Country star Toby Keith released a new song this week — titled "Happy Birthday America" — as the United States prepares to celebrate Independence Day. In it, the longtime patriot songwriter and performer remembers the heritage of the nation and laments what the country has become and how her people have changed and become divided.
Importantly, Keith's song forces listeners to wonder how much of America is still left and how long we can survive.
Keith begins his song with the chorus, in which he celebrates America's birth and notes her freedoms and then bemoans the attitudes of so many Americans today who are "pissin' on the red, white and blue."
"Happy Birthday America, whatever's left of you," the chorus ends.
Throughout the verses, Keith remembers how America has "saved the world" multiple times and is the "greatest of them all" but now its own citizens "want to turn you into something other than yourself" and "burn your flag in their city streets, more than anybody else."
Keith also reminds listeners that "without the helping hand of God," America's "days are numbered."
"We're sure gonna miss you, girl," he sings. "You were the best that's ever been."
And it's not politics that's going to save the nation, the star reminds us — in fact, that's what has broken us.
All the broken-down cities
By the left's design
And the right can't seem to get it right
Most of the time
Every time I go to town and vote
I just come home with the blues
The lesser of two evils
All we ever get to choose
Toby Keith - Happy Birthday America (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com
Keith joined Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Friday to discuss and perform his new song.
He told the hosts that he came up with the song "in the middle of last summer — and this country felt like a dumpster fire about then."
"I live in the heartland, and it just feels like everybody you talk to has the same worries — feels like democracy's in trouble," he said. "You hear people talking civil war; you hear of separation of states. And it just feels like the politicians aren't getting the job done on either side and it just feels like the democracy is in danger."
Keith told the Music Universe that when he wrote the song, the country was in the throes of the pandemic and the 2020 presidential election was in full swing. "It had been a screwed up 18 months," he said.
"I was seeing both sides having concern over the end of democracy," he added. "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."