I Hate Lee Greenwood

By J.D. Johannes

I must confess, I have something in common with Kos and his minions…I hate Lee Greenwood.

I hate him for being a one hit wonder.

I hate him for being a one hit wonder who only earns royalties during times of conflict.

I hate the way he looks, smiles and even walks.

If the Kossacks really wanted to find out who was behind 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq and Desert Storm–I can think of no one who had a greater profit motive than Lee Greenwood.

Think about it…his theatre in Gatlinburg, TN, that’s in the same state as Knoxville, and we all know who lives in Knoxville

(Whoa, too much Kool-Aid, better switch back to Crystal Light)

Surely we can do better than a former Vegas lounge act whose claim to fame is one song.

I want a different pop-culture patriotic song that gets trotted out on the 4th of July and salutes to veterans.

You see, I don’t want some softy balad about America.

I want something that will really piss off the Kossacks.

Something like this

And something that will really, really offend the Jihadis

(They both endorsed W. and I still think they should have let Kid play an inaugural event.)

If Lee Greenwood gives them fits…lets push them over the edge with a Kid Rock/Toby Keith collaboration.

And then Lee Greenwood can retire to his theatre in TN and I won’t have to look at that beard of his ever again.

But until then, I’ll stick with this.

JD Johannes is filmmaker, and blogger who is tired of hearing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA.”

49 Responses to “I Hate Lee Greenwood”

  1. Brendon Carr Says:

    Don’t forget the anthem from Team America: World Police!

  2. Harry Says:

    If you REALLY want to piss off the Kos Kids and their ilk- how about “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”? Not only is it all about kicking ass, it’s also explicitly Christian. Odly enough, it is still included in the Methodist Hymnal, but I’d probably have to be over 80 to have heard it sung in a Methodist service.

    My $0.02, YMMV.

  3. Rael Gabriel Says:

    You want a song to piss off the Koassacks and Jihadis? Then look no further than Hidden Agenda’s “Proud to be The Great Satan”:


  4. Tom Perkins Says:

    While I haven’t gone to a Methodist service to hear the sermon since I was a child (I oppose their stand on political issues), as late as 1988, they were signing it every so often in the M.E.C.S. I then attended.

    Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

  5. J. Gerrish Says:


    I’m married to a Methodist minister of music, and we sang “Battle Hymn” last Sunday in church, and also in our town square on the 4th.
    ‘Of course we’re a Methodist church in Texas ;-)

  6. don surber Says:

    Toby Keith, I can see. He deserves a swift one in the butt. But not Lee Greenwood, who if he lost everything and had to start all over again would still be proud to be an American

    God Blees, the Lee Green Wood

  7. Mike Anderson Says:

    Jeez, I’m not crazy! I, too, hate that franken’ song–for some reason all the Air Force pukes were queer for it back in the 80′s, when they weren’t doing sh*t except waiting for the Sovs to keel over. I always thought it had way too little “Over There” and way too much “Horst Wessel Lied” for my taste.

    Harry’s got it exactly right–I was really pissed off at a recent symphony performance of historic American music that just “forgot” the Battle Hymn.

  8. Jennifer Says:

    I have to point out several other Lee Greenwood songs, which were big hits on country radio in the early 80s when I was a kid: IOU, Ring on her finger time on her hands, and Mornin’ Ride. And I actually still enjoy listening to Mornin’ Ride.

  9. GEBIV Says:

    Ironically, Lee Greenwood has a very nice recording of the Battle Hymn of the Republic too. Not quite as stirring as the Tennessee Ernie Ford version, but still good. I’ve got both of them on my I-tunes rotation…

  10. Sulizano Says:

    Ack, I can’t stand that song either!

    You’re wrong about the ‘one-hit-wonder’ thing. For several years in the mid-80′s you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing one of his songs. Some of them even didn’t suck.

  11. Mike Rentner Says:

    And it’s a really bad “one-hit” too. I hate that song.

