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Independence Day Soundtrack: Songs that mention America

Independence Day is right around the corner and, with the 4th of July, come barbeques, pool parties and fireworks. Yet along with all of these events is music. To most people music is the steady soundtrack of their day, playing in the background as they drive to a location or lounge by the pool or watch fireworks bloom in the night sky.

Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez
Most people listen to the radio every time they are in a car.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Although “popular music” or “party songs” are completely appropriate for 4th of July events, certain songs are particularly worthy of play on America’s Independence Day. Although there are many songs that mention America, some have become “top of the chart” hits that practically anyone, young or old, can recognize and enjoy.

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” is a classic rock song that is played on airways throughout the holiday. Although the song is, at its core, a criticism of the Vietnam War, its all-American themes and lyrics appeal to folks come the 4th of July. “Keep on Rocking In the Free World” by Neil Young also gets airplay during July 4th for its catchy beats—even though the lyrics are actually a criticism about certain social aspects of the United States and other “free world” affluent nations. “Little Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp is another prime 4th of July party song even though its lyrics also (albeit somewhat non-blatantly) touch on issues such as poverty and injustice. On the flip side, “We’re An American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad is a purely upbeat party anthem that also enjoys massive airplay around July 4th—despite its 1973 release which makes it 41 years old! Finally, Katy Perry’s “Firework” also gets quite a bit of airplay during this holiday even though the song does not reference America but, rather, the beloved American tradition of firework shows.

As you enjoy your 4th of July keep an ear tuned for these songs, and others that mention the United States, and let music uplift your spirits a little bit more!