Happy Fourth Of July! Here’s An Incomplete List Of The Lousiest Patriotic Songs Of All Time

From Charlie Daniels' 'This Ain't No Rag' to Lee Greenwood's 'God Bless The U.S.A.,' bask in the utter shittiness of these works of second-rate jingoism.

With Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year, we don’t only get to enjoy the 4th of July for one day, but for an entire weekend. Along with the warm beer, stale potato chips, burnt barbecue, drunk uncles and potential amputations from fireworks mishaps, we’ll also likely hear a number of so-called patriotic songs play in backyards and municipal parks. If there is one thing the 4th, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day has taught us, it is that there is no shortage of flag draping Constitution-lovers who will tell you what it to be an American.  So, bust out the ol’ Stars and Stripes and wave it till you just don’t care as we countdown some of the shittiest patriotic songs of all-time.

Toby Keith — Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)

Ah, yes, Toby Keith’s simple-minded ode to Islamophobia and chicken hawkery. This is a song that Keith supposedly wrote in 20 minutes, which I find kinda hard to believe because that seems like 15 minutes too long. The song was in response to the 9/11 attacks and Keith co-opted his father’s service in the armed forces to justify his calling for America to get involved in war. While he played the song live in concerts shortly after the terror attacks, Keith waited until the following year to release it as a single. Of course, it hit the top of the country charts during 4th of July weekend that year.

Sample lyrics:

Justice will be served
And the battle will rage
This big dog will fight
When you rattle his cage
And you’ll be sorry that you messed with
The U.S. of A.
`Cause we`ll put a boot in your ass
It`s the American way

Rating: YeeHaw! Bang bang, shoot ’em up!


Charlie Daniels — This Ain’t No Rag, It’s A Flag

Another answer song in response to 9/11. By the time he’d written and recorded this song in 2001, Daniels had already started carving out a niche as an uber-patriot who specialized in xenophobia and Southern pride. In this instance, it wasn’t about just showing pride in the American flag and what it stands for, it was also about finding all those dirty foreigners and shooting them like the feral animals they are. The lyrics of this song were so toxic that goddamn CMT (Country Music Television) refused to let Daniels play the song live.

Sample lyrics:

This ain’t no rag, it’s a flag
And we don’t wear it on our heads
It’s a symbol of the land where the good guys live
Are you listening to what I said
You’re a coward and a fool
And you broke all of the rules
And you wounded our American pride
And now we’re coming with a gun
And we know you’re gonna run
But you can’t find no place to hide
We’re gonna hunt you down like a mad dog hound
Make you pay for the lives you stole
We’re all through talking and a messing around
And now it’s time to rock and roll

Rating: Uncle Sam beating off on the dead corpses of filthy A-Rabs!


Damn Yankees — Don’t Tread On Me

If you don’t remember, Damn Yankees was a supergroup that had some success in the early nineties. The band, which featured Styx’s Tommy Shaw, Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and everyone’s favorite gun-totin’ pants shitter Ted Nugent, followed up their hit debut album with one a little more freedom-lovin’. ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ was the title track of the second album and was actually used quite a bit during the ’92 Summer Olympics. More than a decade before the rise of the Tea Party, Nugent and pals were using their favorite catchphrase as a song title. The track is standard arena rock but with a message regarding those goddamned hippies keeping America down.

Sample lyrics:

We walked the ground of ancient ones
Lit the fire with the rising sun
You and me, we got a full on rage
Won’t get fooled, no I won’t be caged

Make love not war was your claim to fame
Now you’re takin’ me down, well I won’t be tamed

Don’t you dare
Don’t you tread on me
Don’t you tread on me
Don’t you try and make some fool of me
Don’t you tread on me

Rating: Two pantloads of grade-A American shit!


Lee Greenwood — God Bless The U.S.A.

Originally released in 1984 and reaching the top 10 of the Country charts, the song gained new life in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, reaching the top 20 of the pop charts in the fall of 2001. The song is as simplistic as one can get as it feels like it was written by a second-grader who was forced to write a theme about what America means to him. Basically, it is an ’80s pop-country version of ‘America the Beautiful,’ but replacing the poetry and love of country with Reagan-era jingoism.

Sample lyrics:

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA
Well, there’s pride in every American heart
And it’s time to stand and say that

I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the USA

Rating: A motherfuckin’ bald eagle banging the Statue of Liberty on top of Mt. Rushmore while wearing a Stars and Stripes jacket!



Aaron Tippin — Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagles Fly

Holy shit! Just look at that title. LOOK AT IT! Tippin, like Greenwood, practically made his career singing about the Old Glory and how much she means to him. Another post-9/11 tribute, Tippin achieved his biggest ever crossover success as the song hit the top 20 of the pop charts late in 2001. Of course, Tippin used footage of the World Trade Center rubble in the video for the song. (Why wouldn’t he?) Also, it should come as no surprise that Tippin, just like everyone else on this list, never served a day in the military. But damn if chicken hawkin’ don’t feel good!

Sample lyrics:

I pledge allegiance to this flag
And if that bothers you well that’s too bad
But if you got pride and you’re proud you do
Hey we could use some more like me and you
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

Yes, there’s a lady that stands in a harbor
For what we believe
And there’s a bell that still echoes the price
That it costs to be free

No it ain’t the only place on earth
But it’s the only place that I prefer
To love my wife and raise my kids
Hey the same way that my Daddy did
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

Rating: Rudy Giuliani likely uses this song as his wake-up call.


Justin Baragona is the editor and publisher of Contemptor. Prior to starting the site, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He currently resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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