America

Album: The Jazz Singer (1980)
Charted: 8
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This is a tribute to immigration in America, where people from all over the world were welcome to come and seek opportunity. Diamond grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where many Europeans arrived. His grandparents were immigrants: on his father's side they came from Poland, and on his mother's side from Russia.
  • Michael Dukakis used this as his theme song in his failed 1988 Presidential campaign to emphasize his own ethnic origins as a third-generation American. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - Louisville, KY
  • Diamond wrote this for the 1980 movie The Jazz Singer, where he starred as a young Jewish man who must defy his father to follow his dreams of becoming a singer.
  • Will Ferrell used to impersonate Diamond on Saturday Night Live. In one bit where they did a fake Behind The Music, Ferrell (as Diamond) said this song was "fueled creatively by my massive hatred of immigrants."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 6

  • Dusk Blackman from Albany, Georgia (u.s.a.)He's definitely a vintage Michael. I remember this song when Atlanta held the summer Olympics July of 1996. I was in Albany, Georgia near the train station, turned into a museum, when the torch bearer passed us and coming to America was over the loudspeaker. I was overwhelmed with joy. I still live in Albany.
  • Kristopher from Mount Prospect, IlI think "America" is more specifically about the immigration of Jews to America after WWII. Specifically the second line says "Without a home, but not without a star", referring to the Star of David, otherwise he would have said "stars" in reference to the 50 on the US flag.
    His other line, "we're traveling light today" would seem to refer to people coming with nothing, as opposed to those coming here with all of their belongings. This makes sense as many Jews liberated from their interment camps or ghettos would have come to the US with little to no belongings at all.
  • Coy from Palestine, TxJust used on "The Big Bang Theory" sang by Wolowicz and Amy Fara- Fowler.
  • Michael Scott from Punta Gorda, FlThis was a popular song that Gov. Dukakis used to pre-empt his arrival to his presidential election ralleys. They would play it over loud speakers as he would arrive and be walking up the stage platform.
  • Farrah from Elon, NcI adore this song!!!
  • Steven from Sunnyvale, CaBob Rivers (twistedtunes.com) did a parody ("Sneak Into America") with a similar subject, except it's about illegal immigration.
see more comments

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.

Shaun Morgan of SeetherSongwriter Interviews

Shaun breaks down the Seether songs, including the one about his brother, the one about Ozzy, and the one that may or may not be about his ex-girlfriend Amy Lee.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.