"‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”
June 13, 2006 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Fear Of A Brown Planet: I'm looking for songs with a Jingoistic bent, preferably in Country Music.

What hyper-patriotic, America: love-it-or leave-it, might-makes right, god-is-on-our-side songs can you think of?

Though interested in all eras (as far back as WWII) I am mostly trying to find the worst (war-mongering stance, racist overtones, etc.) of the current crop, spefically that dealing with Iraq and the current shift to the right.
Sample lyrics appreciated, too.

Conversely, who in country music (other than the Dixie Chicks) is vocally against the war, (or even better, writing songs against it)?
posted by sourwookie to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I was going to suggest Toby Keith, but then I read the title to your post, so you must be familiar with his "oeuvre" already.

There is also Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?"
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:45 AM on June 13, 2006

Steve Earle : The Revolution Starts Now
Neil Young : Living With War

Both very much against the War. Also Steve Earle's earlier 'Jerusalem' is an anti-Bush, anti-imperialism polemic.
posted by essexjan at 7:45 AM on June 13, 2006

You can't go wrong with anything by Charlie Daniels or the source of your subject line, Toby Keith.

In terms of country artists against the war, God bless Willie Nelson. There are plenty of others on both sides, but these were ones I knew off the top of my head.
posted by scrump at 7:46 AM on June 13, 2006

The first one that I thought of is Toby Keith's Angry American, which you obviously know about based on quoting the lyrics in the title of this question. Another is Osama - Yo' Mama
(You In A Heap O' Trouble Boy)
by Ray Stevens.

As far as the politics of modern country musicians, you may want to read Rednecks and Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music, which reveals that Toby Keith is actually a democrat.
posted by ND¢ at 7:47 AM on June 13, 2006

Well, it ain't country, but you want S.O.D. Like this and this.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:57 AM on June 13, 2006

from an older era, "okie from musgokee" and "fightin' side of me" by merle haggard ... although he's had second thoughts about writing those
posted by pyramid termite at 7:59 AM on June 13, 2006

Country Joe McDonald has an anti-Iraq War song called "Support the Troops."
posted by transient at 8:01 AM on June 13, 2006

Willie Nelson and Toby Keith, Whiskey For My Men.
posted by electroboy at 8:05 AM on June 13, 2006

Merle Haggard is vocally against the war, and writing songs about it:

"Yeah, men in position are backin' away:
Freedom is stuck in reverse.
Let's get out of Iraq an' get back on the track,
And let's rebuild America first."
America First
posted by Neiltupper at 8:08 AM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: Pyramid termite: Got any sources on his reversal? Provided it's quick and convenient for you.... :)
posted by sourwookie at 8:15 AM on June 13, 2006

Haggard being misunderstood by his listeners is nothing new. In 1969, at the peak of the counterculture and widespread student protest against U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hag released "Okie From Muskogee," and it shot straight to the top of the country charts. In the song's opening lines, Haggard earnestly sings, "We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee/We don't take our trips on LSD/We don't burn our draft cards down on Main Street/'Cause we like livin' right and bein' free." Conservative America quickly and enthusiastically adopted "Okie" as an anthem that reflected their values. Richard Nixon sent Haggard a letter of congratulations, George Wallace wanted him for his presidential campaign, and the white supremacist David Duke asked him to play a private party. Says Haggard, "I told him [Duke] to go get fucked."

Most people did not realize (and some still don't) that "Okie From Muskogee" was a social commentary that did not necessarily reflect Haggard's personal worldview. "Ya know, I'm like an actor, and whatever role you see an actor in shouldn't have anything to do with his own personality, but it does, of course," he says. "That song typecasted me for a long time.

"'Okie From Muskogee' was written about my father, and it was my intention to try to see things from his viewpoint. Had he been alive at that time, I think he woulda said, 'We're happy with the way things are here in the middle of Oklahoma, and we're really not wantin' to get out in the street and bitch like the people in Frisco.' The song was a contrast to what was going on, and there was nobody speaking up for [people like my dad], and I thought I'd jump out there and write a song for him."

Haggard continues, "It ['Okie From Muskogee'] nearly stopped my career. They were beginning to play me on rock stations, and it stopped all that. A lot of people who analyzed my career said that song was probably a mistake. But Willie Nelson said, 'Hey, if you don't want the son of a bitch, I'll trade you "Crazy" for it!'" Hag laughs a hearty laugh and goes on to say that he doesn't really have regrets about the song.

"If I was to do it over again, it would take a lot more thought. I thought it was funny. The song was humorous. It was like the epitome of the ignorance on certain subjects. But I'll be damned if people like Wallace and Nixon didn't take it for the truth. It makes me wonder what kind of politicians we've got in [Washington] now. Do they have the same mentality as they did during the days of 'Okie From Muskogee'?"

posted by ND¢ at 8:22 AM on June 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

'Okie From Muskogee', the 'Fight For Your Right To Party' of another generation.

