” it hardly seems that the plaintiff filed a “ludicrous lawsuit.”

    Of course, there are arguments on both sides. But that’s just the problem with the Toby song, as I argued above. It takes complex issues and treats them more superficially than the average bumper sticker.

    In Toby’s defense, he does a fine job singing the song. He has a lot of talent, I wish his material was up to his talent.

  56. I don’t understand why so many people who like this song feel they have to resort to insulting those who don’t in order to make their point. Telling someone else they’re stupid doesn’t make you look smarter; being able to produce a coherent argument does. “Pays to be a mean girl,” indeed.

  57. I had said earlier that I was going to refrain from making any comments about this song other than to say that it was a typical T.K. record, but I must amend that here.

    I think the problem a lot of people, myself included, have with T.K.’s brand of patriotism, going all the way back to “Courtesy Of The Red, White, & Blue” and all the way up to the current “American Ride”, is not the patriotism itself but the often loud and arguably obnoxious way he presents it.

    What turned me off personally to both it and to him was what he said in 2002 about anyone who disagreed with the message of “Red, White, & Blue”, that they were, and these are his words, “Commie heathens.” This, for me, was the mark of someone who, instead of just brushing off the criticism and taking it like a man, simply chose to attack anybody who dissented even slightly with **his** view of America. It’s the old “America: Love It Or Leave It” philosophy at work here, but that philosophy is not true patriotism, which as Mark Twain once said was “love of country at all times, and support of the government when it deserves it.”

  58. First off, I must agree with “Rorschach”. Haha, my friens talk about Rorschach all the time. lol.

    This song does describe the tension that Americans are feeling these days. I absolutely love this song due to that exact fact. I’m angry at the way this country isturning out to be and obviously the write of this song does as well. Probably Toby Keith considering the way he sings it. It’s true “Both ends of the ozone burnin.
    Funny how the world keeps turnin,” global warming is bullshit. I hope Obama hears this song and thinks twice. This song describes Today’s America and it SUCKS.
    I love this song.
    Probp to the Writer AND Toby Keith.
    I love him! ((:

  59. This is another great song by Toby. It was made for him. If you can’t see the humor in it, then you don’t have a sense of humor! The things he says are funny as well as true – like a beauty queen gaining five pounds and losing her crown, and getting plastic surgery to take care of it. “Plasma getting bigger, Jesus getting smaller” is a great line, and more truth. The more materialistic we get, with bigger (plasma) TV’s for example, the more we lose sight of what really matters. This song is a great tongue-in-cheek reflection on what American’s have become!

  60. I really like this song, if only because it sounds so good to my ears. The interesting instrumentals at the beginning and the fiery chorus just plain sound great. The song didn’t really put me in “WTF-limbo”, as Dan calls it, because I was more just enjoying the pleasant ride in my ears.

    However, I just watched the video on Roughstock, and all I have to say is anyone that wasn’t in WTF-limbo from the song will definitely be there after the video. It was very amusing and… completely not typical. I enjoyed it, but it certainly shocked me.

  61. I havent decided yet what I think about this song, but I do find it “different.”
    To me, it just doesn’t sound like anything Toby would sing, so it surprised me.
    Like Cowboy BLue said, I’m hoping it will ‘grow on me’. I’m hoping he has alot of good songs on this new CD.
    I think Toby is just showing his patriotism in some of the songs he writes and sings.
    . Have you heard the song he wrote called
    “Missing Me Some You.” Its one of the most patriotic songs I’ve EVER heard!
    Anyone should be able tio listen to that song and realize how hard it REALLY IS on a soldier away from the woman he loves.

    His last CD is definitely one of my favorite CD’s of all time. It’s also a very bluesy song and I must say that I didnt think Toby had it in him to do something that amazing. Having said that, I’ll say I do love him..LOL)
    I also think that they need to leave him alone and let him write his owns songs!!!

    What about all the other songs on his last album? The only ones I ever hear on the radio is God Love Her and She Never Cried In Front Of Me. I’ve almost worn that CD out because of all the awesome songs on it.

