Lee Greenwood, ‘God Bless the USA’ Rewritten by Massachusetts School, Much to Singer’s Dismay
A version of Lee Greenwood's patriotic anthem, 'God Bless the USA,' has been pulled from a children's concert at Stall Brook Elementary in Bellingham, Mass., after being rewritten as 'We Love the USA.' According to WFXT-TV/Boston, school officials made the decision following outrage from parents, who didn't want their kids learning and performing the song without 'God' in its lyrics. The story is also a hot topic for Lee Greenwood.
"Maybe the school should have asked the parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song," Lee says. "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. The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God, which is also in the title 'God Bless the USA.'
"We can't take God out of the song, we can't take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, we can't take God off of the American currency," he continues. "Let us also remember, 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 to our country. The song is played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem. If the song is good enough to played and performed in its original setting under those circumstances, it surely should be good enough for our children."
The tune was slated to be included in an assembly on April 12, which will no longer have any performances. School officials said in a statement (via WFXT) that they will "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."
The TV station reports that parents thwarted the change by sending a mass email raising awareness, and even instructing their children to perform the original lyrics.