By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Ah, Independence Day. It's a day to reflect on America's freedom, watch fireworks and stuff our faces with as much grilled meat as humanly possible. So, obviously we need a holiday playlist for the inevitable barbecue. As we all know, barbecue sauce is better in Texas. Grilling is better in Texas. And music is definitely better in Texas. Thus, we present a Lone Star look at the US' biggest celebration (please allow for sarcasm, super stretches of meaning and title-only application in some cases):
"Wave the Flag" —Audrey Lapriak
The song's relatively heartbreaking, and yeah, title flag is actually a flag of surrender, but it looks patriotic on a track listing. We're keepin' it.
"The Fireworks Treatment" —Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel
No explanation necessary. Lyrically, however...
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" —Charlie Sexton
Way to go with a classic, Charlie.
"Independent Women" —Destiny's Child
Throw your hands up at us! Totally not about patriotism, but then again it was the theme for that Charlie's Angels flick and well, they kick ass in the name of preventing terrorism and shit, so, yeah.
"Cold Day in July" —Dixie Chicks
They got the month right. Go ladies!
"Soldiers" —Drowning Pool
Pour one out for the soldiers during this soon-to-be-released homage.
"Declaration of War" —Geto Boys
Couldn't leave this Houston crew off the list no matter how hard it was to find a song that even remotely tied in with America's liberation from England's rule. Gangland fight=War of Independence, you get it.
"Miss Independent" —Kelly Clarkson
Just picture her in a flag-themed ensemble singing for freedom, be it from a record label or an oppressive country.
"Parade" —Little Grizzly
It may be about a little deaf girl leading an army of the dead, but it's still a parade...of an army no less! And there could have been a crazy finale with fireworks we just didn't get to hear about.
"Apple Pies and Alibis"—The Paper Chase
The grand prize goes to the least expected. The irreverent and free-speaking (but hey, aren't those the best parts of America? 'K, fine, liberal America.) TPC offer the most legitimate references to Independence Day. "Firecracker" and "Fourth of July" with a big bonus: "I'm American as apple pie, I'm American as the next guy"—the only apple pie reference we could find.
"Barbecue" —Robert Earl Keen
Eat up a heapin' plate of REK's BBQ. No hidden messages or nuthin'—it's all about the "beef and bread."
"4th of July" —Shiny Around the Edges
A real winner here. This slow, sleepy, winsome tune makes direct, though lovelorn, reference to the holiday in question. Well done.
"Lonely Holiday" —Old 97's
OK, so it doesn't specifically refer to the United States' independence (more like, independence from couplehood) or fireworks (more like, the dying of them) but it has the word "holiday" in it.
"Rocketpop" —Tripping Daisy
From I Am an Elastic Firecracker, the use of "rocket" and the album's "firecracker" makes for a double hit. We're going old school here despite the new Polyphonic Spree album having two qualifying tracks: "Light to Follow" and "Watch Us Explode (Justify)."
"Struttin' With Some Barbecue"—Willie Nelson
Every—let's say it again—every Fourth of July needs a little Willie Nelson involved. May as well celebrate strikin' up the band and struttin' with some 'cue.