Today Americans celebrate Memorial Day, honoring the military servicemen and women that have passed while serving our country. The holiday is definitely not as flashy or as popular as Independence Day in July, seeing that there are no Memorial Day fireworks or picnics. It's not stuck in November like Veteran's Day, which always gets sadly forgotten in the fall holiday shuffle between Halloween and Thanksgiving. With all that, not everyone is rah-rah when it comes to this country, as you will see in this list of unpatriotic songs. Some will piss you off, and many will make you think, and a few may outright make our most conservative readers shake their computers in disgust. Pretty much if you own more than one Sean Hannity book, fantasize about Ann Coulter in a garter belt, or think Rush Limbaugh is a Greek god on Earth, then just click off now. 1. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son": If wars are fought by the poor, then this is the most damning expression of it. Silver spoons, moneyed sons...and the best song on the Forrest Gump soundtrack. 2. Bruce Springsteen "Born In the U.S.A": Just like The Police's "Every Breath You Take" before it, this is one of the most misunderstood songs in rock history. It's been co-opted by most everyone who looks for musical shorthand to express their patriotism, but who doesn't feel the need to read lyrics. 3. Neil Young, "Rockin' In The Free World": A sarcastic anti-patriotic song from a Canadian folkie, this song has now been grasped by Tea Party protesters, even though the lyrics are anything but pro-American policy. 4. Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, "This Land Is Your Land": Now that everyone is pointing out communists left and right again, this song has become a lightning rod again for conservatives who point to it as an endorsement of Marxism. 5. Manic Street Preachers, "IfWhiteAmericaToldTheTruthForOneDayItsWorldWouldFallApart": Coming off the Manics' 1994 album, The Holy Bible, this song threw many people for the loop who didn't know the Brit-rockers to have such a political bent. Sure enough, it caused trouble. Missing since 1995, lyricist/guitarist Richey Edwards was presumed dead in 2008. 6. Anti-Flag, "Fuck the Flag": You can't get much more straightforward than this track from the Pittsburgh punk band's 2003 album The Terror State, which came on the heels of the Iraq war build-up and 9/11 two years before. 7. NOFX "Franco Un-American": Fat Mike has always written what he feels without pulling any punches, and when the war effort escalated, the band went into full political mode. 8. Morrissey, "America Is Not The World": Well, Mozz, we do finally have a black president. 9. Brother Ali, "Uncle Sam Goddamn": Best line ever: "Welcome to the united snakes. Land of the thief, home of the slave." 10. Dead Kennedys, "Stars And Stripes Of Corruption": Oversimplification was always Jello Biafra's strong suit. We don't know he did more to damage the minds of young punkers or actually make them wake up and find their own answers instead of his. 11. Choking Victim, "Fuck America": We really loved Choking Victim back in the day, because they were crust-punks who melded crack cocaine, ska, hate and metal into one three-piece package.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.