Celebrate Flag Day with These Patriotic Songs

national anthem - american flag in sunlightToday is June 14 – Flag Day.  Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.  In honor of Flag Day, here is a top ten list of patriotic songs.

10. “Only in America,” by Brooks and Dunn

“Only in America” was released in 2001 as a single from the Steers & Stripes album. In October 2001, the song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. This chart is now referred to as the Hot Country Songs chart. The song explores the lives of various people in America and how, in this country, they can “dream as big” as they want to.

9. “Home,” by Dierks Bentley

“Home” was released in October 2011. It was inspired by the January 2011 shooting in Arizona that killed six citizens and critically injured U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. In order to make sense of the tragedy, Bentley and two other writers worked together to write the song. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and broke into the Hot 100 in the United States and Canada.

8. “Some Gave All,” by Billy Ray Cyrus

Some Gave All was the debut album for Billy Ray Cyrus. It was released in 1992 and “Some Gave All” was the first single released from the album. The song served as a tribute to all members of the military and the ultimate sacrifices made in war. This album was the first debut album to enter the Billboard Country Albums chart at #1. It also sold 4.7 million copies in the US in 1992, making it the best-selling album of that year.

7. “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” by Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson wrote and released this song in 2001 as a tribute to 9/11. The 2001 CMAs saw the public debut of this song, after which it topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for five weeks. Alan Jackson went on to win several Academy of Country Music and CMA Awards in addition to his first Grammy.

6. “If You’re Reading This,” by Tim McGraw

This song is incredibly touching and emotional. It serves as a tribute to the families of soldiers who have died in the line of duty. The premise of the song is a parent reading the letter written by their child, a soldier who died in the line of service.

5. “America the Beautiful,” by Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” in 1895. Samuel A. Ward composed the music that would become the background track for these lyrics in 1883. The lyrics and music were first combined and published as America the Beautiful in 1910. Since then, it has become one of the most popular and well-known patriotic songs of the U.S.

4. “God Bless America,” by Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” in 1918 during World War I. He revised it again in 1938 as World War II started to ramp up. Since it’s creation, “God Bless America” has spawned several renditions by notable voices.

3. “God Bless the USA,” by Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood released “God Bless the U.S.A.” in 1984. It appears on his You’ve Got a Good Love Comin’. The single was released in the spring of 1984 and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. During the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, the song became more widely recognized as it was popular for boosting morale.

2. “God Bless the USA,” (9/11 Tribute re-release) by Lee Greenwood

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Lee Greenwood re-released the single. Popularity rose sharply after 9/11 and again in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq. In 2003, it was re-recorded and re-released. By July 2015, the song had sold over one million copies in the United States.

1. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” by Francis Scott Key

It’s a hard task to get more patriotic than the national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the “Defence of Fort M’Henry” in 1814 as a poem. It was later set to music. Though the music matched a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith, the combination quickly became a well-known patriotic song for the United States. The US Navy recognized “The Star-Spangled Banner” for official use in 1889; then again in 1916 by then US President Woodrow Wilson. By 1931, a congressional resolution made it the national anthem. Since then, it’s been present at various public events and has been performed by several artists.

I’d like to add one more song to the  list – “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”  This spirited patriotic march was written by George M. Cohan in 1906 and seems like a perfect finish to our Flag Day tribute.

Happy Flag Day everyone!