"American Ride": Toby Keith's 19th Number One Hit 1

Toby Keith. Photo Credits: gocountry105.com

Winter gettin’ colder, summer gettin’ warmer
Tidal wave comin’ cross the Mexican border
Why buy a gallon, it’s cheaper by the barrel
Just don’t get busted singin’ Christmas carols

That’s us, that’s right
Gotta love this American ride
Both ends of the ozone burnin’
Funny how the world keeps turning
Look ma, no hands
I love, this American ride
Gotta love this American ride

Song Background

A country song penned by Joe West and Dave Pahanish, “American Ride” was recorded and performed by Oklahoman native Toby Keith. Released on July 28, 2009, it is the first single and the title track of Keith’s 13th studio album, which was released later in October.

Notably,  “American Ride” is Keith’s 47th single in his career and his 19th no. 1 single. It topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on October 10, 2009.

"American Ride": Toby Keith's 19th Number One Hit 2

Photo Credits: mindmeister.com

American Ride” centers on various political issues in the United States. Some of these issues include illegal immigration, political correctness, lawsuits, hiking gasoline prices, and the decreasing importance of religion. However, the song still shows pride in being an American and living in the great land of the free, home of the brave.

In addition, the music video of the song includes Donald Trump lashing out and body shaming Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado due to her weight gain.

"American Ride": Toby Keith's 19th Number One Hit 3

Alicia Machado and Donald Trump. Photo Credits: angelopedia.com

Originally, the title of the song was “American Life”. However, when songwriters Dave Pahanish and Joe West gave the demo to Keith, they changed it to “American Ride”. According to Pahanish and West, the song is about “the funny, but irritating, things in life that really tick people off”.

Song Reception

Just after its release, “American Ride” received mixed reactions and review. Country Universe music critic Dan Milliken said that the intro sounded like a “hamster dance” version of Reba McEntire’s song “Strange”. He further said that the latter part of the tune sounded like a car commercial. Confused about the song’s real intention, Milliken expressed:

“I can’t say I don’t find it all amusing on some strange level. There seems to have been a serious attempt to make social commentary here, and it was pretty hit-or-miss, or maybe more of one than the other, depending on your perspective.”

On the other hand, Jed Gottlieb of The Boston Globe pointed out:

“The song lets me make fun of my status as a political punching bag while mocking both the right and left.”

Meanwhile, Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave a positive review. He stated that the song was not “jingoistic” and that it “casts a cynical eye […] not celebrating down-home values but wondering where we’re all headed.

Watch and listen to Toby Keith’s 2009 hit, “American Ride” below:

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