School Wants Kids to Sing Worst Song in History

School Wants Kids to Sing Worst Song in History April 9, 2012

An elementary school in Massachusetts has an assembly scheduled for next week to celebrate American history and they wanted to have the kids sing the single worst song ever made, Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA (yes, even worse than that damn theme from Titanic). But they were going to change the words to “I love the USA” and that led parents to complain, which led the school to pull the song completely:

Following outrage from parents; a changed version of “God Bless the USA” has been pulled from an upcoming school assembly concert…

In a statement from Stall Brook Elementary school, they said they hope to “maintain the focus on the original objective of sharing students’ knowledge of the U.S. States, and because of logistics, will not include any songs.”

But that led to even more complaints, including from Greenwood himself, who otherwise only seems to surface when there’s a war starting. And naturally, Fox News is throwing a fit over it.

Greenwood released a statement to Fox News condemning the school’s actions.

“The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God, which is also in the title ‘God Bless The USA,” Greenwood said. “Maybe the school should have asked the parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song. They could have even asked the writer of the song, which I of course, would have said you can’t change the lyrics at all or any part of the song.”

Greenwood said the phrase “God Bless the USA” has a “very important meaning for those in the military and their families, as well as new citizens coming into our country.” He said it’s also played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem.

“If the song is good enough to be played and performed in its original setting under those circumstances, it surely should be good enough for our children,” Greenwood said.

ZOMG! The horrors! And now after the second round of complaints, the school has again changed its mind and will now allow kids to sing the song in the original version if they want.

The superintendent of Bellingham Public Schools released a statement Wednesday stating that students will now be allowed to sing or not sing “God Bless the USA” during an upcoming assembly at Stall Brook Elementary School.

“Political correctness is certainly a consideration in the public sector,” Superintendent Edward Fleury wrote in a statement posted on the district’s website.

“Students will be allowed to sing or not sing the words ‘God Bless the USA’ as they sing in celebration of their acquired knowledge,” he said. “No other words will be substituted.”

Fleury said there was no intent to be disrespectful and “we believe the use of the word god is acceptable in patriotic songs.”

Following is the full statement:

“Political correctness is certainly a consideration in the public sector. There are traditional parts of our culture that are sacred, and we certainly had no intent to disrespect any part of that culture. The intent of the planned event is to celebrate the knowledge gained by fourth grade students studying the 50 states in a school event with their parents next week. The students will be singing two songs at the assembly. One will be a song about the 50 states, and the other will be “God Bless the USA.” Students will be allowed to sing or not sing the words “God Bless the USA” as they sing in celebration of their acquired knowledge. No other words will be substituted. We believe the use of the word God is acceptable in patriotic songs. The district has no intent to censor any patriotic songs. We are certainly sorry if this approach was perhaps considered as disrespectful. That was never the intent.”

The only real problem in this situation is that the school is going to subject those poor kids to such a godawful song. That’s cruel — but all too usual. In the meantime, allow me to point and laugh at the morons and their pseudo-patriotic fervor.

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  • LightningRose

    Ed, you’re completely missing the point that the *school* is leading what is essentially a prayer, and this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • abb3w

    I dunno. “God Bless the USA” is pretty awful, but the theme song from Barney is pretty easy to argue being worse.

    And even if we limit discussion to the patriotic genre, a little work with Google turns up this atrocity against the nine muses….

    Easily in the five-worst list, though.

  • iknklast

    I’m not sure subjecting them to an awful song is the only problem. I think a big problem is that any kids who DON’T choose to sing “God bless the USA” will be vilified, and grade school kids can be vicious. So, kids won’t choose not to sing it, and will feel compelled to sing what is essentially a song of religious praise.

    I know. I was forced to pray in 5th grade, nearly a dedade after mandatory prayer was removed from the school. Even if they’d given us the option of not praying, I would have prayed. I was already subjected to horrible torments because of being different; being ungodly would have been a difference I might not have been able to deal with at all.

