The Petty Archives

Coming to America
By Brenda Hillegas
Orgivation Magazine -- July 2009

In the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, there's never a shortage of songs criticizing or praising this here fine country. So here's just a few tunes -- in no particular order -- you should put on rotate to celebrate (or not) your independence this month.

"American Girl" | Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersĀ  (from '77 self-titled debut)
Released a year after American's 200th birthday and covered by so many artists, this hit was inspired by the cars speeding on the freeway outside of Petty's apartment (not suicide, as it's rumored). He considered people who are longing for something more in life, or better than they already have. In the land of the free, where we are encouraged to chase our dreams, such a song is appropriate for this list. And on a side note, the song was recorded by the band on the Fourth of July.