Patriotic Songs: You're A Grand Old Flag, July 4, 1916
You're A Grand Old Flag

American Patriotic Songs

A collection of songs that celebrate the American spirit, preserved here for younger generations to learn and cherish, as did their grandparents, veterans, and preceding generations. Many of us have fond memories of singing these songs freely-- in school, community gatherings, parades, ball games. Some children never learned them, so we offer the lyrics, many with accompanying music video, as a tribute to the country's history, literature, and patriotism. Share your memories as you sing them again to celebrate America! Civil War Songs are below.


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Yankee Doodle by Anonymous

"Yankee Doodle went to town, a-riding on a pony, stuck a featheri in his cap and called it macaroni." The Revolutionary War version of the song, preceding Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy by George M. Cohan

"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a Yankee Doodle, do or die; a real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July."

Yankee Doodle went to town
Yankee Doodle

America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates

"O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown they good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!"

You're a Grand Old Flag by George M. Cohan

"You're a grand old flag, you're a high-flying flag, and forever in peace may you wave. You're the emblem of the land I love, the home of the free and the brave."

Over There by George M. Cohan

"Over there, over there, send the word, send the word over there that the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming."

Woody Guthrie: This Land Is Your Land
This Land Is Your Land

God Bless America by Irving Berlin

"God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her, through the night with a light from above."

This Land Is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie

"This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land is made for you and me."

America - My Country, 'Tis of Thee by Samuel Francis Smith

"My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims' pride, from ev'ry mountainside, let freedom ring!"

Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa

The national march of the United States, enjoy the lyrics and 1929 recording of Sousa conducting the U.S. Marine Corps. Band.

The Star Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
The Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance, 1889

The Star-Spangled Banner by Frances Scott Key

"Oh! say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming."

The Pledge of Allegiance by Francis Bellamy

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, [*] indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." [*"under God" was added on Flag Day, 1954]


Patriotic Songs: The Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Civil War Songs


The Battle Hymn of the Republic by Julia Ward Howe

What became the anthem of the Union during the American Civil War: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; he is trampling out the vintage where the graphes of wrath are stored; he hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on. Glory, glory hallelujah!"

I Wish I Was in Dixie by Daniel Decatur Emmett

What became the Confederate's unofficial anthem, apparently Lincoln loved it: "Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten. Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land!"

Patriotic Songs: God Save the South
God Save the South

Battle Cry of Freedom by George Frederick Root

"The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah! Down with the traitors, up with the stars; while we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again, shouting the battle cry of freedom!"

Many Thousand Gone by Anonymous

A popular African-American song sung during the War by fleeing slaves on their way to Union Army camps.

God Save the South by George Henry Miles

"God save the South, God save the South, her altars and firesides, God save the South! Now that the war is nigh, now that we arm to die, Chanting our battle cry, 'Freedom or death!'"

The Minstrel Boy by Thomas Moore

This popular Irish folk song was adapted with new lyrics during the Civil War, also sung by American soldiers during World War I.

Patriotic Songs: When Johnny Comes Marching Home
When Johnny Comes Marching Home

When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Patrick Gilmore

Embraced by both the Union and the Confederate armies during the War: "When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah! hurrah! We'll give him a hearty welcome then, hurrah! hurrah!"

Taps by by Anonymous

First played at a burial ceremony for a fallen Civil War soldier in 1862, the revered bugle tune and lyrics continue to serve as a respectful tribute to all soldiers who have fallen.


Taps music


Is there an American patriotic song in the public domain you think we should add? Please email your suggestions to amlit.editor@gmail.com.

Visit Poetry for Students, American History, and Civil War Stories & Poems for other important works of American Literature.

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