    This principal should be required to write the words “Jessica Ahlquist” on the board 5000 times, or until he realizes the negative impact of such actions. And I say f**k Lee Greenwood.

  • flippyshark

    Of course, any kids who exercise their right NOT to sing along will be instantly outing themselves as godless un-American traitors before their teachers, parents and peers. Optional God-bothering in schools is probably even worse than mandated God-bothering for this reason. (And are we really playing this FSM-damned song at all naturalization ceremonies?!)

  • matty1

    I dunno. “God Bless the USA” is pretty awful, but the theme song from Barney is pretty easy to argue being worse.

    Is it true the Barney song is used by the CIA for enhanced interrogations?

  • coragyps

    Close, but “The Balld of the Green Berets” still beats anything Lee ever did for just plain SUCK.

  • coragyps

    Or the Ballad does, anyway……

  • DaveL


    It is not, in general, unconstitutional to have public school children sing a song that has religious content per se. It can, in theory, be legitimately selected on its artistic merit for the secular purpose of providing children with a comprehensive musical education, the religious content being merely incidental. Hence Handel’s Messiah is not banned from public schools, nor is John Lennon’s Imagine.

    In theory. In practice this works about as well as classes on the Bible as Literature – quite well in some circumstances, very badly in others. But if any constitutional case were to be made, I sure wouldn’t want to be the one making it on the basis of the content of one particular song. As cheesy and jingoistic as Greenwood’s œuvre, I’m not so sure the courts would rule it automatically out-of-bounds for public schools in and of itself.

  • plutosdad

    So stopping and thinking about others is now “political correctness”, and being a hysterical victim but really a bully is christian?

    The parents are acting more childish than the children.

  • quagmire

    Massachusetts?!?? Good grief. Yes, that song is to music what Adam Sandler’s “Little Nicky” is to cinema.

  • Taz

    I think Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” is worse. It’s just as lame musically, and basically equates freedom and liberty to dropping bombs on people.

  • Fred Mounts

    My fifth grade class sang “God Bless the USA” during the first Persian Gulf War in 1989-1990. I often think back on that in disgust, both that the administration suggested it and that no parents (that I’m aware of) complained about it.

    I can remember replacing USA with USSR. I don’t think I fully understood why at the time, but apparently 11-12 year-old me knew something about the song was crap. I was wrong – it’s all crap!

  • d cwilson

    It has been scientifically proven that “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas is the worst song in history. Rats have been forced to listen to this song have been documented eating larger quantities of saccarin so that they would get cancer and die rather than continue listening to it.

    But, Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” is definitely a close second.

  • erichoug

    He said it’s also played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem.

    I was just at my Sister in law’s naturalization ceremony and I can’t recall hearing this horrible, horrible song. But, they did play “Dixie” which actually really pissed me off. So Greenwods schlocky crap wasn’t really that big a deal for me.

  • The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God

    Not USA? Why does he hate America?

  • To me, The Star Spangled Banner is absolutely the worst song ever played in history! I can’t believe this country’s using it as our National Anthem rather than America the Beautiful! America The Beautiful is the song I would rather love and regard as our true National Anthem instead of that awful Star Spangled Banner.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    He said it’s also played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem.

    On the very slight chance that there’s any truth to this, we should consider it part of the right-wing’s sly “voluntary self-deportation” crusade.

  • Greenwood said the phrase “God Bless the USA” has a “very important meaning for those in the military and their families, as well as new citizens coming into our country.” He said it’s also played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem.

    I can only give anecdotal evidence, but this song was not played for the hundred or so newly naturalized citizens sworn in with me last November. I was actually a little bit worried about how I would feel/what I would have the courage to do if there was a lot of overt religiosity at the ceremony – but my fears were unfounded. Thanks be to the FSM!

