About the Song "God Bless the USA"

by Harrison Pennybaker

"God Bless the USA" is a song by Lee Greenwood, an American singer and songwriter. This well-known song has been around since 1984, and it entered the popular consciousness through its use on television, in the movies and during civic and sporting events throughout the United States.

Background and Reception

"God Bless the USA" was written by Greenwood, and it appeared for the first time on his album "You've Got a Good Love Comin." The song fared fairly well on the charts, making it to seventh on the Billboard Country Singles chart and 26th on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In 2001, the song experienced a revival after the September 11th terrorist attacks; it reached as high as 16th on both the Billboard Country Songs chart and the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Song Content

The song is a patriotic number about the benefits of being an American. It focuses primarily on the freedom enjoyed by citizens of the United States. The song references the geography and the size of the country, and it also notes the reverence the author has for those who have fought and died to preserve American freedom. The central theme of the song centers on an everlasting patriotic love of the country and an appreciation for the freedom that is possible in America.

Uses

The song has been used in several ways since it was written. President Ronald Reagan used the song at the Republic National Convention in 1984. During the first Gulf War -- Operation Desert Storm -- in 1991, the song was played by civilians and members of the armed forces alike. "God Bless the USA" experienced another resurgence in 2001 after the September 11th attacks -- it was used to highlight the dedication and service of the American rescue workers and the military servicemen and women.

The Writer

Country music singer/songwriter Lee Greenwood was born in 1942 in South Gate, California. He grew up on a farm close Sacramento and took an active role in the labor required to run the farm. He began his music career in the 1980s and has put out over 20 albums as of July 2011. "God Bless the USA" is Greenwood's most notable hit, and he continues to perform it live. Greenwood's music, however, is not all patriotic; his songs touch on everything from growing up on a farm to finding (and losing) love.