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.
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.