'Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)'
"Cause [he'll] put a boot in your a--/It's the American way." Don't mess with Toby Keith! This emotional track was written shortly after Keith's father passed away in 2001, and was inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks.
'More Than a Name on a Wall'
Originally a gospel act performing at churches, the Statler Brothers wrote this sad tale of a mother losing her son in 1989. Although set years after the Vietnam War's end, the mother remembers the good times she shared with her son, and her own personal war in coping with loss.
'If You're Reading This [Live]'
This song's was co-written by the Warren Brothers and its lyrics read like a letter to the family of a recently deceased soldier. The hit was first performed at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2007, and the telecast from that performance is the song that became the hit version.
'Riding With Private Malone'
This patriotic song is about the ghost of a fallen soldier who guards David Ball after Ball crashes the car of his dreams, a '66 Corvette, and which once belonged to the late GI. This 2001 classic received positive feedback from country critics, who cited how well this song blended patriotic and supernatural themes.
'A Country Boy Can Survive'
This 1981 anthem about country life is a Hank Williams Jr. signature. UFC champion Matt Hughes always blasts this song during his fight entrance -- living proof that a country boy from Hillsboro, Ill. can indeed survive.
'Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)'
Conceptualized shortly after the events of Sept. 11, Alan Jackson's aim was to have the lyrics focus on his emotions without being too vengeful or jingoistic. What came out was a triumph of the American spirit. The song was played at the Country Music Association's annual awards in Nov. 2001, even though Jackson's 'Where I Came From' was a No. 1 hit at the time.
'Ragged Old Flag'
Spoken, as opposed to sung, this song -- with marching band percussion -- is about an American flag that has lasted through every major conflict in American history, only to wind up in an old courthouse. This title track, off Cash's 1974 album, is one of his many songs that engage both political and ethical issues.
Off the 2003 album 'Shock'n Y'all,' Keith describes the plight faced by a typical person serving in the US military. The singer-songwriter wrote this song in response to the positive feedback he received from the servicemen and -women while he was on tour with the USO.
'Stars and Stripes Forever'
An American favorite since it was published in 1896, this tune has been redone by composers all over the globe. Originally composed by John Philip Sousa, this march was written on Christmas Day while he was on a ferry in Europe. Sousa claimed to committing the whole thing to memory so he could write it down when he got back stateside!
'God Bless the USA'
A song that embodies the American spirit, 'God Bless The USA' was played for former President Ronald Reagan at the 1984 Republican National Convention. I guess our friends up north liked this song, too, because Greenwood did another version called 'God Bless Canada.'