CS Lewis, Jr. (haha)
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:32 AM on June 13, 2006

Serious answer:

Clint Black's I Raq and Roll
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:35 AM on June 13, 2006

I got sent a demo by Vigilante, a Dallas/Fort Worth 'Christian rapper'. His site appears to be offline now (which is a shame), but the lyrics from one of the tracks are:

The far right, the only right, the left wrong
We dropped far too few bombs
On Iraq, and all the Middle East
I said kill them all if we truly want peace

We’re too tolerant now
It’s tolerance that’s bringing us down
Now don’t you judge me, for these thoughts I have
I said it, every single queer is bad
Because today, marriage is put to shame
When these queers tries to marry under God’s name
When these queers tries to marry under God’s name
When these queers tries to marry under God’s name

Needless to say, I signed him for a 10 album deal.
posted by nylon at 8:50 AM on June 13, 2006

An older anti-war sentiment can be found in John Prine's "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore".
posted by leapfrog at 8:52 AM on June 13, 2006

Here's a song by Luke Stricklin, written while he was in Iraq: American by God's Amazing Grace
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:03 AM on June 13, 2006

It's not about America, but Borat's "Throw the Jew Down the Well" is certainly racist and jingoistic.
posted by sanko at 9:05 AM on June 13, 2006

Country and Anti-War? Steve Earle.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:09 AM on June 13, 2006

Tim McGraw is a Democrat and has (quietly) criticized the president on several occasions.
posted by maxreax at 9:45 AM on June 13, 2006

Not exactly what you're looking for, but in the same vein: If you do a search for "Johnny Cash" on the Bittorrent networks you'll find a song called "Ship those Niggers Back". It turns out this song wasn't actually by Johnny Cash, but by some yokel named Johnny Rebel. Here's a link to his album and the Klanstore might turn up some more of what you're looking for. Just do me a favor - don't support this crap by buying it - download it for free and mock it mercilessly.

I think I'll go take a shower now.
posted by rks404 at 10:09 AM on June 13, 2006

Oh, yeah, David Allan Coe has multiple songs with "nigger" in the title.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:32 AM on June 13, 2006

Well, it ain't country, but you want S.O.D. Like this and this.

SOD were mostly taking the piss. I mean, they had a tune called 'Anti-Procrastination Song' that lasts two seconds. Come on, now.
posted by macdara at 10:53 AM on June 13, 2006

Atomic Platters came around recently on one of the binaries newsgroups. So I hear.

Some of it is pretty eye-poppingly jingoistic.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:58 AM on June 13, 2006

America, Fuck Yeah!
posted by kirkaracha at 11:23 AM on June 13, 2006

For the older generations of these tunes, a few good ones popped up on WFMU's compilation: The Happy Listener's Guide To Mind Control.

Direct link to a couple tracks from the comp:
Lonesome Valley Singers - Its Got To Be Done
Carson Robison - We're Gonna Have to Slap The Dirty Little Jap
posted by p3t3 at 11:26 AM on June 13, 2006

The Weapon of Prayer. An old one, but a fine one. Done by many. Here are the words:
weapon of prayer
In the land across the sea
there’s a job for you and me
Though our presence there may not be found
We must stay each night and day
on the battle lin and pray
We must never lay our weapons down
posted by cccorlew at 11:30 AM on June 13, 2006

Johnny Cash had some patriotic, as well as anti-war songs among his works. In his song The Man in Black he references Vietnam:

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

Then The Ballad of Ira Hayes, has a commentary on a Pima Indian, who was a hero of Iwo Jima, but after the war was forgotten and left to drink himself to death. I suppose its less Anti-war, and more a commentary on the state of Indians in the country.

His Ragged Old Flag is patriotic, but not necessarily in the Toby Keith manner:

She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they've about quit wavin' back here at home
in her own good land here She’s been abused,
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.

Here's a link to a site with most of his songs with lyrics. Its hard to classify Cash, at times, if only because he can be a mixture of anti-establishment and patriotism.
posted by Atreides at 12:08 PM on June 13, 2006

I missed this thread, and I don't imagine anyone will see this comment, but to buttress what's been said about Merle Haggard, see this essay on his website:
Young men always pay the dues, and it was America's way to always be behind what America was doing. And the issues and the reasons why were always argued after the fact. Speaking of after the fact, it's a national shame the way we treat our vets. You see, to be an American you want to respect everything you know about this great country. Those who have the gumption to investigate, know that the reputation of honesty between the government and the people cannot reflect the reason for a single man to have confidence in what we're doing in current day conditions. I'm suspicious, I'm paranoid, and I'm afraid. And the person who says he isn't has not looked up or around lately.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:26 PM on June 20, 2006

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