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by Linda Ryan

July 2, 2012

The Ultimate Fourth of July Playlist

by Linda Ryan  |  July 2, 2012

The Fourth of July is one of those seemingly innocuous holidays that, thanks to too much alcohol and too many flag-waving, hand-on-heart songs, ends up in a heated political debate. Whether the politicians are doing too much or not enough, drunk Uncle Dan has the plan that will put our country on the right path! Huzzah!

This playlist is a mixed bag of songs that will appeal to your barbeque crowd on a number of levels. First and foremost, the songs are good. Whatever that means. American Bandstand used to have a segment called Rate-A-Record, where two people would listen to a song and rate it between 35 and 98. When Dick Clark would ask what they liked about it, some awkward, pimply-faced teen would utter the immortal words, "It's got a good beat, and it's easy to dance to." So it's something like that.

Some songs joyously celebrate what feels right (BoDeans' "Closer to Free"), while others vent about what is broken -- whether that's the government (Neil Young's "Ohio") or a person's spirit (X's "4th of July"). Still others offer the sort of hopeful optimism that certainly must have inspired our forefathers some 236 years ago. Ha! Can you even imagine George Washington crossing the Delaware River, shaking his fist and singing U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)"? Hmmmm. Maybe not.

Holidays are supposed to be about fun, not politics. So we made sure we included plenty of no-brainer fun songs celebrating the American whatever: American girls, American boys, American pie, American soldiers, young Americans, kids in America -- you get the idea.

So put the beer on ice, fire up the barbeque, hit play, and enjoy an American soundtrack that both celebrates and frets over the good ol' US of A. And if drunk Uncle Dan starts ruining the party with his political diatribes, just turn the music up a little louder. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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