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“God Bless The USA” 30 Years Old – The History Behind the Song

Lee Greenwood
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Lee Greenwood’s anthem, “God Bless The USA” turns 30 years old in 2013 and seems to still hold the top spot on most lists about patriotic songs.  It was written by Greenwood in 1983 and since that time it has been associated with two wars, 9-11, Hurricane Katrina and even been re-recorded by other artists.  But do you know what promoted him to write it?

Greenwood says he had been wanting to write the song his whole life, but was moved by one tragic event in 1983 to finally finish it.  That event was Russia shooting down the Korean jet flying to Seoul from New York City.  269 people, including 63 Americans, died.

“I saw the senseless strike as a personal attack against our countrymen and it moved me to put pen to paper,” says Greenwood. “The song came so easily, it nearly wrote itself.”


The song never made it to #1, peaking at #7 in1984, but did win the CMA Award for song fo the year in 1985.  It also served as an anthem in 1990 and ’91 during the Gulf War and again in 2003 during the Iraqi invasion.  Of course it held the country together following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.  And did you know Greenwood also recorded a Canadian version?  Check out the original video for “God Bless The USA” as well as the Candaian version below.

God Bless The U.S.A. – Lee Greenwood [Official Video] from inspiredfaith on GodTube.

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