Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Four For The Fourth: Songs For America

On the Fourth of July, we hoist American flags high, shoot off completely legal fireworks, and consume patriotic cupcakes. It's a birthday party and the whole country is invited.

That leaves the music. How many more times do you need to hear "Stars and Stripes Forever" played by a ramshackle high school marching band before you barrel headfirst into the bass drum? And does Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" really need the full laser show treatment? (The answer is yes, by the way.) America can do better!

Whether meditating on America's landscape, its freedoms or the things about our country that frustrate us, America is ripe for inspiration, as evidenced by the songs below.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit