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Patriotic Music for America

Updated on December 26, 2014

Patriotic Music and Patriotic Songs for America

God Bless the USA! I love patriotic music the same way that I love Christmas music. Patriotic music reminds me of what's really important. It connects me with our reason for being, for sacrifice, for leading by example. Like Christmas music, patriotic music warms my heart and stirs my soul. It motivates and comforts me, all at once. Great patriotic music still gets me choked up.

Here you'll find historical patriotic music. Here you'll find patriotic music from the entertainment world. Here you'll find American folk patriotic music.

And then there's 9-11 patriotic music. 9-11 brought a new wave of patriotic music in the form of 9-11 remembrance songs - especially by Country Music singers. We celebrate those here too. Every 9-11 I try to get a consolidated online listening experience of 9-11 patriotic remembrance music, but not many online stations do that anymore. So, I got the CD's and make my own 9-11 music memorial.

God Bless America by Ronan Tynan

I think Ronan Tynan has to be the most powerful and inspiring singer of "God Bless America."

Norman Rockwell's 4 Freedoms

When I grew up, my parents taught us about Norman Rockwell and his "Four Freedoms" paintings. We had Norman Rockwell lithos on our walls. (My room got the "Triple Self Portrait"!) Being from Massachusetts, and my being an artist (and art running in the family), we were big Norman Rockwell fans!

Yep, my parents did a really great job loving and teaching me! I am soooo grateful to them.

God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood

When I was 14 (30 years ago), I was in the Miss Rhode Island Teenager Pageant. (And, YES, you CAN have brains and be in a pageant! It was a great experience - I highly recommend it!) "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood was part of the Pageant. To this day, I still get goosebumps when I hear it.

My speech entitled "What's Right About America" won the speech competition. I guess I was patriotic even way back then.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Battle Hymn of the Republic at the National Cathedral, DC

by the US Navy Sea Chanters, performed on September 14, 2001 at the National Day of Remembrance Service, as televised by ABC. I still think this was THE perfect song for the service. The US Navy Sea Chanters are beautiful.

Frankly, I don't know how those people in attendance at the service are actually singing, I was too choked up in my living room watching it on tv to even breathe.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

On a documentary about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I once heard someone ask a music expert how it is that the Choir can perform with such excellence. The expert answered something to the effect of "great music is not made with the voice, but with the heart."

Especially moving is at minute 3:00 to apx. 4:00 - "Lilies of the Valley" verse - especially at 3:30 et seq. - "As He died to make men holy, Let us live to make men free" - really brings the point home.

(By the way, the original was written as "Let us die to make men free" - after all, the lyrics were written as a Battle Hymn for the Union Soldiers in 1961.)

Battle Hymn of the Republic - lyrics

Music written by William Steffe 1855 and lyrics written by Julia Ward Howe November 17, 1861.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;

His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps

They have built Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;

His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;

"As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal";

Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,

Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;

Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:

As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;

[originally ...let us die to make men free]

While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,

He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;

So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,

Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

[According to Battle Hymn of the Republic at National Cathedral DC Day of Remembrance on YouTube.

Patriotic Music - Battle Hymn of the Republic

"These are the times that try men's souls." - Thomas Paine

In truth, the whole point of patriotic music and songs is to stir the heart and inspire the soul - perhaps even inspire us to place principles over personalities.

Which Patriotic Song stirs your heart and inspires your soul the most?

See results

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem of the USA)

Performed by the combined Academy Choirs at the XXXIX Super Bowl - with fly-by.

Here's the thing, if you haven't visited Fort McHenry yet, you should.

If you haven't seen the Star Spangled Banner flag (the one flown at Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem) at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in DC, you should.

At Fort McHenry, you glimpse the true concern and trepidation of that night as you look out into the bay and imagine yourself on a ship questioning whether our Nation still exists.

At the Smithsonian, you are forever impacted by the size and power of seeing that American flag up close. As I walked through the exhibit with my daughter, I was explaining about the battle, and a war that no one studies, and how the lyrics to our National Anthem came to be.

Then I turned the corner.

And there, behind the protective glass, it lay. And I couldn't speak. And my daughter kept saying, "Mom, Mom, go on" and all I could do was nod. I think she got the point.

The Star Spangled Banner - The 4th Verse

If you've never heard it before, you'll be stunned. It's so poignant, so packed with meaning. And this US Marine gives a stunning rendition of the 2nd verse of our National Anthem.