  • vmanis1

    Far be it from me, as a Canadian, to point out that `The Star-Spangled Banner’ is adapted from an English drinking song (`To Anacreon in Heaven’), has hideous scansion, and celebrates a brief victory in a war whose outcome is at best ambiguous. (To a Canadian, the War of 1812 can be summarized as: (a) U.S. decides to `liberate’ Canada; (b) British burn DC; (c) Canadian invasion fails; (d) Treaty of Ghent signed, peace declared; and (e) U.S. forces finally win at New Orleans (see Horton, Johnny).) It’s your national anthem, and as such deserves respect. I always stand and sing along when it is played (I know that knowing the words fingers me as a potential sleeper spy, but what can I do?)

    No, the Worst Song Of All Time is clearly `They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Ha’, whose performer is credited as Napoleon XIV. The 45 is notorious, because the B side is the same song played backwards (hence Satanic messages).

  • slc1

    Re Crazyharp81602 @ #16

    Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.

  • slc1

    Re vmanis1 @ #19

    USS Constitution sinks HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane, and Levant.

  • Nemo

    I thought you were going to say Rebecca Black’s “Friday”.

    He said it’s also played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem.

    I see others have said that isn’t true, which is a relief. But why would he think that?

  • scienceavenger

    Re lyric changes, if it was good enough for Lennon’s Imagine, its good enough for Greenwoods “G*d Bless the USA”.

    Too many of you are too young to recall the truly worst songs of all time courtesy of the 70’s. Go listen to “Seasons in the Sun”, “You Light Up My Life”, and “Feelings” and tell me again how awful GBTUSA is. Now if only someone would do a (c)rap version…

  • scienceavenger

    Nemo: they play it at the nationalization ceremonies of Hollanders escaping forced euthanasia.

  • Pieter B, FCD

    Haven’t any of you been through “Small World” at Disneyland? I’d betray my best friend to avoid a second trip through that thing. Well, maybe a third trip; this is my best friend we’re talking about.

    I regret to report that God Bless the USA is played when going through online registration for jury service in Los Angeles County.

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  • @Fred Mounts: I had to do that too. I was in fourth grade. My school was Jewish and changed ‘I’d thank the lord above’ to ‘I’d thank my lucky stars’. To this day, I can’t figure out why – seeing as how Jews believe in god and don’t believe in astrology.

  • Re vmanis1 @ #19

    Another song I totally hate is all those parodies songs by the likes of Apologetix, a Christian rock band that always bad mouthed Charles Darwin and Evolution in many of their songs. Not to mention “Brahms’ Lullaby”. Can’t stand it one bit.

  • Aliasalpha

    They should do what I used to when we had to sing the national anthem, come up with new lyrics. You’d be surprised how well the music of Advance Australia Fair works with the theme song lyrics of Roger Ramjet.

    I say come up with several new sets of lyrics & give them to the kids so they can all sing something (intentionally) funny instead

  • Who Knows?

    Red Solo Cup. Nuf said.

  • Well, it is Bellingham, which is in the Massatucky part of the Commonwealth.

  • To be honest I’m not a patriotic person. Just because I was born and raise in America doesn’t mean I love, respect, and play American patriotic songs. To me, being born and living in America doesn’t make me patriotic nor make The Star Spangled Banner, which I hate and despise deeply, my national anthem. If I were to love, sing, play, respect, and call any national anthems my own, I’ll go for the National Anthems of France, England, Uruguay, Chile, Welsh, and many others. I honestly love them far better than the American one.

  • chilidog99

    It is obvious to me that none of you have had kids in grade school recently.

    only a few kids will actually sing, the rest will mumble the words and move their mouths but no actual intelligible sound will emerge.

  • vmanis1

    Re slc @ #21

    USS Constitution sinks HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane, and Levant.

    That’s why I said the War of 1812 had an ambiguous outcome; there were victories in both sides, but after the war, things were pretty much the same as before (except that British interference with U.S. shipping and impressment of U.S. citizens ceased, somewhat coincidentally with the end of Napoleon).

    In any case, it seems a flimsy war to base a national anthem on.