8. John Cougar Mellencamp - R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
There are numerous songs about how great it is to dream in America, but this John Cougar Mellencamp hit takes on a more narrow focus – the dream of pursuing music. The stars who captivate, many of whom are on this list, come from all parts of America. This song celebrates them, reminding us that entertainers often give up everything they have in order to chase their dreams, and there isn't anything much more American than that.
9. Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come
This stunning song isn't first a patriotic song, but the 1964 single does represent something central to America – freedom. “A Change Is Gonna Come” became the song that defined the civil rights movement of the sixties. It's stirring refrain captured both the pain and hope of that dark time in our nation's history. As a patriotic song it works in two ways – it reminds us of the freedoms that we have, but it also reminds that we have a long way to go until everyone in America can experience that same freedom.
10. Woody Guthrie - This Land Is Your Land
Woody Guthrie's “This Land Is Our Land” is an instantly recognizable folk classic. The song focuses on the beautiful geography of America, describing the many sites that can be seen across the country. It's a land of promise, but it is also a land of beauty. The song also serves as a reminder that even as the times change, this land is ours and it always will be. It was made for you and me.