Music

Waylon Jennings 1989 Performance of 'America' is the Perfect Tribute to the USA

Waylon Jennings is known for so much in the world of country music. He was a member of supergroup The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash, married to Jessi Colter, and forever made his mark on outlaw country during his time performing in Nashville and across the country. 

In 1989, the country music icon performed "America" at Austin City Limits. The song was written by Sammy Johns as the first single for Jennings' 1984 album, Waylon's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2. Not only do the lyrics describe what it means to be an American, but it secured Jennings a nomination for CMA Music Video of the Year. 

Read More: This Classic Waylon Jennings Tribute is Country Music at its Finest

1984 was the year that Jennings decided to part ways with RCA Records after 20 years. He wanted a special song to mark the end of the partnership and was inspired by the Olympics that year. He wanted something patriotic and Sammy Johns had written "America" for him years earlier. It seemed like the perfect time to pull the song out and actually record it. 

The best part of the song is it's really a statement paying homage to the land and people in our country. We aren't perfect and everyone has their issues but we should celebrate what makes people unique and special. "America" is the ultimate Waylon Jennings song to celebrate the Fourth of July and honor the great nation we call home. 

"America" Lyrics

Some have said, down through history

If you last it's a mystery

But I guess they don't know, what they're talking about

From the mountains down to the sea

You've become such a habit with me

America, America

Well I come from, down around Tennessee

But the people in California

Are nice to me, America

It don't matter where I may roam

Tell you people that it's home sweet home

America, America

And my brothers are all black and white, yellow too

And the red man is right, to expect a little from you

Promise and then follow through, America

And the men who fell on the plains

And lived, through hardship and pain

America, America

And the men who could not fight

In a war that didn't seem right

You let them come home, America

And my brothers are all black and white, yellow too

And the red man is right, to expect a little from you

Promise and then follow through, America

Well I come from, down around Tennessee

But the people in California

Are nice to me, America

It don't matter where I may roamAnd my brothers are all black and white, yellow too

And the red man is right, to expect a little from you

Promise and then follow through,

America

Tell you people that it's home sweet home

America, America

America, America

And my brothers are all black and white, yellow too

And the red man is right, to expect a little from you

Promise and then follow through, America

It's home sweet home, America

America, America

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Waylon Jennings 1989 Performance of 'America' is the Perfect Tribute to the USA