Americans have been singing a number of songs throughout the years that have become popular around the world. Whether you’re American or not, these songs are sure to make you proud. They tell a story about America and its people, what it is to be an American. From “America the Beautiful” to “Party in the U.S.A.”, these songs are the soundtrack of our country.
We need to pay attention to them, sing them, and learn from them. Here are the America Songs that have brought a lot of joy and happiness to people across the world.
Best America Songs of All Time
- “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen
An iconic American anthem that captures the essence of the American working-class experience. With its powerful lyrics and rock-infused melody, it resonates deeply with listeners, evoking a sense of pride and reflection on the complexities of the American dream and the sacrifices made by those who call the USA their home. It’s undeniably one of the best American songs, celebrating the spirit and struggles of the nation.
- “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key
A timeless American classic that serves as the country’s national anthem. Its stirring lyrics and melodic composition have united Americans for generations, symbolizing the resilience, courage, and enduring spirit of the nation. As one of the best American songs, it instills a deep sense of patriotism and pride, reminding us of the sacrifices made to protect freedom and democracy under the stars and stripes.
- “America the Beautiful” by Ray Charles
A patriotic musical hallmark from the early 1900s, there were many versions of it. The best recording, however, is by far the one made by the great Charles in 1972, and one that had chart success four years later during the bicentennial. As with just about everything Charles played or sang, he delivered a passionate, soulful performance that all Americans can appreciate.
- “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood
Clearly, greenwood loves his country, and this song was written in 1983 as a patriotic tribute. The song never became a big hit, but quickly became a signature song of Greenwood’s. In 1991, when the US went to war with Iraq, it became popular again after many conservative politicians, including George Bush, used it during their campaigns. As patriotism became a priority in America after September 11, 2001, the song received a lot of airplay.
- “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
It is the perfect mashup of good music and good times. As Cyrus’ career as an entertainer took off, the song reflects at least partially her move from Nashville to Hollywood. There is nothing particularly patriotic about Millennial Life for It is just an all-American celebration of how much fun it is.
- “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie
There is no doubt that Guthrie’s classic is one of the greatest folk songs ever written. Guthrie’s song was his disapproval of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” In his travels across the country, he brought his perspective to the state of America at the time – that perhaps not everyone loved it or that our promises were not kept. Bruce Springsteen’s live version of this legendary track from 1985 is one of the best.
- “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and the Papas
A song about America doesn’t have to focus on the whole nation; simply a region, state or town in this great nation can be celebrated. When the weather back East is cold, it’s the perfect time to long for the warm California sun. The Mamas and the Papas told us that.
- “American Soldier” by Toby Keith
In his songs and records, country singer-songwriter Toby Keith never fails to express his love of America and its military. His intention was to write a song that honors and celebrates “the American fighting men and women” who’ve left their hometowns and loved ones for the same sense of duty that has driven soldiers for generations.
- “Only in America” by Brooks & Dunn
Less than three months before the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, Brooks & Dunn recorded and released the patriotic “Only in America.” And with its opening verse, “Sun coming’ up over New York City. School bus driver in a traffic jam. Staring out at the faces in a rear-view mirror. Lookin’ at the promise of the Promised Land,” the song quickly grew as an unofficial anthem of healing, not only for the city but for the whole country.
- “The Times They Are a-Changin'” by Bob Dylan
Dylan challenges the status quo and asks for a change at a time when politics and civil rights were connected. It was considered the quintessential protest song in a lot of ways, as it introduced the trend of artists using their platform to voice their opinions about a country that wasn’t perfect.
- “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)” by Toby Keith
Keith said he wrote the song “on the back of a Fantasy Football sheet that was laying there,” and it only took him about twenty minutes to do so. While thinking about how his father would have reacted to the terrorist attack, he felt inspired. Keith’s father is also a veteran of the US Army.
- “America” by Neil Diamond
“The Jazz Singer” soundtrack features Diamond singing about immigrants making their way to America, where, theoretically, dreams come true and freedom is achieved. Of course, under the current American leadership, better have all the necessary paperwork done before “coming to America.” It was a long-time favorite at Diamond concerts, and it is a patriotic song well done.
