Happy Birthday America

Album: Peso in My Pocket (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Toby Keith is famously an American patriot with a history of writing prideful American anthems such as "Made in America," "American Soldier," and "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)." On "Happy Birthday America," Keith still extols his passionate love for his country but with a more reflective tone. While still declaring his undying pride in the red, white and blue, he questions the direction his country is heading in. Released as a single on June 30, 2021 for the July 4th weekend, Keith is sending a bittersweet happy birthday to America.
  • During the first verse, Keith highlights America's achievements in saving France from Germany's invasions in World Wars I and II. He then asks why so many of his country's citizens hate their country so much, warning they are in danger of losing their freedom.

    On the bridge, Keith shares his frustrations with both Democrat and Republican politicians.

    All the broken-down cities
    By the left's design
    And the right can't seem to get it right
    Most of the time
    Every time I go to town and vote
    I just come home with the blues


    Keith wrote the song on July 4, 2020 in the run-up to the election when the politicians on the right and on the left were completely divided. He said: "I was seeing both sides having concern over the end of democracy. We've fought and divided almost to the point it's only about power and winning. Charlie Daniels had a song saying 'God save us all from religion.' And I'm thinking, 'God save us all from politicians.'"
  • Keith penned the song on a boat after watching a fireworks display on July 4, 2020. He explained to Audacy's Rob + Holly there were around 5,000 boats tied together in a cove and all the boats and everyone on the shore had their radios tuned to the same station, synchronized to the fireworks.

    When the station started playing "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," everybody cheered and all of the boats honked their horns. Keith thought to himself, "It's our birthday, and our country's just a dumpster fire." He turned to his friend and said, "Happy Birthday America, whatever's left of you," then realized he'd come up with a song idea.
  • Keith wrote the song solely on his own and co-produced it with Kenny Greenberg (Taylor Hicks' "The Distance ," Josh Turner's "I Serve A Savior").

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