Toby Keith Says ‘Happy Birthday America,’ With More Than a Tinge of Sadness [Listen]
With his new song, Toby Keith sends a very bittersweet happy birthday to America, "whatever's left of you." The famously patriotic singer's new song about the United States of America doesn't champion what makes our country great quite like some others.
Instead, Keith indicates our best days may behind us in spotlighting achievements made in World Wars I and II. "France would just be part of Germany now / If it hadn't been for you," he sings during the first of three verses. "Now your children want to turn you into something other than yourself / They burn your flag in your city streets more than anybody else."
The 59-year-old teased that this song would focus on a "screwed-up 18 months" when he first announced new music, specifically his latest single "Old School." However, it goes beyond just that: "Without the helping hand of God / Your days are numbered, my old friend / We’re sure gonna miss you, girl / You were the best that’s ever been," Keith adds during his third verse.
Fans of his hoping for a little revelry this Fourth of July would do better with one of these:
While never a beacon of hope, Keith has always taken a pragmatic approach to storytelling, rarely throwing such a haymaker at whatever topic he chooses. Subtleties and attitude have turned lyrics into sharp songs his conservative fanbase can get behind. Many will get behind this one, too, especially as he takes a big swing at the liberal left before jabbing the right. The chorus goes:
"Happy birthday, America / It's the Fourth of July / I'll get to wake up in your freedom / But sometimes I wonder why / Seems like everybody's pissin' / On the red, white and blue / Happy birthday, America / Whatever's left of you."
It's unlikely Keith — famous for songs including "Made In America," "American Soldier" and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" — will be invited on any Independence Day broadcasts to sing this song.