The 4th of July, Independence Day, America’s birthday. Whatever you call it, July 4th is one heck of a good day to celebrate. It’s in the middle of summer, school’s out, and BBQ season is in. This is a time for family, community, and of course, patriotism.
So, what kinds of songs should you add to your Independence Day playlist? Whether you’re looking for inspiring, spine-tingling patriotic songs or just simple celebrations of this national holiday, I’ve got them all on my list of the best Fourth of July songs to get you going for your perfect Independence Day party.
From the “Star-Spangled Banner” to “God Bless America,” there are some songs that beautifully express the ideas that America represents.
These are proud songs of freedom and dreams made by and for the people that make up this great land. Here are the best ones for your 4th of July celebration.
Top 50 Best Fourth of July Songs
The Star Spangled Banner – Francis Scott Key
The American national anthem has to be one of the most stirring songs out there. And not just because it’s America’s most patriotic song. It’s also a soaring, triumphant piece of music that’s notoriously hard to sing well.
But, when a singer does nail it – goosebumps…
And there are few versions as powerful as Whitney Houston’s performance of the song at Superbowl XXV with the Florida Orchestra. Her rendition of the song is stirring and is a completely joyous celebration of this great country.
This song comes from a poem written by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombing of an American fort during the War of Independence. It was set to the music of, ironically, a popular British song, that only became the USA’s official national anthem in 1931. So if you didn’t know, now you know.
You’re a Grand Old Flag – George M. Cohan
This old song was written an incredible 112 years ago, in 1906, and was inspired by veterans of the Civil War. It references an old flag that George M. Cohan saw a veteran holding, and that was very nearly just a rag.
The song was originally called “You’re A Grand Old Rag,” but that led to a lot of protest, as you can imagine. The song has been recorded by many different artists. Although, it’s almost always performed as a stirring march, just like the original.
Let the lyrics of the chorus speak for themselves…
“You’re a grand old flag – You’re a high-flying flag – And forever in peace may you wave – You’re the emblem of the land I love – The home of the free and the brave – Ev’ry heart beats true – ‘Neath the Red, White, and Blue.”
“Where there’s never a boast or brag – But should auld acquaintance be forgot – Keep your eye on the grand old flag.”
Ragged Old Flag – Johnny Cash
The title, “Ragged Old Flag,” sounds like it’s the total opposite of the grand old flag we just looked at. But that’s the thing about this clever song by Johnny Cash.
It starts with the narrator seeing a ragged old flag and asking an old man about it. Well, that man tells him the story of why that flag is ragged. Of how it crossed the Delaware with George Washington and turned blood red in WWII.
He ends his story with these fine words, “So we raise her up every morning – We take her down slow every night – We don’t let her touch the ground – And we fold her up right – On second thought – I do like to brag – Cause I’m mighty proud of – That Ragged Old Flag.”
While the legendary Cash wrote this song back in 1974, the truth of it still strikes home today. This song is more of a spoken poem set to music, a tribute to the complex history of America.
America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee) – Samuel Francis Smith and Lowell Mason
Here’s another oldie but goodie for this list of the best fourth of July songs. While the actual title is “America,” most people know it as “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” after the first line of the poem.
Another poem later put to a song…
It was written way back in 1831 by Samuel Francis Smith. The lyrics were put to the tune of “God Save the King,” ironically, the British national anthem, by Lowell Mason. And the song was first performed that same year.
The words to this song are beautiful and full of appreciation for the beauty of the landscape and the greatness of America. Likewise, putting it to a well-known song was brilliant, flipping the British national anthem on its head.
The words are sure to put a tear of pride in your eye, so sing along. “Land where my fathers died – Land of the pilgrims’ pride – From ev’ry mountainside – Let freedom ring.”
God Bless America – Irving Berlin
Here’s another great patriotic song for Independence Day. Only this one is not so much for superstars as it is for the everyday singer. This song is slow, stirring, and also sweet. It reads like a prayer, almost like a kid asking God to watch over the country.
“God bless America, land that I love – Stand beside her and guide her – Through the night with the light from above – From the mountains to the prairies – To the oceans white with foam – God bless America, my home sweet home.”
There have been umpteen versions of this song…
It was penned by Irving Berlin back in 1918 and then revised in 1938. It was the signature song of Kate Smith, the so-called “Frist Lady of Radio.” Additionally, it has been sung triumphantly by Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, to name but a few.
But mostly, this song is sung at events. So, when the fireworks fade and everyone stares up at the sky in wonder. Just put on this song and sing along with the people that make your America great.