  12. Son Of The Godfather Says:

    Dissent can be patriotic!… I love the song. :)

  13. tps Says:

    I happen to like ‘ The March of Cambreadth’ myself. With the bagpipes it makes you think a wall of Scottish clansmen are coming over the hill at you. :) http://www.heatherlands.com

    The March of Cambreadth
    music & lyrics: Heather Alexander

    Axes flash, broadsword swing,
    Shining armour’s piercing ring
    Horses run with polished shield,
    Fight Those Bastards till They Yield
    Midnight mare and blood red roan,
    Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
    Sound the horn and call the cry,
    How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

    Follow orders as you’re told,
    Make Their Yellow Blood Run Cold
    Fight until you die or drop,
    A Force Like Ours is Hard to Stop
    Close your mind to stress and pain,
    Fight till You’re No Longer Sane
    Let not one damn cur pass by,
    How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

    Guard your women and children well,
    Send These Bastards Back to Hell
    We’ll teach them the ways of war,
    They Won’t Come Here Any More
    Use your shield and use your head,
    Fight till Every One is Dead
    Raise the flag up to the sky,
    How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

    Dawn has broke, the time has come,
    Move Your Feet to a Marching Drum
    We’ll win the war and pay the toll,
    We’ll Fight as One in Heart and Soul
    Midnight mare and blood red roan,
    Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
    Sound the horn and call the cry,
    How Many of Them Can We Make Die!


  14. Harry Says:

    Hi Tom and J. Gerrish-

    Good to know someone is still singing this great old song. I’m in West Virginia, and in my last 8-10 years of (relatively) regular attendance I can’t recall even hearing it once. You’d think a people in state created during and because of the Civil War (War between the States/War of Northern Agression LOL) would be more likely to sing that song than those in a state that was a part of the late Confederacy.

    Ah well…

  15. Ed Says:

    Love the song, sing along with it every time its on :)

  16. Gunga Says:

    Life is too short for hate…especially of total strangers…over something so trivial. Leave the hate to the hate-mongers like KOS and his minions. Anyway, modern “country” music has about as much in common with rural America as a half-caff double latte with extra foam.

  17. spacemonkey Says:

    I love the song.

    It’s about what the jihadis hate! They WANT to get killed whilst illing the infidels, the song is about God’s blessings on the US. Which I mioght point out is in direct opposition the jihadis’ core beliefs.

    And also in oposition to the Kos-kidscore beliefs too I guess.

  18. spacemonkey Says:

    illing = killing
    mioght = might


  19. Dark Jethro Says:

    Ditto on “Proud to be an American”. Though I agree with the content, that song is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    To be fair to Lee, my distain is because of unimaginative, copy-cat, program organizers, who have used it at every patriotic event around here for the last 6 years. Its not like there hasn’t been alternatives, as others have pointed out.

    At this point ACDC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” would inspire more patriotism in me…

    “she was knocking me out with those American thighs…”

  20. Martin Says:

    You civilians don’t know how good you’ve got it. I was in the Army from 1980 until I retired in 2005 and starting with the 1st Gulf War, it seemed like you couldn’t have any kind of military ceremony without hearing that stupid song. The part that always galls me is the part where he says “I’d proudly stand up next to them/and defend her still today.” Though the urban myth that Greenwood was a draft dodger has been pretty thoroughly debunked, it riles me a bit when somebody who never served in the military tells me about what they “would do,” as if there’s some moral virtue in almost, sort of, maybe, thinking about making a sacrifice. It’s insipid.

  21. sourdough Says:

    Critisism of Greenwood might be more credible if you had actually seen his performance. He is an excellent entertainer and reguarly gets standing ovations from his live audiences .

  22. Jim Says:

    Personally I go for Charlie Daniels ” It ain’t a rag it’s a flag”. That had heads spinning for a while.

  23. wjo Says:

    I’ve always been partial to Merle Haggard who got the Kossacks right when they were glints in their hippie parents eyes with “Okie From Muskogee” and my personal favorite “Fighting Side of Me”. And yes, I am questioning your patriotism hippy!

  24. HSD Says:

    Most of those pussies couldn’t tote Greenwood’s jock strap–let alone Toby Keith or Kid Rock.

  25. middleagedhousewife Says:

    Our family went down to Ft Bragg again this year. At least 20,000 people joined in when that song was played. An Army sargeant sang it, the Army Band played it and everybody joined in. It may not be the greatest song, but most everybody knows it and it’s hard to stand in a crowd and keep your feelings to yourself and your mouth shut when it comes around. Add in the Presidential visit from earlier in the day and well, Kos would’ve choked to death standing downwind from the parade grounds.
    BTW, later on, the band played the 1812 and B Battery supplied the cannon fire. All in all, a great day.

  26. Duncan Frissell Says:

    I was in an *Episcopal* church in a *Blue* state last Sunday and we sang the BHOTR. The substituted ‘live’ for ‘die’ in the modern tradition but Christ *was* born across the sea in the beauty of the lillies.

    As He died to make men holy
    Let us die (not live) to make men free

    The UK memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral on 14 September 2001 featured BHOTR (called ‘Glory, Glory, Hallelujah’ by the BBC colour commentator). How politically incorrect.

