The grill is fired up with all of your favorite meats – hotdogs, steaks, burgers, the smell is making you salivate! A couple of friends and family are grasping onto some cold lemonade, fireworks erupt in the sky and one of your friends is waving around the gorgeous red, white and blue of the American flag. It’s that time again. The fourth of July party is in full swing and doesn’t it feel good?
Everything seems covered for the fourth. The food, the fireworks, the friends and family. What’s left now?
No party can truly begin without the proper music attacking the airwaves. Today, we’ve compiled a short list of some Fourth of July classics. This way, when your party starts you know a few more tunes to throw on the playlist.
The Star-Spangled Banner
… is the national anthem of the United States. Therefore, it just has to be included on this list. An amateur poet at the time, Francis Scott Key, saw the attack of Fort McHenry by British ships. He was being held captive, but could still see the intensity of the battle from afar. He saw the U.S. flag “through the rocket’s red glare and the bombs bursting in air” and felt moved by the sight of it.
What many may not know about The Star-Spangled Banner is that its roots are very British. The poem was actually set to the tune of a men’s social club song in London. So, the very song announcing the independence of the “land of the free and the home of the brave” from British sovereignty, ironically has British beginnings.
Lastly, The Star-Spangled Banner actually won a very close race to even become the national anthem. “Hail, Columbia,” “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful” could have all been the national anthem sung before sports events.
God Bless the USA
About the song, Lee Greenwood has been quoted as saying, “I wanted to write it my whole life.” Greenwood felt that the US needed to be more united. This song was his solution. The lyrics, “From Detroit down to Houston/And New York to L.A./Where’s pride in every American heart…” were written in an effort to connect us all.
The tune was so immediately popular when he was on tour that Greenwood was forced to put it at the end of the show. The audience loved it so much each time, that it was impossible for him to follow with another song.
When God Bless the USA first graced the airwaves it traveled to number seven on the country charts. As time went on, the song became a national rallying cry after times of stress in the states, specifically after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Born in the USA
One of Bruce Springsteen’s most powerful songs. It doesn’t matter if he plays this in the states or across the seas, the audience always loves it. Springsteen’s voice sounds rough and deep and comes right at you.
At first, the song may sound like a triumphant heap of praise and many people have come to still believe that Born in the USA is all praiseworthy. Listen to the verses again. The despair in the verses will really get you and the chorus’s upbeat tone is ironic to say the least.
Party in the USA
This was right before Miley Cyrus made her transition into the wild child she would soon become. Even still, she got into a little trouble for using a pole in her performance of this song at the Teen Choice Awards. Nevertheless, Party in the USA has become somewhat of a classic.
The song has that feel good summer time vibe that will get even the stiffest family member to “move their hips like, yeah” or even “nod their heads like, yeeaahhh.”
Now, for advanced Fourth of July listeners, Party in the USA gained even more notoriety when Biggie Smalls was remixed into the song. Some remixes don’t go over well and the combo of the two might sound like an awkward mash-up.
However, Miley Cyrus and the late Notorious Biggie Smalls make for a clunky, yet intoxicating duo. Then again we should have never doubted Biggie, he’s “been a terror since the public school era.”
Summer is a beautiful season! Take a look at our article, How to Become a Better Muscian This Summer.