I meant to toss this list up yesterday, but I was slightly drunk and very tired after returning from the barbeque I spent my Independence Day at. I also have a post about Brave in my queue that meant to go up on Monday that I will be finishing up later today. But first…
America has a tendency to inspire musicians. Sometimes out of pride, sometimes out of protest, and sometimes just pure sarcasm that has a tendency to be taken seriously. Here are my favorite songs about the United States, for better or worse. Also, this list is in no particular order. Just sort of what came to mind first.
1.) ‘America, Fuck Yeah!’ by Matt Stone and Trey Parker – Anyone who’s seen Team America: World Police knows that the film is a very obvious parody of every Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer film to ever come out. The music was no exception, with songs that had such lyrics as “Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you” and “freedom cost a buck o’five.” Still, there’s no song from that movie that inspires so much ironic national pride as much as ‘America, Fuck Yeah!’ does. Which might have been the point. Either way, I blast this every Fourth of July, every time the US wins a gold medal at the Olympics, and whenever I watch the sequence from Captain America: The First Avenger where he takes out Hydra across Europe.
2.) ‘The Star-Spangled Man’ from Captain America: The First Avenger – This is pretty much my entire justification for the Disney/Marvel merger. Co-written by Alan Menken, this catchy jingoistic jingle is reminiscent of 1940s WWII propaganda and fitting for the original image Americans had of Captain Steve Rogers.
3.) ‘American Idiot’ by Green Day – As I mentioned before, some of my favorite songs about America were written out of protest. The first time it clicked with me that this was even possible was when Green Day released their 2004 masterpiece American Idiot. The album was a gorgeous piece of protest about the first years of the 21st century. The band would try to repeat it again for the recession in 21st Century Breakdown, but no song off of that album could come close to the furious call to arms that was the titular single of that 2004 album.
4.) ‘America’ by Prince and the Revolution – From the criminally underrated Around The World In A Day, this song about the later years of the cold war is both funky and relevant as ever. Prince has always had a bit of protest in his music and this is one of the bigger examples of it.
5.) ‘Americano’ by Lady GaGa – Maybe I should have named this list My Six Favorite American Protest songs. Still, beneath this catchy dance beat lies Lady GaGa’s protest against Proposition 8 and the anti-LGBT fundamentalists in the USA.
6.) ‘Made In America’ by Jay-Z and Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean – I never thought I would use the word “sweet” to describe a song from Watch The Throne when I first listened to the album, but ‘Made In America’ is it. For Jay and Kanye, the American dream exists, but not without the people who got them there in the first place.
That’s it for this list. I’ll be back in a few hours with my post about the six most ridiculous things I’ve heard about Brave.