America’s a pretty great country, isn’t it? The spacious skies, amber waves of grain and all that. But there’s more to the nation than just one shade. Move from one state to the next, and you’ll discover different customs, accents, and insight about the land that 314 million people call home. Our list of the Best Songs About America doesn’t just look at the U.S. through a pair of red, white and blue glasses. We’ve got some patriotic and joyful songs, but we’ve also got some angry and frustrated ones. They’re all part of the American experience.
One of Paul Simon‘s greatest compositions rolls out like a travelogue of America, as seen through the eyes of a pair of young, hopeful lovers as they crisscross the country by car and bus. What they find at the other end of their journey doesn’t always coincide with their ideals. But it was the late ’60s, and there wasn’t a whole lotta hope going around back then.