Behind the Meaning of “Only In America” by Brooks & Dunn

The “American Dream” has been a pervasive ideal since the inception of the country. The idea that America provides the necessary freedom and opportunity one needs to live out the best version of their life has ignited a fire behind millions of people. While not everyone may believe there is truth to the “American Dream,” Brooks & Dunn certainly did.

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In “Only In America” the duo painted vignettes of ordinary Americans living out their version of the “American Dream.” It’s a powerful patriotic force. Uncover the meaning behind this song, below.

[RELATED: The Meaning Behind Brooks & Dunn’s Hit Tear-Jerker “Believe”]

Behind the Meaning of “Only in America” by Brooks and Dunn

Sun comin’ up over New York City
School bus driver in a traffic jam
Starin’ at the faces in her rearview mirror
Looking at the promise of the Promised Land

Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America” isn’t too terribly far-fetched. They don’t completely obliterate any realities of the world, but they do recognize an enhanced affinity for dreaming in America. It may not be a utopia in the traditional sense, but according to this duo, there is something enchanting about it.

One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up goin’ to prison
One just might be president

In the opening verse, Brooks & Dunn describe a school bus full of kids–each with their own dreams and path in life. In their eyes, even if those dreams don’t come true, it’s the possibility that they could that keeps them dreaming that dream.

Sun goin’ down on an LA freeway
Newlyweds in the back of a limousine
A welder’s son and a banker’s daughter
All they want is everything

In the second verse, the duo sings about a newlywed couple on the precipice of their new life. Again, there is a sense of promise here that is intoxicating.

In the chorus, they attribute that promise to the country and its many opportunities. Only in America / Where we dream as big as we want to, they sing. It’s an inspiring sentiment, no doubt. Brooks & Dunn delivered a universally rousing anthem with this song. It’s hard to not feel a sense of hope creep up while listening to it.

Revisit the song, below.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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