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Music for the USA on Independence Day: 12 Classic American Anthems

America The Beautiful broadcast from Washington DC on 4th of July. Nothing wrong with that. Even makes me misty-eyed sometimes. But for a more thought provoking auditory emanation of the American Dream, moreover the real lives and loves of the real America, of the last 100 years, maybe these few songs can dig a little deeper.

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Maybe we should call this the people’s playlist

“America The Beautiful” broadcast from Washington DC on 4th of July. Nothing wrong with that. Even makes me misty-eyed sometimes. But for a more thought provoking auditory emanation of the American Dream, moreover the real lives and loves of the real America, of the last 100 years, maybe these few songs can dig a little deeper.

This Land Is Your Land

The ultimate people’s anthem. Endlessly influential, from Bob Dylan to Springsteen all the way to the present day. Not to be forgotten. Ever.

The Star-Spangled Banner (Jimi Hendrix)

Misunderstood, yet insightful to the nth degree. Performed at Woodstock (50 year anniversary happening now) at the height of unrest during the Vietnam War. For many, perhaps the peak and final moments of the 60s. Has taken on mythic status and while the controversy has faded, the insight and bittersweet love for the country shines through, to this day. Hendrix was a veteran and knew exactly what “rockets red glare” really sounded and felt like.

Born In The USA

In the parade of the misunderstood “Born In The USA” may stand as the most misinterpreted song ever. Pride at being born in the USA? Absolutely. Look at the rest of the lyrics to get the more nuanced take on what it means.

America, West Side Story

What can you say? Classic all the way.

Living In America

Anything by James Brown is an American Treasure.

America The Beautiful (Ray Charles)

Ditto

A bit more from The Boss and some lesser known gems to round out the tour:


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