American Anthem NPR brings you a year of stories about songs that rouse, uplift or call to action.

American AnthemAmerican Anthem

Music that challenges, unites and celebrates

The Edge and Bono perform in the Netherlands during U2's The Joshua Tree tour in 1987. The U2 song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," inspired by gospel, has become a rock and roll hymn, even finding its way into real-life church services. Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images

In U2's 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For,' A Restless Search For Meaning

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Dolly Parton in a scene from the 1980 comedy 9 to 5. The film's theme song, performed by Parton, took on a life of its own. 20th Century Fox/Getty Images hide caption

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20th Century Fox/Getty Images

A Cup Of Ambition And Endurance: '9 To 5' Unites Workers Across Decades

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Lesley Gore and producer Quincy Jones at work in the studio. The two collaborated on "You Don't Own Me" and a handful of other 1960s hits. Donaldson Collection/Getty Images hide caption

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Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

'You Don't Own Me,' A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy

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A woman walks through La Perla, a neighborhood on the edge of Old San Juan, in 2017. AFP Contributor/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP Contributor/Getty Images

For Those Missing Puerto Rico, A Song About Dreaming Of Home

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Robyn performs at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2011. Charley Gallay/Getty Images hide caption

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Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Alone Together: Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' Opens The Corners Of Community

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Left to right: Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D of the Geto Boys perform in Houston in 2015. Marco Torres/HOU/VMG via Getty Images hide caption

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Marco Torres/HOU/VMG via Getty Images

Stressed Out: How 'Mind Playing Tricks On Me' Gave Anxiety A Home In Hip-Hop

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Tom Petty performs with the Heartbreakers in Belgium in 1992. Gie Knaeps/Getty Images hide caption

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Gie Knaeps/Getty Images

'A Song For Any Struggle': Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' Is An Anthem Of Resolve

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Kurt Cobain in the studio with Nirvana in late 1991. Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images

'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' The Anthem For A Generation That Didn't Want One

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The Youngbloods circa 1967. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Beyond The Summer Of Love, 'Get Together' Is An Anthem For Every Season

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A view of Pikes Peak from the Carroll Lakes, circa 1925. Katharine Lee Bates' trip up the Colorado mountain inspired her poem "America," later to become the song "America the Beautiful." Harry L. Standley/Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum hide caption

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Harry L. Standley/Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Greatness Is Not A Given: 'America The Beautiful' Asks How We Can Do Better

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Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (right) and members of his Golden Eagles tribe in March 2019 in New Orleans. Erika Goldring/Getty Images hide caption

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Erika Goldring/Getty Images

In New Orleans, 'Indian Red' Is The Anthemic Sound Of Tradition

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Bruce Springsteen onstage during the Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1984. Shinko Music/Getty Images hide caption

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Shinko Music/Getty Images

What Does 'Born In The U.S.A.' Really Mean?

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Woody Guthrie circa 1940. Al Aumuller/Courtesy of Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. hide caption

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Al Aumuller/Courtesy of Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.

How 'This Land Is Your Land' Roamed And Rambled Into American Life

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Duke Ellington at the piano, circa 1940. John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images hide caption

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John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

A Sprawling Blueprint For Protest Music, Courtesy Of The Jazz Duke

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