The Ten Best Independence Day Songs
The 4th of July is one of the best holidays because it appeals to both patriots and pyromaniacs. It's a time for eating too much and spending way too much on fireworks. We at DC-9 felt it was our obligation to give you a playlist for your barbecues and parades. A few of these are a bit obscure, but each one of them celebrates this festive time in its own way.
10. America - Neil Diamond From the god-awful soundtrack to the god-awful movie The Jazz Singer, "Coming to America" is Neil Diamond at his overblown best. When Neil breaks into "My Country Tis of Thee," listeners will either get goose bumps or waves of nausea.
9. Indoor Fireworks - Elvis Costello The explosions at the heart of this great song have nothing to do with the 4th, but the passion and emotion in Costello's voice is still a marvel.
8. Fireworks on TV - Bill Janovitz From the album of the same name, this heartfelt song from the leader of Buffalo Tom pops like string of premium black cats.
7. 4th of July - U2 An ambient instrumental that has never been played live, U2's "4th of July" appears on the woefully neglected The Unforgettable Fire. The song's mood captures the celebratory nature of the holiday.
6. Fourth of July - Dave Alvin Robert Earl Keen does a killer version of this roots-rock classic, but Alvin's original is a powerful song that incorporates the holiday into a tale of a relationship going sour.
5. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen Amazingly, some people still don't comprehend the anti-war themes that abound in this legendary song from The Boss. Ronald Reagan's campaign folks even tied to co-op the song into some right wing political propaganda, but they were rightfully revoked by Springsteen himself.
4. Living in America - James Brown Another good song from a horrible movie, "Living in America" probably carries the weight simply because James Brown sings it.
3. America the Beautiful - Ray Charles The legendary Ray Charles tackles a patriotic warhorse and turns into a true expression of the freedom and selflessness that makes American great.
2. This Land is Your Land - Woody Guthrie Another classic that never seems to get old, "This Land" is as potent today as when Guthrie composed it back in 1940. Ironically, Guthrie wrote the song as a response to "God Bless America."
1. Almost Independence Day - Van Morrison Leave it to an Irishman to write and sing this beautiful ode to American Independence. Of course, with Morrison, God knows what he was really singing about. The song (off the wonderful Saint Dominic's Preview) is as obscure and intense as anything else in Morrison's massive catalog.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.