Neil Diamond's 1980 song, part of the soundtrack for The Jazz Singer, highlights the appeal of America as a land of immigrants.
"Born in the U.S.A"
This 1984 hit, from Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen, was actually an anti-war anthem reflecting on the psychological ills suffered by those who served in the Vietnam War. Still, the lyrics and rhythm of this song make it excellent listening material for a Fourth of July party, barbecue, picnic or potluck.
The Beach Boys
This all-American summer oldie from the perennially popular Beach Boys, is a peppy party starter. Written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the 1963 song is actually set to the tune of Chuck Berry's classic hit, "Sweet Little Sixteen."
"This Land Is Your Land"
Written in 1940, "This Land Is Your Land" may be the most popular patriotic folk song of all time.
"Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue"
Subtitled "The Angry American," this country music number may be the most popular hit from Oklahoman Toby Keith. Although the Dixie Chicks criticized the blunt lyrics, this all-American song became an anthem for U.S. troops in Iraq and other war-torn regions.
Inspired by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Keith's song proclaims patriotism and the American fighting spirit boldly, making it suitable for a Fourth of July party, barbecue, picnic or potluck.
Oak Ridge Boys
"My baby is American made, born and bred in the U.S.A.," echoes the chorus of this 1983 gold record from the Oak Ridge Boys. The lyrics list several foreign-made products that have become popular among American consumers, but the continual refrain affirms the all-American value of a home-grown girl.
"America, the Beautiful"
"America, the Beautiful" may be the most loved patriotic American song of all time. Sung by schoolchildren and operatic soloists alike, the all-American ballad is a perennial favorite.
Ray Charles recorded his version of the song in 1972. The original lyrics were penned in the 1890s by Katherine Lee Bates, a Wellesley College English professor. The melody came from a Samuel Ward hymn ("Materna").
Throughout the past century, citizens have debated whether "America, the Beautiful" ought to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the nation's anthem. The song is simpler and much easier to sing. Certainly, Ray Charles' version is a bit more complex and artful, though, making it a wonderful selection for a Fourth of July party, barbecue, picnic or potluck.
Many artists have performed covers of this classic all-American song, including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, but Ray Charles' recording is our favorite.
"God Bless America"
Admittedly, it may seem ironic that this patriotic song is actually performed by a Canadian, rather than a U.S. citizen. Still, Celine Dion's version of the Irving Berlin classic is astounding.
Of course, the quintessential favorite version of this song may be the Kate Smith oldie. Also, Martina McBride offers another stirring version of this song.
"God Bless the U.S.A."
Country singer Lee Greenwood released "God Bless the U.S.A." in 1984. That year, the Republican National Convention, meeting in Dallas, aired the song from the show floor, as incumbent President Ronald Reagan was nominated for reelection.
"God Bless the U.S.A." became an unofficial national anthem of sorts during the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s, the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center crisis, and the Iraqi War in the new millennium.
"An American Trilogy"
No Fourth of July party, barbecue, picnic or potluck is complete without this track. Elvis ("The King") Presley sings a three-song medley of "Dixie, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "All My Trials."
What a wonderful way to close out a festive Independence Day evening.
Additional Appropriate Songs for a Fourth of July Party
Here are several additional favorites for an all-American Independence Day party, barbecue, picnic or potluck. Certainly, music enthusiasts of all stripes will find something to fit their own musical tastes on the Fourth of July.
Fourth of July party hosts may choose to purchase multi-artist collection CDs or to download favorite songs to a portable computer, a personal MP3 player or blank CDs.
"Amazing Grace" (Tramaine Hawkins)
"America Is My Home" (James Brown)
"America Will Survive" (Hank Williams, Jr.)
"American Child" (Phil Vassar)
"American Girl" (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
"American Pie" (Don McLean)
"American Woman" (The Guess Who)
"The Americans" (John Mellencamp)
"American Soldier" (Toby Keith)
"The American Way" (Hank Williams. Jr.)
"America Will Always Stand" (Randy Travis)
"Angels Among Us" (Alabama)
"Back in the U.S.A." (Chuck Berry)
"Back Where I Come From" (Kenny Chesney)
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" (Leontyne Price)
"Blowin' in the Wind" (Bob Dylan)
"Born to Be Wild" (Steppenwolf)
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Simon & Garfunkel)
"California Dreamin" (The Mamas and the Papas)
"Change the World" (Wynonna)
"City of New Orleans" (Arlo Guthrie)
"Country Boy Can Survive" (Hank Williams, Jr.)
"Country Roads" (John Denver)
"dancing in the Street" (Martha and the Vandellas)
"Don't Mess with America" (Ronny McDowell)
"The Eagle" (Waylon Jennings)
"Eighth of November" (Big and Rich)
"Everyday Heroes" (Paul Overstreet)
"Fortunate Son" (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
"Fourth of July" (Shooter Jennings)
"Freedom" (Michael English)
"Have You Forgotten?" (Darryl Worley)
"Hero" (Mariah Carey)
"Heroes and Friends" (Randy Travis)
"Homeland" (Kenny Rogers)
"If You're Reading This" (Tim McGraw)
"I Just Came Back from a War" (Darryl Worley)
"Land of Hope and Dreams" (Bruce Springsteen)
"Last Fallen Hero" (Charlie Daniels)
"Lean on Me" (Bill Withers)
"Let's Roll, America" (Bellamy Brothers)
"Living in the Promised Land" (Willie Nelson)
"Mississippi Girl" (Faith Hill)
"My Red, White and Blue" (Toby Keith)
"My Town" (Montgomery Gentry)
"National Anthem" (Natalie Grant)
"National Anthem" (LeAnn Rimes)
"Only in America" (Brooks and Dunn)
"Please Remember Me" (Tim McGraw)
"Politically Incorrect" (Gretchen Wilson and Merle Haggard)
"Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
"Ragged Old Flag" (Johnny Cash)
"Some Gave All" (Billy Ray Cyrus)
"The Star-Spangled Banner" (Jimi Hendrix)
"The Star-Spangled Banner" (Whitney Houston)
"Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran)
"Sweet Home Alabama" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
"Sweet Home Chicago" (Robert Johnson)
"Thank You" (Ray Stevens)
"There's a Hero" (Billy Gilman)
"This Is My Country" (The Impressions)
"Three Wooden Crosses" (Randy Travis)
"Wabash Cannonball" (Roy Acuff)
"We Are the Champions" (Queen)
"We're an American Band" (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We Shall Overcome" (Mahalia Jackson)
"What This Country Needs" (Aaron Tippin)
"Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly" (Aaron Tippin)
"Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?' (Alan Jackson)
"Who Says You Can't Go Home" (Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles)
"With a Little Help from My Friends" (Joe Cocker)
"Yankee Doodle Dandy" (Boston Pops Orchestra)
Published by Linda Ann Nickerson
Linda Ann Nickerson brings decades of reporting and a globally minded Midwestern perspective to a host of topics, balancing human interest with history, hard facts and often humor. View profile
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- Here are our top ten favorite all-American patriotic songs for your Fourth of July party.