The Fourth of July is the perfect combination of remembrance and celebration. The holiday allows plenty of time for both, and our soundtrack will definitely reflect that. As for any playlist, versatility is key.
Country music will speak on the main aspect of the holiday itself. Many of the popular country artists have made some of their best music when they lean towards war time ballads. It is a common issue for many Americans, so those sad but sweet songs hit home for many fans.
The soundtrack for that party atmosphere must be much different. Thankfully, that is mine and Jenna’s area of expertise.
We chose only the best to represent one of America’s most sacred holidays. With the focal point being American freedom, songs such “American Soldier” by Toby Keith and “American Love” by Jake Owen.
Of course there are jams that will get the party started as well. “American Pie” by Don McLean and “House Party” by Sam Hunt will have everyone singing along. When its time to eat, “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band must be played. Finally, for a parting track as the party calms down, “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker will be perfect.
All in all, the list is superb. The only thing left to do is invite all of your friends over and press play.
Without further ado…
Your 2017 Fourth of July Playlist:
Patriotic Level: Red, White & Blue Are My Favorite Colors
Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, begins the playlist with a cute-yet-cheesy “RED, WHITE & YOU.”
“Courtesy of The Red, White and Blue” is Toby Keith’s scream-singer on the list, and there’s a lot of them to choose from. In addition, patriotism wraps up in all of its stereotypical forms.
Lynyrd Skynyrd brings his patriotic side in “Red White & Blue” in addition to their classic “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Patriotic Level: ‘MURICA
A newer American classic: Kenny Chesney, a stadium country favorite, creates a twangy, catchy beat with “American Kids.” He discusses some classic upbringing tales from his youth.
Toby Keith takes a somber standpoint on “American Soldier,” diverting the playlist to recognize the efforts of the U.S. military fighting overseas.
This might be the classic of all the classics. Furthermore, Don McLean’s lengthy “American Pie” explores famous singers who died in the 1959 plane crash (Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens). Referencing “The Day the Music Died,” “American Pie” discusses many standard American events in reference to these singers’ musical influence.
The song’s title is self-explanatory, as Jake Owens’ country twang continues. Another classic to consider is “Anywhere With You.”
Again leaning away from country, Green Day’s hit “American Idiot” will get the punk rockers head-banging.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers might be more known for “Free Fallin’,” but “American Girl” is a close favorite for the band’s lengthy resume. They are also currently on tour celebrating 40 years.
Lady Antebellum, or Lady A, is a more recent country fan favorite. The trio resurfaced this year to drop their new album Heart Break. Specifically, “American Honey” is a Lady A classic from their first album that embodies the band’s sound.
Toby Keith arises one last time for “American Ride.” Frankly, Keith might be the most ‘Murica country singer on the Fourth of July playlist.
Newbie country star Thomas Rhett, who also blends country and pop, finishes the list with “American Spirit.”
Then, tap back into hip-hop. A fun, light throwback to include is “American Boy” featuring Kanye West. Kanye is a hip-hop crowd favorite sure to please your friends who aren’t into country.
“America” by Simon & Garfunkel takes the playlist to an old-school level. For anyone who appreciates the classics, this one is for you.
Patriotic Level: I Have a Small American Flag in My House
Switching it up from country, Khalid’s rising R&B star keeps getting higher. His album American Teen refers to his high school experiences growing up in El Paso, and no song summarizes it better than the title track.
Keith Urban reflects on his American childhood in “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” that hits on the musicians and religion that have influenced his life.
Eric Church references the famous Bruce Springsteen in this country track. Springsteen embodies the patriotic rocker, so a song about him is perfectly aligned with the patriotic spirit.
Oh, Kid Rock. Another feel-good, summer’s-starting track: “All Summer Long” will get everyone singing-a-long.
“Pink Houses” doesn’t scream “I LOVE AMERICA” as much as the others. However, this John Mellencamp classic references many historical, suburban standards that reflect the Land of Opportunity.
Air electric guitar players, come out. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” opens with guitar riffs that get any patriotic party crowd cheering.
“She’s Country” is the bad-ass boot-stomper. Jason Aldean is known to rock out like Kenny Chesney, and “She’s Country” refers to one perfect girl who brings all the aspects of the Southern states together in one personality.
Patriotic Level: I Just Like the 4th of July for the Cookouts
Ah, summer nights. Zac Brown Band was built for summer concerts and vibes. “Chicken Fried” wraps up all the goodness of a summer into one song. Chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right…
This tune is a happy-go-lucky country classic after Darius Rucker took the country world by storm as one of the first established African American country stars. “Wagon Wheel” is a hug-your-family-and-friends tune perfect for all the warm and fuzzy feelings of the holiday’s gatherings.
Florida Georgia Line began the movement towards the intersection of pop, hip-hop, and yes, country music. However, they still remain true to their primary genre. “Dirt” refers to the ground they were raised on, and it’s the perfect introspective, nostalgic tune.
“Drinking Class” is the standard-American song. The singer, Lee Brice, prides in no excess or frills. Furthermore, the narrator-singer is a blue-collar worker who enjoys the weekends and belongs to the Drinking Class. Perfect for a weekend of celebration.
This is the party song of the playlist. “House Party” by Sam Hunt demonstrates Hunt’s huge success in the pop country realm. There are no speaking parts in this song like his other hits, but it’s a feel-good pre-game song for the weekend.
Zac Brown Band does it again with “Homegrown,” a track that shows appreciation to the group’s roots.