The Roundup

Okie Writes Tea Party Anthem

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Posted 10.19.11

by Holly Wall, News Editor

A couple of ex-Oklahomans are responsible for a catchy little tune that is shaping up to be the Tea Party’s national anthem.

Mike Branch, a former youth pastor at Bixby’s New Beginnings Church, wrote “I Am America” 18 months ago, and his wife, Krista, has performed the song at Glenn Beck rallies, on Fox News and The 700 Club, and at several Tea Party events, including one last Saturday for Herman Cain, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Krista Branch
Mike Branch moved his family—he and Krista have three children—to Tennessee last year to pursue fame and fortune in the music biz, and he now works as the state director for Cain’s presidential campaign.

“I Am America,” a rallying cry for folks who believe in pulling themselves up by the bootstraps—and insisting that others do the same—was inspired by the Branches’ own experiences, as well as Democratic criticism of the Tea Party movement.

“It baffles me, the track this country is on, offering people more and more entitlements,” Mike Branch told The New York Times. “I believe entitlements are leading to the death of the American dream.”

Mike Branch says he “got out there and busted my rear” when he and his family were living in Tulsa and “barely making ends meet.”

In 2008, Krista Branch auditioned for “American Idol” but failed to make it onto the show.

“There were a lot of people there who felt they had to win ‘American Idol’ in order to be somebody in the world,” Krista told The New York Times. “I’ve always stood for something. Everyone in my family always believed that God will bless what you put your hands to, and anything that came my way, I tried to walk through the open door.”

“I Am America” resonated with Cain, as well as other Tea Partiers.

“The first time I heard that song, the message was so right-on I felt goose bumps just listening to it,” Cain said. “It captured this whole citizen’s movement that a lot of people were—and some still are—in denial of.”