America the Beautiful – Katharine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward
This old patriotic song warms your heart whenever you hear it. Like “The Star-Spangled Banner,” this song started as a poem. It was written by Katharine Lee Bates in about 1895.
At the same time, organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward wrote the melody in 1882. Then, he published it ten years later, in 1892. It wasn’t until 1910 that the words and the melody got together to create one of the most beloved odes to America ever written.
“O beautiful for spacious skies”…
When you hear that first line, you can probably start to feel a lump rising in your throat. This is a song that’s been around for over a hundred years and has been sung by so many different artists.
I love the version that Ray Charles recorded as a bluesy number full of soul. But you can bet your bottom dollar that this song will be sung on the 4th of July by people all over the country. From sea to shining sea.
The Stars and Stripes Forever – John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa was known as The March King (I mean the king of marches, not of the month of March!) for a very good reason. He penned some 130 marches in his lifetime. Some of them were the most famous songs of their day.
His most famous composition…
This is a rousing, powerful march played by a full orchestra. It has fun sections and more serious sections. That represents America pretty nicely, I’d say. After all, a 1987 act of Congress made this America’s official National March.
There’s no doubt you’ve heard it uncountable times…
In parades, on political broadcasts, and even in Looney Toons cartoons. Although you may find it weird to put on a thrilling march during a Fourth of July celebration, you’d be in good company. It’s the song that almost always plays out US Presidents after they make speeches.
Sousa wrote lyrics, too, even though you seldom hear them. They’re, of course, very patriotic. “Sing out for liberty and light – Sing out for freedom and the right – Sing out for Union and its might – O patriotic sons.”
This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
You will know this famous folk song by legendary folk singer and guitarist Woody Guthrie. Legend has it that it was written as a response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” The original name of the song was “God Blessed America For Me” when he wrote it in 1940.
But by 1944, the lyrics had been changed a bit. As a result, the song became a popular song about the beauty and majesty of America.
Woody Guthrie sings, “This land is your land, this land is my land – From California to the New York Island – From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters – This land was made for you and me.”
I don’t know about you…
But this gives me shivers. It reminds me of happy times singing around the campfire out in the great American wilderness. And it is one of my favorite tribute songs to America.
Back In the U.S.A. – Chuck Berry
When you hear the clanging guitar riff at the start of this song, you know that Chuck Berry is about to deliver another Blues-Rock masterpiece. With “Back In The U.S.A.,” Berry mixed his unique sound with a patriotic tribute to his home and made a hit record.
So, what’s it all about?
The song was inspired by Berry coming back to the States after visiting Australia. And, the way he paints America, he can’t have had a whole lot of fun overseas.
He sings, “Did I miss the skyscrapers, did I miss the long freeway? – From the coast of California to the shores of Delaware Bay – You can bet your life I did, till I got back to the U.S.A.”
This song came out in 1959…
And it was a moderate hit for Berry. It was a bigger hit for Linda Ronstadt, who recorded the song nearly 20 years later in 1978. The two even played the song together in 1987 as a tribute to Chuck Berry’s career.
The Beatles also sort of parodied this song with their track “Back in the U.S.S.R..” But that can’t take away its status as a great American rock song. And one of the best fourth of July songs.
America – Simon & Garfunkel
“America” is an ode to this country from one of its greatest songwriters. It’s not as straightforward as some of the other patriotic songs on my list. But it’s a tribute all the same.
Paul Simon penned this 1968 song based on his own experiences crossing the country. And, when he and Art Garfunkel sing it, this song soars like a heartfelt ode to the USA. They sing in close harmony, with Garfunkel’s beautiful voice complementing Simon’s lyrics perfectly.
It’s about a casual travel romance of sorts…
It follows a couple traveling across this great land, on the bus, hitchhiking, and even walking. These are people looking at the physical landscape of America. But also looking for a deeper understanding of what that country means.
So, if you have a strong idea of what that means to you, you’ll probably hear it in the sounds and images evoked by this beautiful song.
Color Me America – Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is a living American legend. This singer-songwriter has penned thousands of songs throughout her successful career. She has recorded over 900 of these herself and passed many on to other artists.
Dolly has had 25 songs hit #1 on the Country charts, and she has won a Grammy and numerous other awards. So, when this songstress put out “Color Me America” on her 2003 album, For God and Country, it made people stand up and listen.
