In my earlier note featuring “Born in the U.S.A.” and “America,” I asked readers if they knew of other songs that convey the kind of complicated patriotism their refrains might betray. One reader who delivers via hello@:
Next in line has surely got to be “Rockin’ in the Free World” by Neil Young. The chorus itself is a great cheer of ambiguity and willful ignorance.
Another reader notes:
You don’t need to read far to get what Neil Young’s saying, but don’t miss the second verse, featuring a hopeless crack addict throwing her infant in a trash can. Uplifting!
Full lyrics below. Here’s some context for the song: