Track of the Day: 'Independence Day'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader submits an especially dark song for the series on misunderstood patriotism:

Martina McBride’s “Independence Day,” which is really about a domestic violence survivor finally killing her abuser, was tastelessly co-opted and manipulated by Sean Hannity [when he adopted it as the theme song for his radio show].

Gretchen Peters, who wrote the song, dislikes Hannity but was unable to prevent him from using it. Instead, she donated the royalties to liberal activist groups such as MoveOn.org and PFLAG. Peters did the same when Sarah Palin used “Independence Day” at the 2008 vice-presidential debate.