America by Song: 8 Tunes From 2011 About the U.S.A.

More

Our country as portrayed by today's rappers, country stars, and pop icons

gaga american still 600.jpg

LadyGaga.com

As long as there's been an America, there have been attempts to understand America in song. This year has seen its share of musicians trying to come to grips with an ever-more conflicted and polarizing national identity.

Across the following eight songs from 2011, we can bear witness to old-fashioned ideas of stubborn patriotism, ambivalence about capitalism, emphatic nudges in a variety of moral directions, optimism, and cynicism—not to mention a unicorn, a can of WD-40, and David Letterman. If anything, as we celebrate our country's 235th birthday this year, we can take pride in the fact that our country, flawed as she might be, is far from boring.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Eric Harvey is a PhD candidate in Indiana University's Department of Communication and Culture. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, and The Village Voice.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Stop Telling Women to Smile'

An artist's campaign to end sexual harassment on the streets of NYC.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In