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The (un)official 4th of July playlist

In advance of Friday’s celebrations, I’ve put together a quick list of my favorite seasonal songs (as I am wont to do. See: Halloween, Christmas). Feel free to tell me what songs I missed, or add your playlist in the comments section.

Spirt of ’76 — The Dickie’s
An obscure tune from the soundtrack to “Spirit of ’76,” an obscure time-travel comedy starring David Cassidy.

America F**k Yeah — Trey Parker
It’s a song and a meme. The song is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Still, it does captures the spirit of American exceptionalism. It’s also a great sing-along.

Firework — Katy Perry
4th of July = fireworks and this song has the best firework metaphor in contemporary pop music. Feel free to argue over that statement if you like.

The American Ruse — MC5
This may seem a poor choice for a patriotic holiday, seeing as how it calls the American dream a sham. But it does it so well — down to the Yankee Doodle riff before the big guitar solo.

American Pie — Don McLean
There are probably college courses devoted to dissecting the lyrical content here. The song perfectly encapsulates the nostalgia for 1950′s America.

Living in America — James Brown
There are few things more American than Apollo Creed in “Rocky IV.” Well, maybe Rocky in “Rocky IV”

Elected — Alice Cooper
The ‘Coop’s take on the two-party system seems like something we could all get behind. We’re gonna rock to the rules he makes, etc.

Back in the U.S.A. — Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry is classic American rock and roll. That is worth celebrating.

Spook City U.S.A. — The Misfits
For those who like their American rock and roll a bit more sinister (and/or campy).

Star Spangled Banner — Various artists
The obligatory choice, sure, but for a reason. We’ve all heard this song countless times and it’s always a crap shoot whether it will be any good. I once heard Hoyt Axton forget the words (it’s a difficult song). That got a stadium full of boos. I also heard John Popper do harmonica version ala Jimi Hendrix, complete with feedback.

Responses to "The (un)official 4th of July playlist"

john says:

As far as I’m concerned there is ONE Fourth of July song – titled, now get this, “4th of July”, by Dave Alvin who played @ Fulton55 last week. As classic as “Alice’s Restruant” on Thanksgiving.

blake says:

I’d toss in an obscure 70′s Beach Boy tune written by under-known writer *Dennis*Wilson and sung by the angel-voiced Carl “God Only Knows” Wilson. This one’s pretty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3JJXbF9_Ow
—-and the sad but also pretty Paul Simon’s “American Tune”..[ ironically, the 'tune' is more German...being mostly lifted from ol' J.S. Bach].

Thanks for the post, or I might not have considered digging some of these out for this weekend.
(and plus one on “Elected”)..maybe the Ramone’s singing “Bonzo goes to Bitburg”?

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