Three days before Independence Day, country singer-songwriter Toby Keith released a song titled "Happy Birthday America." But Keith's lyrics ruminate on a future that remains uncertain. The song opens: "Seems like everybody's pi-----/on the red, white and blue/happy birthday America/whatever's left of you."
Keith's lyrics suggest that the hallmark of American exceptionalism may be a thing of the past. In the song, he asks: "Who they gonna count on/when you're not there to take their call?/Will the world keep right on spinnin’/without the greatest of them all?"
Before the song's release, Keith said, according to The Hill, "I live in the heartland, and it just feels like everybody you talk to has got the same worries.
"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," the country singer added. "And it just feels like democracy's in danger."
Keith is not one to shy away from controversy. In 2003, he feuded with The Dixie Chicks (now known as The Chicks) for criticizing then-President George W. Bush. But Keith has made a point of his patriotism, performing for presidents on both sides of the political aisle including Barack Obama and Bush.
In 2017, he sang at an inaugural concert for then-President Donald Trump. Keith said that he wouldn't "apologize for performing for our country or military." Earlier this year, Keith was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by Trump.
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