During a recent Classic-rock-athon over the 4th of July, I heard several bouts of 'patriotic' music. The key pieces of all of them were 'Born in the USA' and 'American Woman'.
Born in the USA, by Bruce Springsteen, was an arena rock classic, something to sing along to even if you didn't know what the lyrics were. President Reagan even used it as his campaign theme song, and praised it's patriotic message. Reagan's advisors clearly hooked onto the catchy chorus, without paying attention to the rest of it. The song is a dark commentary on the plight of Veterans coming back from theVietnam War. It was not exactly a resounding endorsement of the American Experience.
American Woman, by Canada's Guess Who, is a slap in the face of America, as seen by folks who aren't exactly fans of our country. It's catchy, fun to sing along with ... but the lyrics are a condemnation of America's perceived 'arrogance'. Here's Lenny's cover of the song, done for Austin Powers ...
In spite of this, I do like the songs, and the artists. They are fun to listen to!