THE TOP ‘MOST PATRIOTIC’ COUNTRY SONGS–WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE? by CHERYL PIERSON

 

Summer seems like the most patriotic time of the year in general, doesn’t it? We kick off the summer months with Memorial Day in May. Poppies are worn in remembrance of veterans on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day in November.

On June 6, we are reminded of the sacrifices made on a faraway beach in Normandy that resulted in many deaths in WWII, but turned the tide for the Allies and helped us gain victory. June 14th is Flag Day, a fine “tune up” for our huge 4th of July celebration that’s right around the corner.

Is anyone more patriotic than a cowboy? I don’t think so!  So many country and western songs have been written through the years that are a tribute to not only our troops, but to first responders, and to all the “regular” American people who love our country.

Here is my list of top country and western patriotic songs, compiled from several on the internet—all different, but all wonderful—and all with one thing in common: our love for our country. These are in no particular order. I don’t know how anyone could choose one over the other since they all are products of excellent songwriting and musicianship—and heartfelt sentiments about America! And goodness knows, I didn’t list them all here—no room! Like I said, there are a lot of patriots in the country music field, and a huge number of songs to listen to in order to get in the patriotic spirit of things! I’ve included the youtube links in case you want to pop over and give these a listen!

This first one is an odd one, but I just love it. It was recorded by David Ball, who didn’t have that many hits, but this one will stay in your memory when you hear it for the very first time. I get chills every single time I hear it.  A young man buys a ’66 Corvette and discovers a letter in the glove box “My name is Private Andrew Malone, and if you’re reading this I didn’t make it home…” Which always makes me think about so many young men who could have written this following line…“For every dream that’s shattered, another one comes true…”  It’s called RIDING WITH PRIVATE MALONE and it has a very twisty ending you’re sure to love!

 

https://youtu.be/v5dyHPX8Cos

 

Probably the most recognized country song that many call our “unofficial” American anthem was written and performed by Lee GreenwoodGOD BLESS THE U.S.A. Written in 1983, it’s become synonymous with patriotism, and is loved by countless Americans, whether they are typical country and western fans or not. Its simple message is one that grabs you and holds on, and I have to admit, that even after nearly 40 years of hearing it, I still get teary! “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me—so I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, for there ain’t no doubt I love this land—God Bless the U.S.A.!”

 

https://youtu.be/yH61hFsma24

 

Another “oldie but goodie” is Merle Haggard’s THE FIGHTIN’ SIDE OF ME, written in 1970. Oh, goodness. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard my husband play and sing that back when we used to have our band…fond memories, and it was a song that was a frequent request, whether we lived in West Virginia or here in Oklahoma. “If you don’t love it, leave it, let this song that I’m singin’ be a warnin’—when you’re runnin’ down my country, hoss, you’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me…” I love the sentiment of this song. In true “Merle” fashion, he’s saying that we can disagree on things without trashing our country. I think everyone in the audiences we played to knew the words to this song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIxBmyRQlwQ

 

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING? is not a “patriotic” song in the way we’d normally think of one, but it was not written during normal times. Penned by Alan Jackson in 2002 after the horrific events of  9/11/01, this song is packed with emotion and validates the many thoughts and feelings that Americans went through during the aftermath of that day. Each chorus of this song ends with the reminder that God’s greatest gift to us is love—even though we were going through some horrendous times. This song was nothing short of a masterpiece that drew Americans together, gave us hope, and let us know we were not alone in our feelings.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNsfx_4k-JA

 

In 1974, Johnny Cash wrote RAGGED OLD FLAG, a recitation about all the incidents that happened to “the ragged old flag” that hangs in a little town’s courthouse square as told to a town newcomer by one of the old men who lives there. “She’s been through the fire before, and she can take a whole lot more…on second thought, I guess I do like to brag, cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KqrjeScLSI

8TH OF NOVEMBER, another patriotic song written about the Vietnam war, is performed by Big and Rich. It is the true story of a terrible battle in which the 173rd Airborne was engaged. That day, 48 Americans died with very few survivors when they were ambushed by 1200 Viet Cong. “With the fire rainin’ down and the hell all around there were few men left standin’ that day…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozpdBvB0hek

 

 

 

There are countless others, in case you want to put together a country and western playlist for your big Independence Day shindig! Take a look!