  62. Since Toby is his own boss these days (owning his record label), he has full control over what songs he sings, including whether or not he sings songs that he’s written or songs that others have written. I agree that he’s a talented songwriter for sure.

  63. Chestnut – Toby didn’t write the song, they asked him to sing it and he did. They said he is the only one who could get away with it and he did. Whether you like it or not Toby’s getting talked about and he loves that. Also with the coffee, singing

    SPILL A CUP OF COFEE MAKE $600,000 would sound pretty dumb in a song to keep it going smooth so A MILLION BUCKS just flows better.

    Irrevelant – I am anxious to get his new CD when it comes out in October. He put the song on that he wrote for Wayman Tisdale that he couldn’t sing at his funeral because he said he couldn’t get through it. I also loved hearing him sing Barry White’s song on Wayman’s Rebound CD – NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP. It’s AWESOME.

    I love Toby’s voice, he can sing at so many different levels. In the one song on this CD he has out now he had to sing falsetto (sp) to get it to sound right …. YOU NEVER CUT ME DEEP ENOUGH, he went falsetto on deep and it sounds perfect. (From IT’LL HURT A LOT WORSE WHEN YOU GO).


  64. Jean – True: “$600,000…” doesn’t flow as well. But if the song wants to be taken seriously as social commentary, it should get its facts at least somewhat correct. Good writers should be able to find lyrics that flow well and acurately represent the topic at hand.

  65. You’re right. Leann. I didn’t think about Toby having his own recording label when I wrote that.
    Of course, he has full control over the songs he sings. I’m just sayin’ that cause the new song isnt one one my favorties so I can blame it on the fact that he didnt write it :)

    Toby is THE best!

  66. I also resent the woman “getting her rocks off watching desperate housewives” while the husband is “working his ass off paying for the good life.” Thank you very much this is not 1939. Last time I checked it was 2009, and women have been bringing home the bacon & frying it up for QUITE SOME TIME NOW!

  67. I used to be a big TK fan but his obsession for drinking songs has caused me to lose all respect for him. I realize that drinking songs are big in country music but I believe that TK crossed the line in ’05 with “get drunk and be somebody”. His theme song should be “call me irresponsible” for writing those lyrics. What a terrible message to send by someone in a position to influence many young listeners. The 3rd stanza of the song talks about driving to the bar and drinking all you want. This terrible song was followed shortly after by another keith classic, “gotta get my drink on”. Wonder what M.A.D.D. thinks about Mr. Keith. I stopped buying his cds and when a keith song comes on the radio I immediately change the station. It appears that he will do anything for a buck. As a veteran, it makes be wonder if all his patriotic posturing is genuine.

  68. i dont get what the big deal is. i love this song. yeah, it makes a statement about american culture. but most of its true! wake up call! this is country music, people. if you cant handle statement lyrics, you’re listening to the wrong genre.

  69. I found the video of this song very helpful. Not only does it take a hit at the border issue but several others as well. Donald Trump, the naughty miss americas, it has both Dubya and ‘Bama. It has the pirates issue with three dictators leading the way. The desperate housewives one is pretty good as well. It came off to me that momma is watching this show wishing her house and her man looked like what is on the tv. The daddy working his can off, again imo, refers to the long hours, short pay, and loads of stress that comes from working your tail off. The plasma vs jesus issue, as someone has already stated, is materialism and consumerism vs religion and spiritualism. But really check out the video, if you like the song or not, it should get a chuckle out of you.

  70. The whole point of this song is to show that not every American agrees with the people who misuse the freedoms and opportunities we have in this country. A lot of the world dislikes Americans for the reasons that are pointed out in this song. The lawsuits, the undeserving big money contracts and so on. But they dont put down those poeple specifically, they put down the whole country for those actions. And this song shows, at least to me, that those people are the minority and dont represent the country as a whole. So basically, people should criticize those who commit these actions as opposed to assuming that the whole country joins in or even supports those things. God Bless America, and God Bless Toby Keith.