  27. Martin Says:

    Speaking of Charlie Daniels, does anybody remember the song “In America” that he wrote around the time of the Iran Hostage crisis circa 1979? I think if he had written that now, it might have caught on a little more. I’m kind of surprised that Daniels (or someone else) hasn’t dug it out of the archives. Perhaps it’s because of the somewhat pessimistic tone of the song. Here’s the words, as I recall them:

    Now the eagle’s been flyin’ slow
    And the flag’s been flyin’ low
    And a lot of people say that America’s fixin’ to fall
    But speakin’ just for me
    And some boys from Tennessee
    We got a thing or two to tell you all

    We’ll all stick together
    You can take that to the bank
    That’s the cowboys and the hippies
    And the Rebels and Yanks

    It basically goes on from there.

  28. KSgop Says:

    God Bless the USA has been my favorite song for many years. I’ve always thought that it would be just as fitting a national anthem as Star Spangled Banner. If you ask me, they don’t play it enough on July 4th (or during the rest of the year for that matter).

  29. TallDave Says:

    That Toby Keith piece is a classic. Happened across it a little while after it came out, bought the CD, listened to it repeatedly.

    And I hate country music.

  30. Old Hack Says:

    “God Bless the U.S.A.” first appeared on Lee Greenwood’s seventh album in 1990. To make that plain, he was popular enough to have released SIX previous albums, which is more than most acts EVER release. True, it has since appeared on five more of his albums but, hey — he’s not the one buying it! Anyway, hardly a one-hit wonder. So, you guys don’t like Greenwood, Charlie Daniels OR Toby Keith. Y’all live in the city, huh?

  31. Jonesy Says:

    Toby Keith is a democrat fyi ;-) .

    Theres alot of talk about how actors and performers (Dixie Chicks) make poltical statements when they are really dont add anything substantive. But there’s very little about performers who exploit patriotism to make money and further their careers, and theres alot of that going on.Someone mentioned Charlie Daniels, and imo he’s one of the worst. His career was over until he wrote a essay about some right wing issue that got him noticed, i can imagine the little light going off because ever since then he’s been on the partriotic bandwagon. He even has raised his hat up so you can see his eyes now lol. He’s milking it for all its worth.

    Even if you disagreewith the left wing performers that spout off, youve gotta admit that they arent really exploiting anything for the good of their career, theyre just being stupid – but at least theyre being honest about what they believe. I dont think you can say that for many of those that are being “patriotic”, including Mr Greenwood. He’s probably sick and tired of that song too.

  32. Patrick Says:

    Lee Greenwood sang that song at my high school when I was a senior. He was there for Character Counts, I think. Anyway, it was met with collective yawns. I think most of us would have rather stayed in class.

  33. BN Says:

    Look up the lyrics to Sammy Hagar’s VOA. Made during the Reagan years.

  34. Ryoushi Says:

    I was sick of Lee Greenwood before the first Gulf War. Nothing against him personally or the sentemint of the song, but keee-rist it’s time to move on. Please…god somebody save us.

  35. Mike Says:

    “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” third verse:

    I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
    “As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
    Since God is marching on.

    That, my friends, is Gospel music that kicks Satan’s butt!

  36. observer 5 Says:

    Well, if you really want something that will offend jihadis and kossacks, why not “Hadji Girl?”

    You can update the lyrics, include some stanza based on that real life raping of a Hadji Girl in Mahmoudiyah.

  37. J A Says:

    While it’s comforting to know that someone else also thinks that “God Bless the USA” is an awful song, I would include the BHOTR in there with it, well, maybe worse because I find that Unitarian dity about blasphemous.

  38. Jack Friedman Says:

    I came to Nashville 20 years ago to write songs. Admittedly, my own accomplishments were meager & I’ve moved on to other ways of making a living here in NashVegas. So although my own material didn’t catch fire, my ear was (and still is) sharp and well-schooled in songcraft — and I was here when Lee Greenwood slimed his way into town & onto the charts.

    Believe me, Greenwood was/is universally considered an oily hack, & God Bless the USA considered a poorly-written, insincere bit of pandering. This based purely on it’s qualities as a song, with no politics involved in the assessment.

    It’s a shame the tune gained any popularity at all. It’s not fit to be mentioned in the same breath as The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, or even This Land is Your Land.

    I don’t doubt Lee Greenwood successfully entertains many people. But I am VERY patriotic and God Bless the USA, sung by him or anyone, sits squarely on my gag reflex.

