In a virtual repeat of a statement made by Miley Cyrus earlier this month, country singer Lee Greenwood spoke to PARADE magazine about his feelings on patriotism in music.
“Songs like ‘It’s America’ by Rodney Atkins or ‘American Daughters’ by Emily Buxton, they scare me,” said the singer, fiddling with the zipper of his leather Stars and Stripes jacket. “They feel contrived on so many levels. Unless you’re wearing cowboy boots and singing and whining about how America is greater than other countries, it’s not going to sell. I think that’s why Billy Ray Cyrus finally got out of it after ‘Some Gave All.’ You have to wave that flag and be sweet as pie. It makes me nervous, the politics of it all.”
“In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these same people using their patriotic songs as centerpieces of their concerts well into the future, even as many as 20 years after their radio careers have dried up,” continued Greenwood, who first released radio staple “God Bless the USA” in 1984. “All told, songs of this sort could be rereleased in hokey updated versions and used to shore up nationalist sentiment… and justify ever more frightening warmongering efforts… into perpetuity.”
“Worst of all, these patriotic songs have a built-in defense mechanism, regardless of how contrived they might be, because anyone who thinks they’re anything less than stellar compositions is labeled a socialist. As though disliking a formulaic America song is a vote against the troops or something.”
Adjusting his bald eagle lapel pin, Greenwood concluded: “It just feels incredibly manipulative to me.”
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