It's a howl from the desert,The song appeared again on their second (major label) album The Blasters (1981), which is as magnificent a piece of work as The Ramones. It's got two fewer songs than that masterpiece and runs a minute longer, but the point is much the same: this is rock 'n' roll in its most beautiful and simple essence.
a scream from the slums,
the Mississippi rollin' to the beat of the drums
This version of 'American Music' comes from the 1985 Farm Aid gig and is faithful to the barnstorming original: just over two minutes, but still time for a couple of solos in there. Admire in particular, the way they leave the bridge passage till after the first solo and, above all else, marvel at the finest set of teeth in the history of rock 'n' roll. And remember: 'It's the greatest music that you ever knew'.