A slow, emotional ballad…
One that shows off the singer’s lungs well. It has a catchy chorus, “Oh, color me America – Red, white, and blue,” and speaks to Dolly’s love for her country.
She sings of seeing red when American blood is shed and feeling blue when tragedy strikes. But feeling the pure white light of love from her fellow Americans. Pretty stirring and a perfect song for celebrating the 4th of July.
American Heart – Faith Hill
Faith Hill is one of America’s Country music sweethearts. So, it’s only fitting that she recorded the song “American Heart” in 2012. This song was written by Jim Beavers and John Singleton and was meant to be on Hill’s seventh studio album, Illusion.
However, the album was canceled, and she put out the song as an online single instead. The track did well in the Country charts even if it was the biggest hit from this multi-Grammy-Award-winning artist.
It has a strong patriotic feel to it…
But this song is also sweet and romantic, thanks to Hill’s treatment. The lyrics also talk about the strength and resilience of the American people as they move through the challenges in their lives.
It’s a fitting tribute when she sings, “And it beats like a drum down in New Orleans – Sings like a Motown melody – It dreams like California – Bigger than the Texas sky – It bleeds – It scars – But it shines when times get hard – And you can’t break an American heart.”
American Spirit – Thomas Rhett
From the heart of the country, we move on to the spirit. Country singer Thomas Rhett gives us his take on what that means with the soft, slow rocker “American Spirit.” Rhett put this song out on his 2015 album, Tangled Up, and it became a favorite for many.
This song references a whole lot of things that are as American as apple pie. And, while his are mostly country images, this is a nice look at what America means to this artist.
He tells us a lot about the American Spirit…
“It’s proud of where you come from – It’s your last name – It’s thirteen stripes and fifty stars in the wind – So hold up your beer and holler if you hear it – That American spirit.”
So, if that sounds like what you’re feeling on the 4th of July, this could be the perfect song to put on and help you appreciate your country.
Almost Independence Day – Van Morrison
Van Morrison has had some huge hits in America, but he’s from Northern Ireland. So, what’s he doing writing a patriotic song for the USA? Well, the song “Almost Independence Day” is less of a song of patriotism and more a song of tribute to this nation.
This song was written as a stream of consciousness, with Morrison writing his feelings as they flowed into his mind. In it, Van sings, “I can hear the fireworks – I can hear the people shouting out” and “And it’s almost Independence Day” to give you some references about where he’s coming from.
But he also gives us more images, like feeling a cool night breeze and seeing lights out in the harbor. He paints a cozy, heartwarming picture of watching Independence Day celebrations from a distance and the happiness that brings.
Only In America – Brooks & Dunn
Country legends Brooks & Dunn know what it takes to write a great song about the good old U.S. of A. “Only in America” is a swinging Country song with great energy and a sing-along chorus that’s perfect for a nice evening BBQ.
This song is sung by Kix Brooks, of course, Ronnie Dunn joins in on backing vocals, and both play guitar throughout. The track comes from their record, Steers and Stripes, which they released back in 2001. It was the #1 Country song that year.
The lyrics talk about the ups and downs and the uniqueness of American life. And, the chorus “Only in America – Where we dream in red white and blue – Yeah we dream as big as we want to – Only in America.” That hits home, especially on the 4th of July.
America – Neil Diamond
This song swells with power and feeling and will stir the heart of any American patriot. Neil Diamond, one of the country’s greatest songwriters, has captured the American dream, I think, better than any other artist.
While this song is called simply “America,” it could easily be named “Coming to America” instead. It tells the story of people from around the world coming together to build the great country we call America. An excellent, passionate song to play on the nation’s birthday.
This song was written for the soundtrack of the Jazz Singer, which starred Diamond in 1980. It shot up to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and took the #1 spot in Adult Contemporary. Diamond’s powerful performance and passionate voice simply push this tune to excellence.
Fourth of July Party Songs
While they may still have a patriotic feel, these party songs are focused on the fun and celebration that can be found on this national holiday. They express the feelings of joy and togetherness, and just plain fun that can be felt on July the 4th.
If you’re going to party, these are the best fourth of July songs for you.
Firework – Katy Perry
No surprise for anyone that “Firework” by Katy Perry is at the top of this list of Fourth of July party songs. This song is bright and bubbly, and at the same time, powerful and tremendously motivating.
The track comes from Perry’s third studio album, Teenage Dream, which she dropped in 2010 and took off like, well, fireworks. This song went to #1 in the US and sold over 12 million units, making it a certified 12x platinum single.
