My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

But are they any good?

waylon1This review by the fabulous Jim Malec over at the9513 and the ensuing comments got me to thinking about how patriotic songs are received by the general listening public. There is of course that portion of the population who are going to love anything mildly patriotic and pull the little flag out of their back pocket and begin waving it to the beat. Kudos to them. On the opposite side of that, we have listeners who have been disenchanted with the American machine and are going to immediately despise and dismiss these songs. Then, there more sensible music listeners who will listen intenly to the song and then decide whether it’s good or bad. Simple enough, right?

And I think there are some songs that have gotten it right over the years. Someone pointed out Waylon Jennings’ ‘America’, and I think that’s a fine choice – and here’s why: Unlike the laundry list of items in the Atkins tune, Jennings actually has something to say about America and why he loves it.

And my brothers are all black and white, yellow too
And the red man is right, to expect a little from you
Promise and then follow through, America

And the men, who fell on the plains
And lived, through hardship and pain
America, America
And the men who could not fight
In a war that didn’t seem right
You let them come home, America

It just sounds like more thought went into those lyrics than:

Cause it’s a kid with a chance
It’s a rock n roll band
It’s a farmer cuttin’ hay

Are you a fan of patriotic songs? Why or why not? And what flag-waving songs do you think got it right?

Listen to Waylon Jennings –  America on Last FM.

2 responses to “But are they any good?

  1. Rainbow December 12, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I tend to despise the patriotic songs, particularly the Rodney song. They tend to make a statement saying “my country is the best, end of discussion”. I do like the Waylon song however, because it is one of the more sensible ones.

  2. CMW December 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I don’t hate America or anything (quite the opposite, in fact), but it seems like we’ve been deluged with patriotic songs in the past few years. Because of that context, my immediate visceral response now is to dislike them. Some I end up liking, others I don’t… but all of them start out in the ‘dislike’ column and have to win me over, not the other way around.

    Waylon’s “America” is definitely a great one.

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