Toby Keith's 'Happy Birthday America, Whatever's Left of You' has fans crying
The song 'Happy Birthday, America' sees country music star Toby Keith reflect on the status quo and where the US could be headed in the near future
Singer-songwriter Toby Keith was lauded after he released a new single ahead of Independence Day to mark America's 245th birthday. In his new song, the Oklahoma musician reckons with the country's longevity.
The song, 'Happy Birthday, America,' sees the country music star reflect on the status quo and where the United States could be headed in the near future. That said, this is not Keith's first patriotic number. He has previously released hits such as 'American Soldier', 'American Ride', 'Made In America', and 'Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (Angry American)'.
Keith debuted his new single in an interview with 'Fox & Friends' on Friday, July 2, revealing how he was inspired to write the song last summer during a massive boat parade amid the peaking Covid-19 pandemic. “All the boats had radios synced to the same radio station," the award-winning musician recalled. “So you could hear the same thing all the way across the lake.”
He then heard one of his tunes as ‘Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue’ begins to play. “Everybody was honking their horns, screaming and singing… I was like, ‘wow.’ It was in the middle of last summer and this country felt like a dumpster fire about then. So I said, ‘Happy Birthday, America, whatever’s left of ya,'” he continued, noting that he completed the song a few days later. “I live in the heartland, and it just feels like everybody you talk to has got the same worries,” Keith continued. “Feels like democracy’s in trouble and… it just feels like the politicians on both sides aren’t gettin’ the job done.”
In his new song, the Oklahoma musician mourns "all the broken-down cities, by the left's design". “Seems like everybody’s pissin’/on the red, white and blue/happy birthday America/whatever’s left of you,” he sings in the first verse. According to Keith, America's touted position as the leader of the free world may be a hallmark of the past, especially for those nations that relied on her leadership. “Who they gonna count on/when you’re not there to take their call?/Will the world keep right on spinnin’/without the greatest of them all?” he asks.
Keith calls out both the political left and right, saying he's left feeling dejected on Election Day. “Every time I go to town and vote/I just come home with the blues,” he wrote. “The lesser of two evils/all we ever get to choose.” “It had been a screwed-up 18 months,” Keith said in a statement about the song. “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.”
Fans on social media appeared rather thrilled about the release. "Toby Keith is back! I am thrilled and I cannot wait to hear his new work. We have missed him a lot!! This is exactly what we need right now!" one tweeted. "Love Toby!! He has always been a strong supporter of the country and the armed forces!! And he tells the truth and not afraid of blowback!!! He’s awesome," another added.
"Great stuff, we need to listen, learn and correct this now!" a third chimed in. Another said, "Wow what a song, bright tears to my eyes.." One more said, "Did you hear Toby Keith’s new song for the season? Poignant."
Love Toby!! He has always been a strong supporter of the country and the armed forces!! And he tells the truth and not afraid of blow back!!! He’s awesome 💜💜💜💜— Ladydy (@DianneLHughes12) July 3, 2021
Great stuff, we need to listen, learn and correct this now!— Bill houseright (@houseright73) July 3, 2021
Wow what a song, bright tears to my eyes..— Debby Donner (@debby_donner) July 3, 2021
Did you hear Toby Keith’s new song for the season?— David Shirkey (@shirkeyd) July 4, 2021
Gotta keep our heads up!
Keith is currently traveling across the US as part of his 'Country Comes to Town' tour, according to Rolling Stone.