Here are the lyrics to the 4th verse of The Star Spangled Banner:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The Star Spangled Banner - by 5 little girls

These 5 little girls have voices that are amazing.

A capella.

In harmony.

At half-time, center court, of a professional basketball game.

The American Spirit right here before your eyes.

The Star Spangled Banner - lyrics

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics

By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,

In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:

'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,

A home and a country should leave us no more!

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

[from the from the USA Flag]

Star Spangled Banner - by Alabama


America the Beautiful by Ray Charles

I know a certain radio personality that plays this at the end of his show every Friday.

I've gotta say, Ray Charles' version is my favorite rendition of America the Beautiful. It's all heart.

America the Beautiful - lyrics

America, The Beautiful Lyrics

by Katharine Lee Bates - 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America! God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Whose stern impassion'd stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America! May God thy gold refine

Till all success be nobleness,

And ev'ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam,

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America! God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

[Courtesy of the USA Flag Site.

America the Beautiful - by Ray Charles

George M. Cohan

You're a Grand Old Flag

by James Cagney, from "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942)

Written by George M. Cohan

Yankee Doodle Dandy by George M. Cohan

Performed by James Cagney in the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) (which is about George M. Cohan).

Over There, Over There

By George M. Cohan

Song from the 1942 movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (sung by James Cagney in the movie).

Okay, okay, it's time - if you haven't seen this classic movie yet, you've got to rent it. It's an essential part of Americana.

[And, you can tell your kids about that famous short, tough guy, singer dancer actor, James Cagney, while you're at it, too!]

Have You Seen the Movie?

Have you seen "Yankee Doodle Dandy"?

See results


Have You Forgotten by Darryl Worley

Thank God for Darryl Worley. This song reflects my sentiments - those that I felt "That Day" and those that I feel every 9/11 and every day that I think about 9/11. Of course, his authentic voice makes the song perfect.

On 9/11, I lived in NJ (and still do). Until 1999 (when I opened my own law firm in NJ), I commuted to the World Trade Center (2 WTC 59) (from here in NJ and prior to that, from our apartment in mid-town Manhattan) where I worked for Morgan Stanley on the 59th floor (and then the 65th floor). From my office, I looked out over the East River and the three bridges. I ran a unit of about 5 attorneys, many whom I had hired, and their support staff, and an older secretary who was on the verge of retirement and who had lived through the 1993 WTC bombing. I had friends there in other departments.

On "That Day" I was getting coffee at my local deli when the owner shouted from the kitchen in the back, "They hit the Pentagon too!" He came out and I criticized him for making (what I thought at the time) was such a tasteless joke. When he told me that he wasn't joking, it was then that I felt what almost every American felt that day - completely vulnerability. I just kept thinking, "But that can't happen - I mean, it's the Pentagon!" I sat watching the tv with my baby daughter on my lap, holding her close as if we both might evaporate if I let go, and with my husband by my side.

I spent the next 5 days calling and waiting for phone calls from my friends and former staff. I had been the one who had brought some of the attorneys in the group into the firm, and I still felt responsible for their well-being. (When I had gone on vacation, we had discussed what to do in the event of an attack or emergency - of course, prior to 9-11, we thought it might be gas through the ventilation system.) I spent the days endlessly calculating how long it would take my former secretary to climb down 65 flights.

Of course, Morgan Stanley as a firm was "lucky" in that it lost only a handful of people - and those that I knew all survived "okay" - and I was very grateful, even while I mourned the loss.

For three years, I commuted into and through the World Trade Center. It would take me 15 minutes to get from the Path train level (5 levels below the building) up to the 59th floor. That's where I did my Christmas shopping - at the Warner Brothers store. It's where I got all my reading - at the bookstore in the corner of the 1st Tower. It's where my colleagues and I would travel the 2 elevators down to the lobby and halls of shops to our favorite healthy juice bar and tell them what type of extra "shot" we wanted in our strawberry banana smoothie that day. It's where my bank and my post office were. Even though I had been in the brokerage business for 10+ years, it was still my first job as a lawyer right out of law school. It's where my mentor taught me things that I still use to this day.

A year after 9/11, I had to travel to court in lower Manhattan. I had to take the ferry because the Path train no longer had a WTC station to go to. I remember the seething anger filling me the entire ferry ride from the NJ to the Manhattan shore, as I thought, "This is just wrong."

