I Like American Music

You know, it really burns me up when people refer to me as part of the "blame America first crowd." I mean, it's inaccurate-- I don't blame America first. First, I have a well-balanced breakfast. Then, I shower and brush by teeth. Then, and only then, do I get started with the serious business of blaming America.

I said yesterday that I'm not particularly patriotic, and that's true to some degree. I don't buy into "my country right or wrong" or "freedom isn't free" or any other jingoistic slogan. I don't put ribbon magnets on my car. I don't find Beyonce Knowles singing the National Anthem before a ballgame particularly stirring.

Nevertheless, as Bob Cowser pointed out in his book Dream Season, "any country that could produce a song like Tom Petty's 'The Waiting' couldn't be all bad." So, my challenge to all of you is, create your list of songs about America that don't suck. I don't want to see Toby Keith's "The Angry American" or Charlie Daniels's "This Ain't a Rag, It's a Flag." But I think there are plenty of really good songs about America. Like...

"This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. "American Girls" by the Counting Crows. "Pink Houses" by John Mellencamp (yeah, yeah-- I know it's not cool to like Mellencamp anymore, but I don't care-- his songs about America may not be cool, but they're good). "American Girl" by the aforementioned Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. "America" by Lou Reed. "American Music" by the Violent Femmes.

So, patriots, on this Independence Day, tell us-- what songs go on your list?

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