SOME GAVE ALL by Billy Ray Cyrus

LETTERS FROM HOME by John Michael Montgomery

HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN? by Darryl Worley

IF YOU’RE READING THIS by Tim McGraw

HOME by Dierks Bentley

I DRIVE YOUR TRUCK by Lee Brice

FOR YOU by Keith Urban

IT’S AMERICA by Rodney Atkins

FLYOVER STATES by Jason Aldean

COURTESY OF THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE (THE ANGRY AMERICAN) by Toby Keith

WHERE THE STARS AND STRIPES AND THE EAGLE FLY by Aaron Tippin

AMERICAN SOLDIER by Toby Keith

THE BALLAD OF IRA HAYES by Johnny Cash

This isn’t all of them, either! Hope you all have a very happy 4th of July with family, friends, and loved ones. What’s your favorite country and western patriotic song, and why? It’s hard to pick just one!  

Cheryl Pierson
A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
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50 Comments

  1. True I could not pick just one, some of them are my favorites.

    1. Kim, I totally agree! Much too hard to single out just one!

  2. You picked many of my favorites.
    Everyone I thought of you listed.
    So I’m go with God Bless America And the best one of all
    Our National Anthem.

    1. Oh, yes! I love God Bless the U.S.A.–I get teary every time I hear it, even now. I don’t know how he sings that every time without bawling! LOL Thanks for stoppng by Tonya!

  3. You have my favorite listed. I also like The Green Beret.

      1. Marina, I love them all too. They’re all just wonderful in their own way–that’s what makes a song unique and special, just like a book, right? So many different ways to love them! LOL

    1. Well, now Debra, you’ve got me wondering what your favorite is! LOL I love them all, and there were some I didn’t list but are just as good. I just didn’t want to make the post too long!

  4. Onward Christian Soldiers was an anthem when I was in my youth that was played as we marched into church when vacation Bible began each year. I still enjoy playing it on the piano. God Bless the USA sung by Lee Greenwood is awesome too. I would a have a hard time deciding on one song in particular. America the Beautiful stirs me to attention and reverence our great God and freedom in our homeland.

    1. Hi Kathy, oh, yes, if you open it up to ALL the patriotic songs out there, there are so many, aren’t there? So many wonderful ones! I always loved Onward, Christian Soldiers, too, and also loved playing it on the piano. God Bless the U.S.A. is wonderful, isn’t it?

      1. I am proud to be an American. Yes, it is wonderful!

        1. I am too, Kathy!

  5. Thank you Cheryl for the list. I haven’t heard many of them but I will be checking them all out. I’m going to say God Bless America.

    1. Carol, I hope you will check out Ridin’ With Private Malone, for sure. I think it’s the writer in me that just loves the way it ends. LOL

  6. All of the songs listed are so good. I wouldn’t be able to pick just one. Every time I hear Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning always makes me cry because it brings back those memories. I was at work and the factory had sold. It was just me and the shop foreman working that day, me answering the phone and him waiting for the trucks coming to pick up the equipment. I brought my tv to pass time since my computer had already been packed up. I turned it on at the very beginning as the news was covering the attack. We both sat there in shock watching in fear of what would happen next.

    1. Janine, I hear ya! I can’t pick just one, either, truthfully, and there are so many I didn’t even list all of them! SO MANY! And they’re all good.

      Yes, Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning is a MASTERPIECE, in my opinion. Alan Jackson is so talented and was able to somehow put the feelings of an entire nation into a song, and that is probably one of the very toughest things to do in any type of song, much less one that addressed 9/11.

      My son was in middle school and we were getting ready to leave–I was taking him to school–and that was on the news. I tell you, after living through the Murrah Building Bombing just 6 years earlier, I debated about whether or not to even take him to school that day, and wondered if I should go pick up my daughter at the highschool. The only thing that could compare to that day was Dec. 7, 1941, in my opinion, as far as how something affected our nation. Sure made us all forget our own differences and remember we were first and foremost Americans, didn’t it?

      1. I probably would have kept my kid home and held him tight that day. It as a tough one. I can see how the Murrah Building bombing would be on your mind that day too. This world we live in sure can be scary, but we have to remain as strong as we can for our future generations.