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue by Toby Keith

I believe (and think that I always have) that the getting and keeping freedom requires both prayer and action. Only a good sense of discernment can tell you which you are here to do and at what time. On D-Day there was both fighting and praying happening - and it's a good thing that those who did each didn't try to do the other's job.

Toby sings of the action part of the equation. Want to know more details of how Our Country's freedom was hard-won? Read David McCullough's "1776."

Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) by Alan Jackson

Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance by Red Skelton

It's not technically music - but it is music to the ears of those who love America and who love freedom.


Some Gave All by Billy Ray Cyrus

made in 1993

Only in America by Brooks & Dunn

US Marine Corps Hymn - Halls of Montezuma

And, hey, if they never taught you in school about what happened in Montezuma and Tripoli, just remember, it's never too late to learn!

The Marine's Hymn Lyrics

From the Halls of Montezuma

To the shores of Tripoli

We fight our country's battles

In the air, on land, and sea;

First to fight for right and freedom

And to keep our honor clean;

We are proud to claim the title

Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze

From dawn to setting sun;

We have fought in every clime and place

Where we could take a gun.

In the snow of far-off Northern lands

And in sunny tropic scenes;

You will find us always on the job --

The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps

Which we are proud to serve;

In many a strife we've fought for life

And never lost our nerve.

If the Army and the Navy

Ever look on Heaven's scenes,

They will find the streets are guarded

By United States Marines.

[Courtesy of USA Flag

If You're Reading This by Tim McGraw

'Til the Last Shot's Fired by Trace Adkins

The Fightin' Side of Me by Merle Haggard

The American Spirit

This Land is Your Land by Johnny Cash

Home on the Range

Okie from Muskogee

Vintage Americana.

"We still wave Old Glory down at the Courthouse."

American Pie

Released in 1971, this version is from a 1972 concert. Want more info about the interpretation of the lyrics? Get it here American Pie (song) on Wikipedia.

I grew up thinking that memorizing the lyrics by age 15 was a necessary rite of passage.

BTW, if you haven't heard it before, be sure to listen to "Starry Starry Night" about Vincent VanGogh - absolutely beautiful.



A beautiful memorial.

Taps - The Bugler's Cry

Documentary of the history of Taps The Bugler's Cry. First played in 1862. [Story of Union officer finding his Confederate son is a myth.]

Taps - lyrics

Day is done, gone the sun,

From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;

All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight,

And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.

From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.

Thanks and praise, for our days,

'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, neath the sky;

As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Sun has set, shadows come,

Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds

Always true to the promise that they made.

While the light fades from sight,

And the stars gleaming rays softly send,

To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.

[Courtesy of Scout Songs].

Semper Fidelis by John Philips Sousa

1776 The Musical

The creation of the Declaration of Indepence (set to music).

1776 The Musical - Original Cast Recording


War of 1812

. . . to tell us what you think!

Did you like something here that spoke to you? Did you have a suggestion for something to add? Do you want to comment on any topic here?

Uncle Sam Wants You!

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    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This has to be my favorite lens of all time...I'm a veteran of the WAC, I have a Marine grandson, a Navy granddaughter, and two daughters who have served in the who is in the National Guard serving in Afghanistan. I'm sending this to as many people as I can before they think I'm spamming. I loved all the videos, particularly "Have You Forgotten?" and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." I also loved the gentleman who sang the extra verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner." This lens should have received LOTD for July 4th.

    • KayeSI profile image

      KayeSI 6 years ago

      What a great collection of patriotic songs, music, and videos. I especially enjoyed seeing the video of James Cagney and Bob Hope - hadn't seen it in years - not since I was little. What sweet family memories that brought back. And congrats on also sharing the fourth verse of the Star Spangled Banner. The least known and most important! :) Thank you for a delightful visit on this 4th of July evening.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have a lot of love here. I remember when Red Skelton explained the Pledge of Allegience, I don't think I breathed the whole time, such a sweet man. I read through the words of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, it always strikes me that revelation knowledge happened there. Had to listen to Ray Charles and would have loved to stayed to listen to more. Very well done!

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 7 years ago

      I just thought of 3 more songs to add: American Pie, My Country 'Tis of Thee, and Dixie!