- “In America” by Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels wrote “In America” in response to the many challenging issues America faced throughout the 1970s, including the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, the never-ending double-digit inflation, job loss, prime interest rates, and even the Iran Hostage Crisis that occurred in 1979 through 1981. Although the country faced many problems, the song described America as patriotic and united, capable of overcoming obstacles and restoring its greatness.
- “Abraham, Martin, and John” by Dion
It pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy – three assassinated public figures of the United States. In addition to being written by Dick Holler and first recorded by Dion (in his Dion and the Belmonts role), the song serves to honor these fallen leaders and to assure that the work being done for social change in the U.S. will live on.
- “Ragged Old Flag” by Johnny Cash
“Ragged Old Flag” became extremely popular with Johnny Cash fans and was a staple at every performance. In writing the song, he wanted to reaffirm faith in the country and the goodness of its people.
- “American Girl” by Tom Petty
A Petty favorite, and the last song the Heartbreakers played live with him before his untimely death in 2017. He has denied that the song refers to a girl contemplating jumping off a building in his home state of Florida, but rather to a young, American woman searching for something bigger and better. All of us – regardless of gender – have dealt with that at some point in our lives.
- “America” by Waylon Jennings
Throughout the song, Americans are urged to feel brotherhood towards one another. “It doesn’t matter where I may roam. Tell you, people, that it’s a home sweet home. America, America,” the song goes.
- “America” by Simon & Garfunkel
A tale about a couple hitchhiking across the country is one of the duo’s most memorable works. In the land where that is allowed and enjoyed, they are trying to find a sense of freedom. A track of this subtly and pace can be easily heard while in the backseat of a car while looking out the window on a journey of self-discovery.
- “American Saturday Night” by Brad Paisley
In a recent interview, Paisley told Billboard magazine that this sing-along anthem is about what happens on a weekend in our country, under the guise of the melting pot and how nothing is original here.
- “We’re an American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad
The biggest hit of Grand Funk is actually a defensive hit. On the hard rock/arena rock side, the English had plenty of momentum (e.g. Led Zeppelin) after the British Invasion of popular music had passed. It was Grand Funk’s belief that American rock was still alive and well – and the band was elated to be touring the country with some quality rock ‘n’ roll! Keeping in mind the great American rockers who have inspired such bands over the years.
- “American Kids” by Kenny Chesney
Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, and Shane McAnally wrote “American Kids” to celebrate the spirit of young people across the country.
- “American Pie” by Don McLean
With an overall length of about eight minutes and fifteen seconds, McLean’s masterpiece is similar in quality to a motion picture. As a result of the plane crash that killed three rock icons, including Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, a popular song has been written about the loss of American innocence. Neither patriotic nor controversial, it just seems to sum up life in America, the highs and lows alike.
- “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly” by Aaron Tippin
The song was released less than a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US and was one of many country songs that addressed the tragedy. The song was recorded on September 13 and released four days later. Proceeds from the song were all donated to the Red Cross and its relief operations for the families affected by the terrorist attacks.
- “Man in Black” by Johnny Cash
One of the most personal songs of the legend, and his most anti-establishment song. We Americans have the right to question the way things are done. Cash criticizes the treatment of the poor across the country, the prison system and even the Vietnam War. Give a listen to this song if anybody is curious about why Johnny Cash favored the color black.
- “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
Denver’s signature tune is also one of the state songs of West Virginia and is a true piece of art. According to legend, co-writer Bill Danoff, a native of Massachusetts, came up with the idea while driving along a rural road, not in West Virginia.
- “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood
The great land of ours – also known as ‘Merica – has been praised in countless country songs. In terms of early-80s classics, Greenwood’s belongs at the top. During the Gulf War and again following 9/11, it received a huge surge in popularity. It’s the most patriotic song ever written and it’s as red-blooded as they come.
- “Living in America” by James Brown
Those who have seen “Rocky IV” will never forget the song’s presence prior to Apollo Creed facing the brutal Ivan Drago from Russia. Considering the Cold War era of the 1980s, it was fair game for movies. Comparatively, this unabashed celebration of America and its freedom stood out like the stars and stripes on the flag.
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These songs have captured just how glorious and powerful our country is. The intended effect of these songs is to remind people of the importance of having deep patriotism and love for this great country.
Music is universal and one of the most powerful social mediators in any culture- so take a moment to listen to these America Songs that are sure to make you smile!
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