After a Brooklyn principal decided to ban Lee Greenwood‘s patriotic smash hit “God Bless the USA” from being played at her school’s kindergarten graduation, the singer/songwriter spoke out about his intentions for penning the nationally acclaimed record.
Greenwood explained, “I wrote ‘God Bless the USA’ about the love I have for this country and the struggle we have gone through to remain free. Our country was founded on the principle that it welcomes people of all cultures and gives them the same rights we have as citizens. However, I feel compelled to echo the faith of our forefathers who all believed in God and a respect of a higher authority. Personally, denying the children of [the Brooklyn school] to sing ‘God Bless the USA,’ offends me as a Christian. My song is about hope, faith, spirit and pride. How could that be wrong on any level?”
The lyrics of the song were deemed “inappropriate” for five-year-olds, who would be participating in the school event. While New York City Chancellor Dennis Walcott supports the principal’s decision to remove the song from the graduation program, parents and teachers take the opposite position and have expressed their anger toward the principal’s decision.
At the risk of opening a can of worms, we would love to hear what our readers think of this story. The school at issue is located near New York City, a place that was directly and drastically impacted by the events of 9/11. Do you think this song has inappropriate lyrics and/or connotation? Do you think the principal has a leg to stand on with her decision, or do you side with the teachers and parents, whom found solitude in Greenwood’s song after the 9/11 tragedy? Please share your thoughts with the staff and readers of Keepin’ It Country.