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Ten songs you should hear on July 4, 2014, Independence Day, USA

Fireworks on July 4th, 2013 in Washington, D.C
Fireworks on July 4th, 2013 in Washington, D.C
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Most Americans are preparing for this three-day Independence Day weekend by visiting family, getting the grill ready for the meat, preparing appropriate accompaniments and/or cooling down various beverages. Other plans will most likely include parades, music festivals and, of course, fireworks displays.

However, this day should include listening to appropriate music. You might be surprised with the variety of songs in this list: from artists ranging from country, folk, rock, operatic, contemporary, gospel and rhythm and blues. And their music covers over twelve decades (from 1897 to 2011).

So for your listening pleasure, here are ten songs that everyone should listen to before your weekend ends.

1. "On the 4th of July", by James Taylor

This song by James Taylor “tells the story about falling in love on the 4th of July. It depicts all the awkward feelings of intimacy while also referring to the important values of love and surrender.”

2. "America", by Neil Diamond

Most people will say they never saw the 1980 movie, “The Jazz Singer”. But they might have heard Neil Diamond sing “America”. If not, well...

3. "America the Beautiful", by Ray Charles

Ray Charles is the king of rhythm and blues. This presentation was originally recorded as a benefit for the Miami Lighthouse For The Blind.

4. "Only in America", by Brooks & Dunn

Brooks & Dunn sings out loud and in color: “Only in America, where we dream in red, white an'

5.Pledge of Allegiance”, by Red Skelton

OK, we all will recognize that this is not a song. But those who know about this presentation by Red Skelton, written in 1969, certainly believe this wonderful story does indeed belong in this list on July 4, Independence Day. And to those who have never heard it, you are in for a treat.

6.God Bless America”, by Kate Smith

Kate Smith first sang this song on the radio on Nov 10, 1938. This particular version was made in about 1950.

7. "God Bless the USA", by Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood's song reminds us that we're all “proud to be an American” and inspires us to say, “God Bless the USA.”

8. "Song of the Patriot", Johnny Cash

This song by Johnny Cash is one of the “flag-wavingest songs Cash ever sang” when he says, "I'm a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam.”

9.Stars & Stripes Forever”, by John Philip Sousa

John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932), who wrote 136 marches, making him one of the most prolific U.S. composers of military marches. Stars and Stripes Forever is known as the National March of the United States of America by an act of Congress in 1987

10.Star Spangled Banner”, by Madison Rising

The Madison Rising version of the Star Bangled Banner is one of the most original ones ever played. It is truly awe-inspiring and will certainly bring chills to everyone.

All y'all enjoy these songs this weekend. We veterans certainly will.

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