Country music catches a lot of flack from outside artists and non-country fans for only singing about tailgates, pick up trucks and cans of cold beer, but these are often misguided stereotypes. For people who know and love country music, it is a genre that is praised for producing storytelling hits that are more than a fine crafted tune. American country music has been around since the 1920s which means the genre has seen a lot of ballads come and go over the past several decades, and sometimes audiences don’t necessarily like the story these songs are singing, at least not at the time of their release. Check out this list country music’s most controversial songs:
10. “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American)” — Toby Keith
Toby Keith’s song was released in 2002, a short time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the song resonated with a lot of people because it harnessed a lot of anger and that good ‘ol American patriotism many Southern country fans have. But there was also many people who felt a strong distaste against the message of the song and thought it wasn’t very productive at the time of its release. Critics even said the song was “ignorant” or had a “two-fisted tone” with lyrics like, “Soon as we could see clearly/Through our big black eye/Man, we lit up your world/Like the Fourth of July,” or “This big dog will fight/When you rattle his cage/And you’ll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A./’Cause we’ll put a boot in your a–/It’s the American way.” It was quite different from some of the other 9/11 songs that were being released at the time. Despite high tensions, the song topped the charts and thrust Keith into the spotlight.