Top 10 Most Patriotic American Songs

Script written by Sadie Perkins These are the tunes that have sung the praises of the red, white and blue and inspire a flash of patriotic pride whenever they’re played. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most American Patriotic Songs. For this list, we’re looking at the most iconic songs ever written that celebrate the United States of America and its culture. We’ve also decided to exclude “The Star Spangled Banner”. Special thanks to our user Mitch Deans for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Patriotic+American+Songs
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Top 10 Most American Patriotic Songs


These are the tunes that have sung the praises of the red, white and blue and inspire a flash of patriotic pride whenever they’re played. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most American Patriotic Songs.

For this list, we’re looking at the most iconic songs ever written that celebrate the United States of America and its culture. We’ve also decided to exclude “The Star Spangled Banner”.





#10: “Living in America” (1985)
James Brown

When Apollo Creed uses a tune as an entrance song, you know it’s going to be an American classic. In “Living in America,” James Brown sings about the universal American experience - the day to day fixtures and commonalities of life in this interconnected nation, from “All night diners keep[ing] you awake on black coffee” to the superhighways that span from coast to coast. A song celebrating the opportunities and challenges that all Americans face together, “Living in America” was a lyrical hat-tip to the country that offered the prospect of the good life to those who were working overtime to try and achieve it.
 

#9: “An American Trilogy” (1972)
Elvis Presley

A mashup of three songs, ranging from the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy, an African-American folk lullaby, and the Union’s Battle Hymn of the Republic, “An American Trilogy” brought together music from every angle of the USA - and no one performed it better than the King. Making the song famous while crooning on the shores of Hawaii, Presley sang about his homeland in the Southern U.S. and the prospect of a brighter future, singing that “all my trials, Lord will soon be over”. No matter where in the US of A the listener is from, we can all relate to that little tug of homesickness when we’re away.
 

#8: “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984)
Bruce Springsteen


Sometimes, showing love for your country means pointing out its flaws. A song often misinterpreted as nothing but patriotic boasting, Springsteen’s lyrics actually tell a sad story about the troubled years during and after the Vietnam War. Disheartened by the poor quality of life many veterans experienced upon returning home, the singer paints a bleak picture of the reception blue collared workers received, and the pervasive sense of cultural defeat and hopelessness that spread across the nation. A song about a turbulent chapter in American history, “Born in the U.S.A.” serves as a reminder not to turn a blind eye to the suffering of fellow countrymen.
 

#7: “This Land is Your Land” (1945)
Woody Guthrie

There’s no denying it - America is home to some of the most beautiful natural sights on Earth. Praising these various landscapes, Guthrie’s tribute to the countryside of the USA reminds listeners that the wonders he sees should be appreciated and enjoyed by all. From lush forests to endless golden wheat fields, there’s defiance in Guthrie's voice as he overcomes No Trespassing signs and proclaims that “nobody living” will ever stop him from seeing the land he has a right to experience. With so many breathtaking sights to take in, it would be a shame to ignore the songs advice and not take in as much as we can.

#6: “Only in America” (2001)
Brooks & Dunn

One of the things that makes America so great is the diverse patchwork of people living in it. From a school bus driver to the kids on the bus, to wannabe rockstars and newlyweds, they’re all united under the American dream. One child is “dreaming of fame and fortune”, while another is just trying to help “pay the rent”, but there’s no limits placed on what all these characters might achieve in their lives. It’s a proud reminder that no matter where you’re from or who you are, everybody’s free to chase their own version of the American dream.
 

#5: “America” (1968)
Simon and Garfunkel

The quintessential cross-country American road trip is one of the first images that comes to mind for many when they picture the land of the free. Telling the story of two lovers travelling the country in search of the idea of “America”, the song follows them from Pittsburgh to New Jersey. As the narrator looks out and sees the rest of the cars crowding the turnpike however, he realises that America is a concept that each and every one of us is looking for. Be it the soundtrack to a road trip or a backyard barbecue, our endless search to define American identity echoes in each line of this timeless song.



#4: “America the Beautiful” (1892)
Katharine Lee Bates & Samuel A. Ward

The oldest song on our list, “America the Beautiful” was originally written as a poem celebrating the trials and tribulations of America’s settlers and soldiers, as well as the stunning natural beauty of the country. The tune praises the pilgrims who first arrived and laid the foundations for freedom, along with the soldiers who loved their country enough to lay down their lives to defend it. One of the most famous American ballads of all time, its rallying cry of “America! America!” is sure to get that patriotic fervour pumping. Performed at Super Bowls and Obama’s inauguration, “America the Beautiful” is about as American a song as you can find.

 


#3: “America” (1981)
Neil Diamond

It’s not easy to pack up your life in a suitcase and move to another country - but sometimes it’s worth it. Celebrating newcomers arriving on the shores of America, Neil Diamond’s song explores the hope and fear that comes with chasing the American dream. Set to an optimistic and uplifting tune, it tells the story of immigrants coming on “boats and… planes,” dreaming of the freedom and opportunity that will greet them once they step foot on the shores of their new home. It reminds us that though they may be newcomers, these one-day citizens have as much love for this country they’ve come to as those who have been Americans for generations.



#2: “God Bless America” (1918)
Irving Berlin 

One of the most famous American hymns of patriotism, this prayer set to music has been played at baseball games, hockey nights, football championships, speedway events, and a plethora of other classic American get-togethers. Originally written by Irving Berlin in 1918 but famously recorded by many artists including Kate Smith, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion and Daniel Rodriguez, the song is both a tribute to God’s watch over the country and a prayer that he continue to do so. As you hear each line recited with passion and pride, it’s hard not to feel a rush of affection for the nation and sing along.



Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.
 
“Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly” (2001)
Aaron Tippin
 


“American Soldier” (2003)
Toby Keith




“We're an American Band” (1973)
Grand Funk Railroad



 #1: “God Bless the USA” (1984)

Lee Greenwood

The unofficial anthem of patriotic pride in the United States, Greenwood’s hit has sold over a million copies in the States alone. Used as a rally song for Ronald Reagan, and to boost morale during the Gulf War, as well as re-surging on the charts after the September 11th attacks, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the assassination of Osama bin Laden, “God Bless the USA” has served its country on every occasion that Americans needed a little boost of patriotism. A ballad that celebrates every aspect of being American, it’s a tune that demands to be turned up a little louder when the stars and stripes are flying.

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