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This paper outlines the history of songs within the American patriotic song canon and their role within society and music education curricula in the public school systems of the past and present. A thorough examination of the functions of the text of patriotic songs includes praising American leaders and heroes, glorifying political ideologies and natural resources, reflecting cultural attitudes and concerns during specific eras and crises, describing military life and aspirations, communicating loyalties, invoking religious imagery, and general rejoicing. Included is an analysis of each patriotic song, including The Star-Spangled Banner, and an examination of its tune, text, and performance practice of the specific circumstances of the time, culture, and environment in which it arose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of patriotic songs within the context of the United States of America’s history. Through examining the historical contexts of patriotic songs in the United States, this paper seeks to answer the following questions: 1. What role does music education curricula play in shaping American patriotism? 2. In what contexts and for what reasons have American patriotic songs been composed? 3. Is the Star-Spangled Banner the best song to represent an increasingly diverse United States of America? Keywords: PATRIOTIC SONGS, NATIONAL ANTHEM, THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER, MUSIC EDUCATION