The mere mention of 9/11 prompts a mixture of emotions, ranging from crying to silence, and everything in between. In recalling that dreadful Tuesday 16 years ago, instead of commemorating the anniversary with a scathing commentary on terrorism. Let’s try to listen to the songs that were penned to remember this day by.
September 11th is now known as “Patriot Day” in the United States and is observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Country fans will never forget the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the weeks and months following the hijacking of four American passenger jets, artists like Alan Jackson, Darryl Worley and Toby Keith penned songs that still endure on radio today. What is your favorite September 11-inspired country song?
Here are a few songs we collated for your listening pleasure. If there is another patriotic hit you prefer, tell us which one, and why, in the comments section below.
Alan Jackson, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”
Alan Jackson had a number 1 hit song after the attacks on 9/11, though we’re pretty certain that wasn’t foremost on his mind as he struggled to write down the emotions and experiences from that fateful day, as he asks “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning?”) Many songwriters released their response to the horrific tragedy in one of the best ways they know how to reach the hearts of their fans, through their music.
Daryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten”
This is a song about the September 11 attacks recorded by American country music artist Darryl Worley, who wrote it with Wynn Varble. It was released in March 2003 as the first single and title track from his 2003 compilation of the same name.
Brooks and Dunn, “Only in America”
Although this song was recorded and released several months before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it gained the momentum of similar songs released after the attacks and was tracked on their 2001 album Steers & Stripes.
Randy Travis, “America Will Always Stand”
The lyrics (below) say it all, as Randy sings his heart out for what he believes, and honors the heroes of 9/11.
She stands in the face of evil
And will not lose hope or faith
America, the land of freedom
Still the home of the brave
So raise the banner called Old Glory
Let us join our fellow man
History will write the story
America will always stand
Walking through the fires of danger
There are those who gave their lives
They’re the world’s greatest heroes
And we won’t forget their sacrifice
America is not divided
Our enemies they will be stopped
‘Cause, we the people are united
And still, one nation under God
History will write the story America will always stand
Hank Williams Jr., “America Will Survive”
“Hank Williams Jr. is a strong supporter and advocate of the troops . . . performing for them wherever they are serving. And I hope every patriot has a chance to experience his live performance of his song, “America Will Survive”, as it exemplifies this true patriot’s love and pride of America!” ~David Bancroft, USA Patriotism! Founder
Toby Keith, ‘American Soldier’
Toby Keith wrote “American Soldier” shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He said he wrote the song based on what he thought his father’s thoughts on the terrorist attacks would have been. Keith’s father was a veteran and a patriot. Keith penned this song with Nashville songwriter Chuck Cannon. Their other collaborations include “How Do You Like Me Now!?,” which spent five weeks at #1 on the Country chart and was the biggest-selling Country song of 2000.
Toby Keith, ‘Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue’
Toby Keith wrote this song following the death of his father in March of 2001 (car accident) and inspired by the events on 9/11 , recorded the song several months later. Toby initially sang this only in concert, until the Commandant of the Marine Corps, James L. Jones told him “It’s your job as an entertainer to lift the morale of the troops, if you want to serve, that is what you can do.” Toby seemingly has made it his mission in life to be the ‘keeper of the troops’ and tours each year with the USO to perform overseas for the troops.
Faith Hill “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Faith Hill performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” live after Sept. 11, 2001. This rendition tops all emotionally driven anthems, as you can hear the conviction in her voice.
Emotionally, this blatant act of terrorism changed us. Sure we will recover and move on but we can no longer take it for granted that America is the haven we assumed it was before September 11, 2001. May our country heal despite the pain that still remains in our hearts. God Bless America, Our Home Sweet Home.