Professor Alan Schaefer
April 23, 2012
Toby Keith: American Pride
“For Americans, September 11 was a terrifying day of abject horror for both themselves as individuals and for their nation as a whole” (Gillespie 3). As we all can agree that America hasn’t been the same since that day. The day when the south and north towers of the World Trade Center came crashing down making a distinct organization marker to describe our country’s history as “before 9/11” to “after 9/11.”After this Americans were questioning their own individual identity, national identity and patriotism towards their country. Americans needed guidance, encouragement and strength and that’s where some music industries came to the rescue and stepped up. Yes, there were a few artist that did play tributes or wrote songs for September 11, 2003, but there was one that took out unlike the rest, Toby Keith. Toby Keith’s song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” expresses inspiring American patriotism with the relevance of what Americans faced after the tragedy of September 11,2003.
Toby Keith has always been seen as a successful musician for all music genres with his major record labels and touring all around for almost eight years. Keith was always humble about his fame and fortune when others ask he would respond that he is “no different than anybody else” (Gillespie). Six months before September 11, a tragedy had hit a lot closer to home for Keith’s father was killed in a hit and run accident. All the anger, frustration and sadness was overwhelming for Keith. Instead of attacking someone or something with anger or blame he decides to write the song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” that would have much more meaning behind the lyrics. Keith decides to write this song as an outline for a story after 9/11 and includes his father who was an Army veteran. He uses a process of “unconscious and conscious identification” for his listeners to take from...
Cited: Gillespie, Ryan. "Rhetorical Imagining Through Popular Music: Communicating World Views In Toby Keith 's "Angry American." Conference Papers -- National Communication Association (2007): 1. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
Keith, Toby. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue, 2002. Mp3.
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