"American Tune" is a song written and first performed by Paul Simon. The song first appeared on There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), Simon's second solo album following the breakup of Simon and Garfunkel. It was also released as a single, Columbia 45900, which eventually reached #35 on the Billboard charts in the United States.
The lyrics offer a perspective on the American experience and an apology to the world for the actions of America near the end of the Nixon Administration and the war in Vietnam; there are references to struggle, weariness, hard work, confusion, and homesickness. The bridge conveys a dream of death and of the Statue of Liberty "sailing away to sea." The song ends with an assertion that "you can't be forever blessed" before the lyrics return to the idea of work, tiredness, and resignation.
The tune is based on a melody line from Johann Sebastian Bach's chorale from the St. Matthew Passion, itself a reworking of an earlier secular song, "Mein G'müt ist mir verwirret," composed by Hans Hassler. The melody used for "American Tune" can be heard quite distinctly in part 1, number 21 and number 23 and in part 2, number 53. "American Tune"'s melody is practically identical to that of the hymns "Mein G'müt ist mir verwirret" and "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded", although Simon expanded on the tune.