        1. So true, Janine. I ended up leaving work early the day the Murrah Building was bombed. My husband worked for the FAA at the time, and my little boy was at preschool at the FAA facility. We didn’t know if they were targeting government installations or what, and since hubby had been in special ops during Vietnam, they asked him and several others to go through the buildings to check for bombs, etc. as a precaution. So Casey, my son, was out at the daycare in the care of other workers and no one was being allowed to come into the grounds out there. I went and picked my daughter up from school and tried to put on a brave face for her until Gary came home with Casey–all safe and sound, but those were some anxious hours.

  7. It would be hard to pick just one and your list covers a lot of my favorites, thanks so much for sharing the list with us.

    1. Quilt Lady, this was a fun post to put together. I really did enjoy looking at all the lists and compiling my own. There are some AWESOME songs out there, and I’m always amazed at how much talent there is walking around in the world, to be able to write lyrics and the perfect music for them to make them such memorable songs. So glad you enjoyed it1

  8. I like all of the songs listed, but God Bless The USA is my favorite. Also like Ballad of the Green Beret by Sgt. Barry Sadler.

    1. Oh, yes, that was a great one, Estella. My mom always loved that song!

  9. Avatar

    God Bless the U.S.A. is my favorite, I feel it deep in my soul and get goosebumps every time I hear it. Here’s a few you didn’t list…

    1. America Will Always Stand by Randy Travis
    2. America Will Survive by Hank Williams Jr.
    3. God Bless America
    4. Home by Dierks Bentley

    Have a great 4th of July and summer! Great blog

    1. Hey Stephanie! Oh, those are all good ones, too. I didn’t list them all because I just didn’t want the post to be too long, but there are many others out there that were listed on other people’s compilations, too. These are all good ones, too–so many great patriotic songs out there, aren’t there? I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July, my friend! So glad you enjoyed the post!

  10. When I was a kid they use to sing “God Bless America” everynight before the tv stations ended for the day at midnight. So being the TV person I was I watched and listened to it every night I babysat for these particular family. You were guaranteed extra cash for staying there past midnight without complaining. So I got familiar with the song @God Bless America.” Cause afterwards all that was on was the radio. At 1 o’clock in the morning you didn’t have much of a choice.

    1. Pauline, what a great memory! I remember where I lived they played the national anthem at 12:00 when the stations went off the air. Now…it’s 24/7 tv–they NEVER go off the air. LOL I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July! I am smiling remembering all those summer nights I’d fall asleep in front of the tv and wake up to the national anthem and then that BEEEEEEEEEEEPP tone. LOL

  11. What a fabulous list of the best songs to show our love for our country! God Bless America is a great song.

    1. Hi Melanie, oh, yes, I love God Bless America. My list would have been so incredibly never-ending if I’d included all the patriotic songs out there so I tried to just limit it to the “top” country and western ones. There are SO many good ones, though! I was just thinking about when I was in band in high school, all the marches we learned to play –and some of those even had words to them! Thanks so much for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  12. That is a wonderful list! I have heard most of them and love the Private Malone one. All of them are really good.

    1. Susan, I think the Private Malone song is one of my favorites just because of the way it all comes together. I love the story he tells about how he got the car, etc., and then what happens at the very end. It is incredibly tough to write an entire story in 3 or 4 verses. I think that’s harder than writing and entire book, and making it come out just right. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  13. Cheryl, what a patriotic blog! I also am a deep believer, being born and raised in Texas, that we’re very patriotic in our songs (especially C&W), but seeing them listed made chills run up and down my spine. Thank to you for kicking off our Stripes and Spurs week with such a great blog. Thanks, my friend, and a big Texas hug to my Okie friend.

    1. Phyliss it’s my pleasure to kick off our special week, and what better way to do it than with SONG! LOL So many wonderful pieces of music–they are truly treasures for us all to enjoy again and again. Hugs, girl! Hope you have a very happy 4th!

  14. Welcome Cheryl. This is a wonderful list of songs. Some I dont remember, and others I remember well. I loved Johnny Cash and Barbara Streisand sang some wonderful ones.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Lori! I have to admit, when I was putting this list together I discovered several country songs that I didn’t know were out there! I don’t get a chance to listen to the radio much anymore and haven’t for a while, but it used to be such a part of my life. Made me realize I need to just make time for it–but it’s hard for me to listen to music and concentrate on anything else. LOL

  15. What a great list, Cheryl! My favorite of these is God Bless the USA. Some I am not familiar with like Riding with Private Malone. Thank you for including the links so I got to listen to them. And I’ve always liked the ones by Toby Keith. I also like Elvis Presley’s American Trilogy.