  71. Ok so I’ve read over half the comments and I’ve had about all I can stand. So I’m from the South and proud of it; call me biased if you want to, I don’t care. I know what I stand for and support this song 100%. Toby has always been a patriotic person & has sung some of the best songs. For all those who think this song doesn’t make sense, well guess what? It describes our country to a T and our country doesn’t make sense, the way I see it. We’ve gotten so far away from what this country was based on that it’s become so hectic. Illegal immigrants and the gas line? Yes it maybe cheaper now than it was last year but were still paying more for it than the oil companies are. Christ has been taken out of Christmas therefore it’s become a social no-no to sing anything that might be spiritual. The whole global warming thing has been blown completely out of proportion. It’s been going on how long now and life’s still going on. The “no hands” can have many meanings. Which is how a good song should be written so different people can interpret it in their own ways, but I believe it simply means, like K3 says, that “we’re headed for the ditch and no one is steering.” No one will stand up and say that this world is headed for a crash (except obviously Toby) because they are afraid of getting ridiculed, just like ya’ll are doing him. This is where the mean girls line comes in. Our world teaches children, not just girls, that the meaner you are, the more you will get. Take kids becoming spoiled brats because they pitch a fit and get what they want. It’s not just talking about girls; it is simply using a reference to the movie. Which is also another thing good songs do. And it’s not saying that women are lazy and just sit at home watching TV; it means that women nowadays want their life to be like a soap opera, with soap opera guys and big diamond rings. But the guy is having to work overtime trying to keep up with what she wants because our economy royally sucks. (Check out John Rich’s song “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” and it’ll explain that) And kid’s are learning morals and values from TV and the internet rather than parents teaching them like they’re suppose to. Miss America lost her crown because she gained 5 pounds. This is completely ridiculous, but it’s sad that this is the way our society is. It shouldn’t matter how small you are, and that’s the problem these days. All these models and emphasis placed on being super skinny, it’s no wonder that girls these days have eating disorders and feel disgusted with themselves. So what better way to get yourself skinny again but a “quick fix plastic surgery”? This has seemed to me to become a big industry that only provides unrealistic expectations to normal women. Playboy, Victoria’s Secrets…we ‘normal’ women feel inferior to these women because we don’t look like that, and while our men drool over them, we sit there and wish we could look like that so maybe they might pay attention to us. And like someone said before, we will just give anyone who might have a name a record deal even if they can’t sing worth a dime. As mentioned before TV’s become bigger and we’ve forgotten about Jesus. And he maybe referring to the McDonald’s instance and he may not, you would just have to ask him. Whichever way though I believe he is just making reference to the ridiculous lawsuits going on these days. Let’s just say for instance, however, that he is referring to the prior insident. It’s coffee people. Honestly, how many of ya’ll want cold coffee?? How many of us are 5 and don’t know that coffee is HOT regardless of how hot? If you don’t know this simple fact, in my opinion you shouldn’t be on the road driving. And the reference to $1 million dollars is nothing more than a hyperbole(another one of those elements of creative writing, which is what songs are…really? did any of ya’ll pay attention in English class?) The aerosol can. Hairspray, for example, comes in an aerosol can, but I can’t take that on an airplane because it can be made into a bomb. Which I find dumb really. I’m going to be flying to New York in March and I’m going to have to leave half my cosmetic and hygiene products at home. So this may come as a wake-up call or slap in the face for some of you liberals who can’t see what’s going on in our land of the free and home of the brave. But any true raised Southern American would understand exactly what this song means. It is no more than a narrative of the typical American day. So live it, love it, ridicule it, or embrace it. Whatever you do this is “the American Ride…That’s us! That’s right!!”

    God Bless America & a big “Hooah” to Toby Keith for telling it like it is!!

  72. Dancergirl09 makes a lot of dubious points.

    E.g., referring to the McDonald’s coffee case/ “Its coffee people. Honestly, how many of ya’ll want cold coffee?? How many of us are 5 and don’t know that coffee is HOT regardless of how hot?”

    The choice wasn’t between cold coffee and hot coffee. The choice was between hot coffee that, if spilled, could result in serious burns, and coffee a few degrees cooler, that if spilled, would probably not result in such disaster.

