Is This the Most “American” July 4th Playlist of All Time?

4 Jul

Photo credit: Stephanie McCabe / Unsplash

You don’t need a reason to make a playlist, but a holiday sure does provide a good one.

And today, on July 4th, one of my favorite days of the year, I like listening to one of my favorite Spotify playlists. Like my summertime mix, it’s a collection of songs all built around a theme — in this case, the word “America.” All included songs feature some use of the word America (or a variation of it) in a prominent way — which is why John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” qualifies, but, say, “Horse with No Name,” by the band America, does not. Bruce Springsteen’s “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” may be an exception to that rule, but come on. How could I not include it?

And, because it’s a mix for the Fourth of July, there are a few patriotic or July 4th or “Independence Day”–themed or related songs (like Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park” and Katy Perry’s “Firework,” natch) thrown in too. Yes, there are even some songs, like Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” that sound patriotic, but really aren’t.

I call this playlist, no surprise, American Tunes.

Of course, you can’t call a playlist that without including the song “American Tune,” and I’ve included not one but two versions of it — one by Simon & Garfunkel and one by Eva Cassidy. Actually, Cassidy’s lesser known but even better cover version may be my favorite of all the tracks on this playlist.

What else is on it? Here’s a partial track list, in no particular order:

1. “Liberty Fanfare” – Boston Pops Orchestra

2. “On the Fourth of July” – James Taylor

3. “American Girls” – Counting Crows

4. “American Baby” – Dave Matthews Band

5. “America” – Simon & Garfunkel

6. “Pink Houses” – John Cougar Mellencamp

7. “Surfin’ U.S.A.” – The Beach Boys

8. “Doddletown Fifers” – Boston Pops Orchestra

9. “American Land” – Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band

10. “American Life in the Summertime” – Francis Nunnery

11. “Young Americans” – David Bowie

12. “America the Beautiful” – Ray Charles

13. “American Tune” – Eva Cassidy

14. “Independence Day” – Bruce Springsteen

15. “American Girl” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

16. “All-American Girl” – Train

17. “America” – Neil Diamond

18. “America, Fuck Yeah” – Team America

19. “American Idiot” – Green Day

20. “Born in the U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen

21. “The Stars and Stripes Forever” – Boston Pops Orchestra

22. “Almost Independence Day” – Van Morrison

23. “Living in the U.S.A.” – Steve Miller Band

24. “Star Spangled Banner” – Jimi Hendrix

25. “Living in America” – James Brown

26. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” – Bruce Springsteen

27. “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” – Toby Keith

28. “Made in America” – Jay-Z & Kanye West

29. “Independence Day” – Lil Rounds

30. “Party in the U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus

31. “American Boy” – Estelle (feat. Kanye West)

32. “Real American” – Rick Derringer

33. “America’s Suitehearts” – Fall Out Boy

34. “God Bless America” – Kate Smith

35. “Saturday in the Park” – Chicago

36. “This Land Is Your Land” – Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

37. “Breakfast in America” – Supertramp

38. We’re an American Band” – Grand Funk Railroad

39. “American Woman” – Lenny Kravitz

40. “Kids in America” – Kim Wilde

(Note: Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” was excluded on purpose. I can’t stand that song. Yuck.)

The full playlist has more than 50 tracks on it and is backyard-barbecue-ready! So go ahead and give it a listen. Happy Independence Day!

Am I missing anything? Please let me know in the comments section below.

5 Responses to “Is This the Most “American” July 4th Playlist of All Time?”

  1. Brian July 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    One more good ol’ boy song from Toby Keith: Made in America (‘Merica?)

  2. jacaldwell July 3, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Hey Martin, What about Kate Smith?

    • Martin Lieberman July 3, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Her version of “God Bless America,” I assume? I’ve added it to the Spotify playlist. Thanks, John!


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