July 4th, officially known as Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The adoption of the Declaration of Independence occurred on July 4, 1776. It was at that time that the nation declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain which is now officially known as the United Kingdom. Besides time off from work and schools that are in summer session, there is a wide array of traditional celebrations on the annual holiday. Americans celebrate in the United States with picnics and barbecues, fireworks, parades, carnivals and fairs, and concerts which often include political speeches, patriotic songs and ceremonies. It is time when Americans celebrate their freedoms as a nation.
Music, naturally, is a big part of Americans' patriotic celebrations - including the celebrations observed on Independence Day. Ten of the most famous and best-loved patriotic songs in the history of the United States are linked to this article in an effort to help people celebrate. After each title, the lyricist and music writer are listed, and then the performer or performers of each song video are acknowledged.
The Ten Best Patriotic Songs in the United States
1. The Star Spangled Banner was a poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814; Key set the poem to a modified musical version of a ‘drinking’ song called Anacreontic Song which was written by Britain John Stafford Smith. Though well-known years before, The Star Spangled Banner became the United States’ official National Anthem in 1931 by an act of the United States Congress. Sung by The Cactus Cuties.
2. The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a lyric written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861, set to a tune written several years before by William Steffe. Sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
3. America the Beautiful was a poem written by Katharine Lee Bates in the 1880s, and Samuel A. Ward added the music to the words in the 1890s. Sung by Barbara Streisand.
4. God Bless America was written by Irving Berlin in 1918, then revised and recorded by Kate Smith twenty years later when the song and Kate Smith became very popular. Sung by Kate Smith.
5. The Stars and Stripes Forever, declared the United States’ National March by the United States Congress in 1987, was written in 1896 by John Philip Sousa, a Marine Band leader from 1880 to 1892, as well as a member of the Hall of Fame of Great Americans and an inductee into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Performed by The Marine Band.
6. My Country Tis of Thee is a lyric written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1931 and thereafter set to the British National Anthem, God Save the Queen. Sung by Aretha Franklin at President Obama's Inauguration.
7. Semper Fidelis, the official march of the United States Marine Corps, was written in 1888 by John Philip Sousa, a Marine Band leader from 1880 to 1892, as well as a member of the Hall of Fame of Great Americans and an inductee into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Performed by The Marine Band.
8. The Marine's Hymn (From the Halls of Montezuma), the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps, was composed by Jacques Offenbach in the mid-1800s under another name and the lyricist is unknown. Sung by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
9. God Bless the USA written and originally recorded by country singer and songwriter Lee Greenwood in 1984. Sung by Lee Greenwood. This is the most contemporary of what are classified as classic patriotic songs.
10. This Land is Your Land was written by folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie. He wrote the lyrics in 1940 to one of his previous melodies as a negative response to God Bless America because he was tired of hearing it. Sung by Woody Guthrie.
Have a safe and happy holiday. Don't drink and drive! If one is inclined to celebrate with firecrackers, please be cautious for personal safety as well as the safety of others and surrounding property.