"For America" as written by and Jackson Browne....
As if I really didn't understand
That I was just another part of their plan
I went off looking for the promise
Believing in the Motherland
And from the comfort of a dreamer's bed
And the safety of my own head
I went on speaking of the future
While other people fought and bled
The kid I was when I first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known
I have prayed for America
I was made for America
It's in my blood and in my bones
By the dawn's early light
By all I know is right
We're going to reap what we have sown

As if freedom was a question of might
As if loyalty was black and white
You hear people say it all the time-
"My country wrong or right"
I want to know what that's got to do
With what it takes to find out what's true
With everyone from the President on down
Trying to keep it from you

The thing I wonder about the Dads and Moms
Who send their sons to the Vietnams
Will they really think their way of life
Has been protected as the next war comes?
I have prayed for America
I was made for America
Her shining dream plays in my mind
By the rockets red glare
A generation's blank stare
We better wake her up this time

The kid I was when I first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known
I have prayed for America
I was made for America
I can't let go till she comes around
Until the land of the free
Is awake and can see
And until her conscience has been found


Lyrics submitted by seether166

For America song meanings
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    General CommentAlthough this song was written in the Reagan era, its true relevance could not be clearer in the wake of the invasion of Iraq. "Will they really think their way of life has been protected as the next war comes?" This song is about a guy who loves his country but hates what it has done to the rest of the world. One of Jackson's most direct songs that really delivers a punch.
    detailrichon October 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song ComparisonI've liked this album and song since it was released. Just a few years ago I realized that he must have written this song partly as a response to a song by the Panamanian singer Ruben Blades called "Buscando America." The title translates as "Looking for America." In that song, America refers not to the United States, but to all of Latin America. Maybe he's thinking of the US and Canada too.

    Anyway, Buscando America is a fantastic song in which Mr. Blades laments the oppression and corruption which Latin America has suffered from since European conquest. "Living under dictatorships, I search for America but I cannot find her. Her tortured body, who knows where it is." It is an amazing song.

    For America was released the year after Buscando America. I know that Jackson and Ruben Blades have appeared together and are friends. Also, For America is on the same album as Lives in the Balance, which explicitly talks about the US's role in Latin American wars and oppression.

    I feel sure that Jackson wanted to write about the same topic that Ruben Blades wrote about, but from the perspective of the United States. He lays out the US's role in the suffering and exploitation that takes place in Latin America.

    Ruben Blades calls out to all people to seek the truth and bring freedom to all the Americas. "Wrapped in shadows, we deny what is true. Where there is no justice, there cannot be peace.....they have kidnapped America and gagged her mouth. Now it falls to us to bring her to freedom."

    It sounds beautiful in Spanish. So I think Jackson is doing his part to bring the truth out of the shadows. So people can be free.
    CiudaddeSarahon June 19, 2017   Link

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