It's the most patriotic time of the year -- July 4th. Of course we're celebrating America with all of the right things: hamburgers, beer, and high-waisted American flag shorts. But you know what is also super important? Music. Try getting through this holiday without "Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus. That's right. You can't.
10. "American Idiot" - Green Day
First on the list, a song by a bunch of Canadians. Though "American Idiot" and the congruently titled album came out in 2004, by the sounds of Billy Joe Armstrong's lyrics you could think this was published today. Phrases such as "redneck agenda", "age of paranoia", and "controlled by the media" encapsulate America in 2017.
9. "Fortunate Son" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
A common American right and pastime is the freedom of speech and protest. "Fortunate Son" is in direct protest of the Vietnam War, but really why we listen to it is for the signature guitar, crashing percussion and the signature CCR vocals.
8. "Party in the U.S.A." - Miley Cyrus
How is it that a song about the United States can go gold and platinum in 5 countries outside of the United States? Probably because it's not about the United States. It's about losing yourself in music, in this case a Jay-Z song, and suddenly the butterflies are gone.
7. "This Land is Your Land" - Woody Guthrie
The 1944 folk song is heartwarming, especially in this day and age. Perhaps its meaning now is unamerican, but its intent is there. Also, a little easter egg, the original lyrics (though never recorded included "There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me. / The sign was painted, said 'Private Property.' / But on the backside, it didn't say nothing. / This land was made for you and me."
6. "Summer of ‘69" - Bryan Adams
5. "Sweet Home Alabama" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Just saying the word Alabama is practically equivalent in American-ness to eating apple pie. There's something about the plucked guitar melody that listeners can deduce chewing tobacco and cheap beer from. Regardless, hearing Lynyrd Skynyrd poke fun at Neil Young for being Canadian (Well, I hope Neil Young will remember / A Southern man don't need him around) is always a blast.
4. "Piano Man" - Billy Joel
The perfect balance of a 6/8 balad and the peak of karaoke night, Billy Joel's biggest hit to date is a true fourth of July anthem. It's doing what you want, quitting your job, and following your pursuits, the ultimate American dream.
3. "American Boy" - Estelle
"American Boy" sneaks into the patriotic playlist. With a couple of guest verses from Kanye West, Estelle boasts about meeting a new "American Boy" who will take her around the country. A little dumb, but who cares because this song bumps like a club banger but still passes the "mom" test.
2. "American Pie" - Don McLean
For those who don't know it, "the day that music died" that McLean refers to is February 3rd, 1959 when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valen, and The Big Bopper all died in a plane crash. It's a song about reminiscing and saying goodbye to the past, perfect for drunk fourth of July singalongs.
1. "Born In The U.S.A." - Bruce Springsteen
There are two types of people in the world, those who think "Born In The U.S.A." is the most patriotic song of all time, and those who know the facetious meanings to Springsteen's lyrics. And what's more American than not getting the joke? The Jersey native narrates the life of an American soldier, getting shipped to Vietnam and returning home to find fervent unemployment and mistreatment of veterans, but regardless celebrating his pride for his country.
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