‘American’ patriotic song written and recorded by country music artist ‘Lee Greenwood’, and is considered to be his signature song. The first album it appears on is (1984) “You’ve Got a Good Love Comin'”. It reached No. 7 on the ‘Billboard’ magazine ‘Hot Country Singles’ chart when originally released in the spring of (1984), and was played at the (1984) ‘Republican National Convention’ with President ‘Ronald Reagan’ and first lady ‘Nancy Reagan’ in attendance, but the song gained greater prominence during the ‘Gulf War’ in (1990) and (1991), as a way of boosting morale.
The popularity of the song rose sharply after the ‘September 11’ attacks and during the (2003) invasion of ‘Iraq’, and the song was re-released as a single, re-entering the country music charts at No. 16 and peaking at No. 16 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ pop chart in (2001). ‘Greenwood’ said that he “wanted to write it my whole life. When I got to that point, we were doing 300 days a year on the road, and we were on our fourth or fifth album on MCA. I called my producer, and I said I have a need to do this. I’ve always wanted to write a song about America, and I said we just need to be more united.” The reason behind the cities chosen in the song ‘Greenwood’ says, “I’m from California, and I don’t know anybody from Virginia or New York, so when I wrote it—and my producer and I had talked about it—[we] talked about the four cities I wanted to mention, the four corners of the United States. It could have been Seattle or Miami but we chose New York City and Los Angeles, and he suggested Detroit and Houston because they both were economically part of the basis of our economy—Motortown and the oil industry, so I just poetically wrote that in the bridge.”
A music video was released for this song in (1984), depicting ‘Greenwood’ as a farmer who loses the family farm. The video was produced and edited by ‘L.A. Johnson’ and directed by ‘Gary Burden’. A second video was released in (1991), also on ‘VHS’, and was directed by ‘Edd Griles’. A third music video was also released after the ‘September 11’ (2001) attacks.
“God Bless the USA” debuted on the ‘Hot Country Singles & Tracks’ chart for the week of May 26, (1984).
‘Santa Claus’, also known as ‘Saint Nicholas’, ‘Father Christmas’, ‘Kris Kringle’ and simply “Santa”, is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins who, in many ‘Western’ cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on 24 December, the night before ‘Christmas Day’. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the (1934) song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, ‘Santa Claus’ has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve.
‘L. Frank Baum The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus’, a (1902) children book, further popularized ‘Santa Claus’. Much of ‘Santa Claus’ mythos was not set in stone at the time, leaving ‘Baum’ to give his “Neclaus” (Necile’s Little One) a wide variety of immortal support, a home in the Laughing ‘Valley of Hohaho’, and ten reindeer—who could not fly, but leapt in enormous, flight-like bounds. ‘Claus’ immortality was earned, much like his title (“Santa”), decided by a vote of those naturally immortal. This work also established ‘Claus’ motives: a happy childhood among immortals. When Ak, Master Woodsman of the World, exposes him to the misery and poverty of children in the outside world, ‘Santa’ strives to find a way to bring joy into the lives of all children, and eventually invents toys as a principal means.
Images of ‘Santa Claus’ were further popularized through ‘Haddon Sundblom’ depiction of him for The ‘Coca-Cola Company’ Christmas advertising in the (1930). The popularity of the image spawned urban legends that ‘Santa Claus’ was invented by The ‘Coca-Cola Company’ or that ‘Santa’ wears red and white because they are the colors used to promote the ‘Coca-Cola’ brand. The image of ‘Santa Claus’ as a benevolent character became reinforced with its association with charity and philanthropy, particularly by organizations such as the ‘Salvation Army’. Volunteers dressed as ‘Santa Claus’ typically became part of fundraising drives to aid needy families at ‘Christmas’ time.
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