    Happy Independence Day!

    1. I think God Bless the U.S.A. is the most well-known one on this list, Sharon. It’s been around a long time and has been sung so often, that even if you’re not a huge country fan, you’ve most likely heard it somewhere along the way. I love Toby Keith, but he’s from Oklahoma–my home state, so that’s “double love” for me! LOL He has such an original take on his song writing, and I really admire that about him! Yes, I loved Elvis Presley’s American Trilogy, too. That always gives me chills. Just a wonderful song, and the way he sang it–no one else can come close. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  16. Cheryl, looking through your list I got tears in my eyes. Some of these songs make me cry every single time. I’ve always loved The Battle Hymn of the Republic and America the Beautiful. Both sad and deeply meaningful. Elvis sang them both so emotionally.

    1. Hi Linda, I feel the same way–I get emotional really easily, and these songs will do the trick every time. LOL When I was little I had the old 45 record of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. I knew that entire song when I was like 3 years old and would swing in the back yard and belt it out for the entire neighborhood to hear! LOL Yes, every one of these is meaningful in its own way and as I have said, I think they are, every one, a masterpiece because of the complexity of being able to tell a story, make it make sense and be memorable, and then set it to music. Elvis had the best voice in history, IMO. He could sing anything.

  17. I’ve always loved and admired Americans for their fierce patriotism and always wish Canadians would be more vocal/visual the same way–although we’re getting better. I know and love so many of the songs you’ve listed, but have to check out a couple I don’t recognize. Two songs that always get me is the ballad of Private Malone and Alan Jackson’s tribute to 9/11. One more song to add to your list is the Dixie Chicks’ Travelling Soldier. This list you made will have a lot of people humming the song and it’s a great kick-off to your July 4th celebrations, Cheryl. Our national birthday s is coming up on July 1st.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, oh, yes, I do love Traveling Soldier! That song is just wonderful. I left off quite a few because this post would have been REALLY long if I’d tried to list them all, but that is an excellent song. Thanks for stopping by today, Elizabeth!

  18. Oh my goodness I listen to the old country and they just played that song I just love it. I agree with you that cowboys are the most patriotic such as George Strait and others like him. I have never been to this blog but that is going to change now that you have shown it to us I am going to sign up so I get to read it every day! Thank you for posting!

    1. Oh, Peggy! I’m so glad you came over–this is a wonderful blog and you will love it. We’ve been around a long time, and we’ve always got something going on. So glad you came by today!

  19. I love so many of them but I have to say God Bless The U.S.A is my favorite. I heard it as a teen and loved it then, but it became more special when my sons joined the military. Our military men and women are so special for all they do. Thank you to all who served, are serving and their families you are appreciated.

  20. Vicki, I agree. Where would we be without our military men and women–and the families that support them? They are all truly special and very much appreciated–not just at this time of the year, but year-round. My hubby was in the Navy for 6 years (B.C.–Before Cheryl LOL) but even though that was before we met, I still see the toll it took on him through the years. A big thank you to your sons for their service!

  21. God Bless the USA is the only one I recognize and I love that song! I’m not much for country & western music although I do like a couple artists! I love the “standards” when it comes to patriotic songs, mostly.

    1. I love the standards too, Valri! It does my heart good to sing them and hear them, and not just on the 4th of July! We need to hear them all year round, don’t we? I had an aunt who played Christmas music all year round because she said it made her feel good, and why wait until just before Christmas to do it? I AGREE! LOL So glad you stopped by.

  22. Wonderful post, Cheryl! So many amazing songs.

    1. Caryl, thank you–when I started compiling this list, I thought, my gosh, I could do ANOTHER post on the rest of them that I’m not even including. There are a lot of excellent songs out there, for sure!

  23. I love the ones chosen. Here’s one from Lonestar which was popular after September 11, especially with this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jm5gfuT9Z4

  24. Oh, yes, Denise! I love Lonestar and I loved this song so much, though it does make me misty-eyed when I hear it! Again, it’s one of those that tells such a story in just a few short verses–unforgettable. Thanks for sharing that link.

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