It is not easy to put patriotism into words, but music icons such as Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen have found ways to accomplish just that. Cash’s “Song of the Patriot” and “Ragged Old Flag” and Springsteen’s “American Land” and iconic “Born in the U.S.A.” – among other examples – express passionate love for our nation, even if they sometimes point out its faults. (These are Bruce Springsteen’s best albums.)
Neither Cash nor Springsteen, nor such other famed performers as Ray Charles (“America the Beautiful”) or John Denver (“Take Me Home, Country Roads”) have had big hits with their patriotic offerings, however. Who has?
To determine the most popular patriotic songs according to Billboard, 24/7 Tempo reviewed performance data on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Songs were ranked based on an inverse score wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 100 points, a week at No. 2 worth 99 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 100 worth one point. Chart data is current through the week of Nov. 19, 2022.
Patriotic songs come in all genres, from funky rhythms to stirring ballads to rock favorites. The songs on our list range from classics that honor brave men and women in uniform to more contemporary songs, such as Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” – one of the many country songs appearing here. (This year’s final ranking isn’t finished yet, but these are the best country songs of 2021.)
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