When Lee Greenwood released his ultra patriotic anthem "God Bless The U.S.A." in 1984, songwriters, for some reason, didn't throw in the towel and acknowledge that there was no way they could top Greenwood's piece of musical majesty.
The song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart when it was released, and gained even more prominence during the first Gulf War and after 9/11, when I am told middle schoolers were taught the song as a means to display their patriotism. (Side note: I have co-workers who were in middle school during 9/11.)
But in the 31 years that have passed since Greenwood gifted America with his signature diddy, one thing remains clear. No greater song has ever been written about the United States of America. Suck it, Francis Scott Key. Here are five reasons why.
1. Even With All of America's Problems, This Song Makes You Love The Shit Out Of America.
We have a deeply divided political party system that threatens to tear this country apart. Despite all the divisiveness, one listen to this song makes you believe again that the United States of America is the greatest damn country in the world, despite all its problems.
2. It Gives You A Geography Lesson.
Did you know that Minnesota has lakes or Tennessee has hills? You do now, and it's because of this song.
3. It Promotes Calisthenics.
The song commands you to stand up, and not just stand up, but stand up for America. That is a hell of a lot more inspirational than Sit and Be Fit.
4. It's A Country Song, One Of The Most American Of Music Genres
Few genres of music can truly be called American. There's jazz, hip-hop, and of course country, which is terrible as of late, but this song was released when country music was actually good.
5. It Gives You Feels
If you don't feel something while listening, to "God Bless The U.S.A." either you are a member of ISIS. or you have no soul.
This 4th of July, be sure to choke on your tears and not on your hot dog, and give this song a listen. It's your patriotic duty.
Support Local Journalism. Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.