Posted by Rae Lynn on 6/28/2013 to Patriotic
One of our fave summer holiday is coming up! If you're like us, you've already started prepping for (orat least thinking about) celebrating our country's 237th birthday party.
Let's see: Recipes for BBQ food and drinks? Check. Picnic items? Check. Red-white-and-blue decorations? Check. Fun surprises like bottle rocket firecracker candles? Check.
Time to work on the soundtrack. To give you plenty of possibilities for 4th of July music, we're sharing 21 songs we love to listen to while we hoist the flag, chow down on burgers and light up the nighttime sky with fireworks.
Make your own patriotic playlist by choosing among these country, pop, rock, folk, jazz, soul, traditional and classical tunes-or put them all together for a musical melting pot as diverse as America.
Swizzle Trick! When we say "put them all together," we don't mean you should play all your patriotic songs back to back. Instead sprinkle theme songs throughout your regular music to create mini-events all party long. Your guests will love it-in 2- or 3-minute doses. More than that and you'll have your own rebellion on hand.
Happy 4th of July!
21. Yankee Doodle Dandy, any artist: The original patriotic song was actually written by a Brit physician to ridicule the Colonial Army. But our forefathers adopted it, adding verses to tell their own tale-and kids still love it. Traditional.
20. This is My Country, Tennessee Ernie Ford: If you've been to a Disney fireworks display, you'll recognize this stirring song originally recorded by Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians way back in the '50s. Traditional.
19. America, Simon & Garfunkel: Paul Simon's wistful tune recounting a road trip to "look for America" was recorded in the '70s, then introduced to a whole new generation in the 2000 film Almost Famous. Rock.
18. Fanfare for the Common Man, Emerson, Lake & Palmer: No one defines American music as Aaron Copland does-but leave it to an iconic British rock band to turn his masterpiece into a mega-hit in 1977. Rock.
17. Only in America, Brooks & Dunn: This song off the delightfully named Steers and Stripes album tells us we can dream as big as we want to. Now that's American! Country.
16. Battle Hymn of the Republic, Mormon Tabernacle Choir: You don't think of hymns as party tunes? Wait until you get everyone marching around and singing "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!" at the top of their lungs. Traditional.
15. Surfin' USA, The Beach Boys: If your 4th of July celebration is doubling as a beach party, you've set the mood with this ultimate summer tune. Pop.
14. 1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky: Brass! Chimes! Cannons! This piece has it all. Just keep this tidbit a secret: Tchaikovsky was actually paying tribute to Russia's defense against Napoleon's invading Grande Armée in 1812. Classical.
13. American Girl, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: This vintage Petty tune with its jangling electric guitar riff keeps your party rockin' with its driving beat. Rock.
12. American Boy, Estelle: Estelle may not be an American girl, but she still appreciates American boys. This ladies' anthem was inspired by her friendship with a number of across-the-pond men, including collaborator Kanye West. Pop.
11. American Band, Grand Funk Railroad: Girl, boy, band-yes, we're almost done with the American theme. If you've ever dreamt about the life of a rock star on tour, give a listen to GFR's first #1 hit. Rock.
10. Stars and Stripes Forever, The Kings of Dixieland: Did you know we have a National March as well as a National Anthem? That's how Congress honored this John Philip Sousa composition. We still like the Sing Along with Mitch lyrics best: "Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck may be somebody's m-o-o-o-ther …" Jazz.
9. Star-Spangled Banner, Whitney Houston: Given what a nightmare this piece is to sing, it's no surprise it takes someone with Houston's range to pull it off-beautifully. Houston recorded the anthem to raise funds for Persian Gulf War soldiers and their families and later for 9/11 victims and firefighters. Pop.
8. Living in America, James Brown: You've gotta love the Godfather of Soul and his over-the-top production numbers-and the creative intermixing with scenes of American life that made this so powerful in Rocky IV.
7. Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen: Bruce's tribute to Vietnam vets highlighted his sold-out 1984 tour based on the album of the same name. Rock.
6. American Pie, Don McLean: McLean's song inspired by Buddy Holly's death in 1959 examines the evolution of music and the US of A, from the feel-good '50s to the troubled '60s and beyond. Pop.
5. I'm Proud To Be An American/God Bless the USA, Lee Greenwood: Greenwood's anthem, written almost 30 years ago, emerges whenever the country needs a morale boost-including the Gulf War, the September 11th attacks and the 2003 Iraq invasion. Country.
4. God Bless America, Kate Smith: A big gal with an even bigger voice, Kate Smith became identified with this song-especially after the Philadelphia Flyers found that playing her version before home games worked like a good luck charm. Traditional.
3. Coming to America, Neil Diamond: Released in 1980 as part of The Jazz Singer soundtrack album, this upbeat interpretation of U.S. immigration also interweaves another fave: My Country 'Tis of Thee. Pop.
2. America the Beautiful, Ray Charles: Party-goers who'd vote for this tune as the national anthem will find even more reason after getting an earful of Charles' evocative version. Soul.
1. This Land is Your Land, Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger: Woody Guthrie wrote TLIYL as a response to God Bless America-a song just a little too pleased with itself for the folkster's taste. Folk.