Welcome to Target Practice where bad popular songs of the past and present get shot. A while ago, I watched Lindsay Ellis’ video on protest music from the Bush years and it had me thinking about the music from that time. The protest music of the early 2000s was much different from that of the 60s. For one, 9/11 happened in Bush’s first year as president and the country felt a need to heal and unify after such a horrendous incident, which explained why Bush at one point had an approval rating of 90%. Also, while there was music protesting against the War On Terror, they either didn’t get a lot of airplay or they were outnumbered by the amount of patriotic songs that were released at the time, especially in country music. These songs ranged from the mostly apolitical responses to the 9/11 attacks in Alan Jackson’s Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning) to warmongering trash like Darryl Worley’s Have You Forgotten. Let’s focus on today’s Target Practice victim, which is one of the basis of the feud between this artist and the Dixie Chicks (now the Chicks), who got unfairly blackballed by Nashville thanks to their comments on Bush. From Toby Keith, this is Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American).
American Girls and American Guys
We'll always stand up and salute
We'll always recognize
When we see Old Glory Flying
There's a lot of men dead
So we can sleep in peace at night
When we lay down our head
……………… You know, there’s several reasons people join the military. Some love their country so much that they want to serve it, others want to find camaraderie amongst like-minded individuals, others come from a military family and feel like they have to continue a legacy, others are in it for the money, free college, and other benefits, others feel like they have no choice, and there’s also those who have a blood-thirsty power fantasy and want to exert power over others. I say this because I don’t believe that the military is inherently evil or good. It’s a tool and unfortunately, that tool is being used by the military-industrial complex for imperialism. They’re not protecting our freedoms, they’re protecting resources.
My daddy served in the army
Where he lost his right eye
But he flew a flag out in our yard
'Til the day that he died
He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me
To grow up and live happy
In the land of the free
That’s nice. “Land of the free” is the last description I would use to describe the U.S., especially in these times, but whatever.
Now this nation that I love
Has fallen under attack
A mighty sucker punch came flyin' in
From somewhere in the back
Soon as we could see it clearly
Through our big black eye
Man, we lit up your world
Like the 4th of July
And how did lighting up the world go? $5.4 trillion flushed down the toilet through the years? Imagine that money being used for healthcare and education instead of never-ending wars.
Hey, Uncle Sam
Put your name at the top of his list
And the Statue of Liberty
Started shakin' her fist
And the eagle will fly
And there's gonna be hell
When you hear Mother Freedom
Start ringin' her bell
And it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you
Oh, brought to you Courtesy of the Red White and Blue
More rank jingoism that’s so cartoony that you’d think it was a parody written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Oh, 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
Ah, yes. “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.” Such an American response. Granted, we were attacked by terrorists, so we have every right to attack back. But we ended up attacking the wrong countries and getting into endless war that’s still occurring now. Nice job, America.
This song is patriotic word vomit. Musically, it’s your typical country song with rock influences and Toby Keith is Toby Keith. The writing is drowning in jingoism and an “AMERICA FUCK YEAH” mentality that panders to the Fox News crowd and further perpetuates the stereotype of selfish ignorant Americans using 9/11 as an excuse to be complete dickheads. I still believe that Have You Forgotten is worse because it tries to hawkishly justify a war that was started on a lie and time and hindsight has only made it worse. That doesn’t mean that Toby Keith gets a pass for making this. Next Target Practice, …
SONG OF THE WEEK