Parties, fireworks and country music. That’s what the July 4th holiday is made of, right? We can’t help very much with the first two, but the last is right up our alley. Here are 5 Must-Have Uncle Sam Jams to give your Independence Day celebration that little something extra.
“Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly,” Aaron Tippin: The twangy country crooner co-wrote the song with Kenny Beard and Casey Beathard long before 9/11, but the attacks prompted Aaron to record it. “This song is an opportunity to speak to people,” Aaron said at the time according to GAC. “And I hope it will help our country heal.” Proceeds from the sale of the song went to the American Red Cross.
“Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American),” Toby Keith: Another song that found its audience in the wake of 9/11 and one written by Toby in part with the attacks in mind. The song remains controversial in some circles, but still gets plenty of airplay on country radio.
“God Bless The USA,” Lee Greenwood: No patriotic tune list is complete without this American masterpiece. Lee wrote the song not long after the Soviet Union shot down a Korean Air flight that had departed the U.S. in 1983. “That event made me pay attention to international news, but I’d wanted to write ‘U.S.A.’ for an awful long time,” he told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I just wanted to have something that would seed the culture and really give everybody something to cling onto, to unite.”
“The Fightin’ Side Of Me,” Merle Haggard: Merle recorded this self-penned tune as the Vietnam War was raging. The message is clear: Have whatever you opinion on the war you like, but there’s no room for “running down my country, man.”
“Ragged Old Flag,” Johnny Cash: Prior to performing this homage to American ideals, Cash was fond of telling his audience how much more he loved the U.S. each time he returned from a trip abroad. “I thank God for all the freedoms we’ve got in this country; I cherish them,” he told crowd while on tour with The Highwaymen in the 1980s. “Even the right to burn the flag.” As the crowd booed, Johnny playfully continued. “But let me tell ya somethin’ … we’ve also got a right to bear arms, and if you burn my flag I’ll shoot ya!”
Finally, here’s a thought from President John Adams as America declared its independence. “I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states,” he said. “Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance.”
Happy 241st birthday, America!
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.