    Nor is the issue whether people “are 5 and don’t know that coffee is HOT…” Everyone knows that. But accidents happen, even to the most careful people. So the issue is: if McDonalds knows that accidents will happen (even to people who take care), and if McDonalds can reduce the severity of those accidents by turning the heat down 2 or 3 or so degrees, should it be required to do so or face liability when accidents happen?

    Moreover, “And the reference to $1 million dollars is nothing more than a hyperbole(another one of those elements of creative writing, which is what songs are…really? did any of ya’ll pay attention in English class?)”

    But many people – perhaps most people who hear the song – won’t recognize it as hyperbole. So its of dubious merit. Moreover, though hyperbole is appropriate in some situations, there is a fine line between hyperbole and making inappropriate or inaccurate claims.

    But even ignoring the hyperbole issue, the other problem is Toby mentions this sort of incident, seems to view it negatively, and offers absolutely no thoughtful commentary on why it represents some sort of problem, whether it was an isolated incident or part of a trend, et cetera. The song is thoughtless, even if you ultimately agree with Toby on these issues (though its not always clear where Toby stands).

  73. My boyfriend and I have been discussing the song “American Ride” for the past month. First we thought it was criticizing the USA, then we thought it was almost an middle finger jab to the resto of the world – saying we are all ignorant (*& and proud of it. Of course we are proud that freedom of speech gives TK the right to do that, but we were surprised that people wanted to hear it. Today, my bf said he thought it was commentary not on the american people, but the american media circus that makes non-stories into huge events while ignoring what american life is really like. Does anyone know if TK or the writer has clarified the song? The controversy might do more for sales, but if I were an artist I’d want to make sure people knew what my point really was. What do you think of my bfs idea that TK and the writer are angry at the way the media presents our nation, rather than our nation itself.
    It doesn’t rank up with “We didn’t start the fire” which at least made us think of the events leading up to that generation’s concerns. It reminds me a bit of “American Woman” which I didn’t realize was a Canadian band which hated the US’s attitude in international relations and is now played almost as if it is patriotic! LOL
    I know some conservative Marines that won’t be buying Toby Keith, EVER. . . but they’ll protect his right to sing it.

  74. Anybody who doesn’t understand this song is very ignorant. If you actually listened to the song instead of just saying “I don’t like it” like a two year old, you would understand! People like you are the reason they had enough ideas to write this song!

  75. the thing about this song (I know its an old thread) is that it was written in 2005-2006 so it sounds weird. Most of the events referenced in the song happened in 2003-2006. Toby Keith is not the writer and it must be an old song.

  76. I’m 15 years old, and i’m pretty sure I even got the message the song was giving us. America isn’t as great as everybody cracks it up to be. When he says “that’s us, that’s right! Gotta love the american ride!” he’s being sarcastic. Everybody walks arounnd with there head up there butt thinking america is the “blessed” country. Honestly? Arogant much? Not to mention, we look pretty helpless right now. When he says “look ma! no hands!” he’s meaning people in america are so careless. We’re selfish and we really do believe that we’re all going to heaven because we’re AMERICAN! Yeah, that’s pretty mature. Not trying to russle any feathers here, but i love the song. I think it’s a well needed wake up call that ALL of us americans need to take to heart. I love Toby!

  77. All of you liberals on here make me sick. A lot of people think this, he just has the guts to sing it. The writer of this article SUCKS. You wimps should go listen to some Justin Bieber and leave the country music to the real Americans.

  78. All of you liberals on here make me sick. A lot of people think this, he just has the guts to sing it. The writer of this article SUCKS. You wimps should go listen to some Justin Bieber and leave the country music to the real Americans.

    What a shining example of diplomacy and maturity.

    I thought the review was dead-on.

  79. I think the meaning of the song really comes out in his music video. Every lyric has a meaning to it. It’s all about mocking corporate America and how it has affected the average person. A lot of it is showing wall st and the high-ups in government working together and how they control our perspectives.

  80. m.a.r., because they criticized the song, they are wimps who are un-American?

    Anyways, the song is catchy, but very ridiculous in my opinion. I just can’t get over the expression “Hot dog! Hot damn!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.