  39. grr Says:

    i know it is corny but I can still remember being a young lt in germany in the late 80s, 5000 miles from home (I was from the Pacific NW) and the song bringing tears to my eyes. Similarly a few years later, as Desert Storm ended, and we sat around half snockered. Mayber it was the times, maybe it was coming out of the Carter years where to be a military man much less a patriot was to be a goober. But sometimes we all try too hard to be cooler than most and hate on songs that we hear too much (i.e springsteen and madonna come to mind). Let it go and let those who enjoy them, enjoy them. BTW I be digging the Toby Keith songs as well. Put them right next to my rap and gospel CDs. keep up the good work.

  40. Mikey Dee Says:

    JD Johannes is filmmaker, and blogger who is tired of hearing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA.”

    My 3d grade teacher was Miss Johannes. She left after that year to get married.

    Anyway, I am surprised no one has mentioned “Bush was Right” by the Right Brothers. That will upset the leftists, believe me.

  41. SFC B Says:

    God Bless the USA is still played at many military functions. The music played at my PLDC graduation was GBtUSA. At my BNCOC and recruiting school functions it was Courtesy of the Red White and Blue, and GBtUSA during both events.

  42. Dale G. Leopold Says:

    And BTW, the lyrics to the Battle Hymn were written by—wait for it–a Unitarian!! Don’t mess with us UUs–we’ll kick your ass! Or, well, we’ll put together a petition (with a revision by each signer)…

  43. Mark Jaeger Says:

    Think what you want about Lee Greenwood and “GBtUSA,” when I was still in the Air Force, back in the mid-90′s, I met the guy when we crossed paths in an airport waiting lounge. He took the time to speak with me for a few minutes and was nice and polite as could be. When he mentioned I was in the Air Force, he wished me well, and thanked me for my service. Maybe first appearances deceive, and maybe Lee Greenwood says that stuff to everybody, but he’s definitely number one in my book.

  44. Nate Says:

    I have to say after 4 years in the Marine Corps, and 5 years off active duty, but living near several bases, Lee Greenwood has worn out his welcome with me at least. I am so sick of that song. I have to say Toby almost got me to re-enlist with courtesy. Only the reminder that I was one of the worst Marines in history (liked to eat, hated to run) stayed my hand, but it was a close call.

  45. melissa Says:

    BTW – Greenwood did not register the awful God Bless song – he gets no royalties. He has said he wants any one to enjoy it without having to pay him anything – did it for his country kind of stuff….
    I don’t like the song, but appreciate his actions.

  46. Charlie Says:

    Definitely not a one hit wonder. “Touch and Go Crazy” off “If There’s Any Justice” (1987) was also a biggie. Good song too.


  47. Juanito Says:

    Golly, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’m a lifelong curmudgeon. So many folks claiming to be bored, disgusted, nauseous, etc.over one little ol’ song, one that is obviously popular with many more people than not. Lee has had many hits in his genre since back in the early 80s. Definitely NOT a one hit wonder. No matter what one thinks, Lee certainly doesn’t travel from station to station, all over the country, holding a gun to the heads of DJs, forcing them to play “Proud to be An American,” or else. And doesn’t it just stir your blood when he hits your home state, e.g., “across the plains of Texas” with a little extra oomph. Yes, ol’ Tex here might be aging, but patriotism has not yet abandoned my soul, nor will a song that brings it to mind suffer criticism from my lips.

  48. Linda Says:

    I wonder if 1/2 of the people that are complaining about one song are even 1/2 as patriotic, and have lifted the morale of our trips,even 1/2 as much as Lee Greenwood has, would be willing to let this song be played countless times and not receive any royalties for it.This might not be a perfect country that we live in but it sure is the best that there is, and if we had more patriotic people, like Lee Greenwood, in it instead of people complaining about him doing something that has made a lot of us feel very proud of him and our country I think it would be an even better place to live. And I will GLADLY stand beside him, hold my flag high and sing right along with him and let the whole world know that I TOO am glad to be an American where I know that I am free.

  49. Nashville Native Says:

    I’ve recently spent a few hours at an event where Lee Greenwood was the host. I got to see him around his family. He’s just a guy like you’d find working on the copier at work, or stocking the shelves at the grocery. It is so easy for people to judge others when they’ve never met them. He may not be perfect, his song(s) may not be to your taste, but he’s a regular guy. Ate pizza and chips and poured his pop out of the 2 liter bottle into a plastic cup and scooped his ice from a bag from the local mart just like everyone else at the gathering. Gave the pizza delivery guy a nice tip, but he didn’t know I was watching around the corner. Lee did it because he wanted to, not because he thought someone would notice. Maybe he’s the Anti-Christ for all I know, but he sure seemed pretty normal, almost non-descript. Remember, hate in your heart will consume you too.