The beauty of this song…
It is how it starts sad and mournful, playing on emotions we all have sometimes. Then it starts a slow and intense build-up like a burning wick before exploding into a full-on dance hit.
There’s just no way you can avoid it – this song is going to get everyone up on their feet and dancing. So, that makes it a no-brainer for your 4th of July party.
And, of course, it’s a great track to put on right before your fireworks kick off. “Baby, you’re a firework – Come on, let your colors burst – Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh” – You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe.”
Fireworks – Drake (feat. Alicia Keys)
Wait a second, isn’t Drake Canadian? OK, he is, so what? That doesn’t mean he can’t have a kick-butt song about fireworks and the Fourth of July. That’s what this song is about. But it’s also deeper than that.
The song comes from Drake’s 2010 debut album, Thank Me Later. On it, he raps about the state of his life at that moment, and how it was blowing up like fireworks. It also references his relationship with superstar Rhianna, saying she could have been the one, but it wasn’t that serious.
The song wasn’t his biggest hit ever…
But it still made it to the charts and made a big impression on Drake’s fans. That was helped in no small part by having the inimitable Alicia Keys sing the chorus on this song, then putting it out as the first track on his album.
When Keys sings the chorus, I can feel those fireworks popping, can’t you? “When I go off like July 4th – Feels like a fire, got to go higher – Your revelation, my sweet celebration – Light me like a rocket, cause can’t nothing stop it – All I see is fireworks!”
4th of July (Fireworks) – Kelis
Here’s another fireworks-titled and 4th of July themed song, this time from the singer Kelis. Yes, Kelis, who’s most famous for her song “Milkshake” which brought all the boys to the yard.
In this track, she’s a little more humble…
And, a lot more celebratory as she lays her beautiful, husky voice over a thick dance track. “4th of July (Fireworks)” is a straight-up dance number and sounds at first like it’s just about a relationship as she sings, “Nothing I’ll ever say or do – Will be as good as loving you.”
But later, Kelis compares her loving feeling to that feeling of happiness that you get on Independence Day. She tells us about that warm fuzzy feeling when she sings, “You make me high – Just like the sky – Like the fourth of July,” and I think that’s something we can all relate to.
Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
“Born in the USA” has got to be the most iconic and recognizable song from The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. He put out this impressive song on his album of the same name back in 1984 and has been playing it across the country ever since.
For anyone born in the USA, or even people who weren’t but have started families here, this is a great patriotic and fun song to sing along to.
But, did you ever listen to what it’s about?
Springsteen was inspired to write this song by veterans of the Vietnam War who struggled to adjust to life back home. It addresses their struggles, especially with finding work, and is a tribute to blue-collar populations who make sacrifices for their country.
That’s pretty real and pretty heavy. But I doubt anyone will think about it while hollering along to the chorus on Independence Day.
R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. – John Mellencamp
Speaking about getting the party rocking, “R.O.C.K In The U.S.A.” by John (ex-Cougar) Mellencamp is one of the tunes that will get people dancing right away.
This song by the Cougar is a heartland rock masterpiece. It mixes Country and Rock, guitar solos, and call-and-answer vocals with a boot-stompin’ beat. And, the chorus, the name of the song, is a heck of a lot to holler along with – “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.”
What’s this song about?
It’s all about Mellencamp’s rock heroes from the 60s. This was a time when Rock music was truly taking off all over America, and new sounds were coming out every week. He spotlights the different bands in this tribute to America’s rock and roll legends he heard on the radio.
“Voices from nowhere – And voices from the larger town – Filled our head full of dreams – Turned our world upside down.” This makes it a fitting tribute to the birthplace of Rock on the nation’s birthday.
Living In America – James Brown
Not all Funk artists were able to transition well into the 80s. Their Funk was watered down by Pop influences and weird 80s synth sounds. While there is a bit of both in this song, it’s still one heck of a show-stopper and was one of James Brown’s biggest international hits.
“Living In America” won Brown a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and brought a lot of attention back to this legendary artist.
The song was also used in Rocky IV, with James Brown performing the tune as the backdrop to Apollo Creed’s return to boxing. Decked out in red, white, and blue, this scene was super patriotic as well as lively and full of energy.
This is a great tribute to the USA…
The country where, as Brown sings, “You may not be lookin’ for the promised land – But you might find it anyway.” Add it to your playlist to liven up your Independence Day party and make everyone there say, “Uh, I feel good!”
Mission Temple Fireworks Stand – Sawyer Brown
Here’s a fun song that’s a little bit more about fireworks than it is about the 4th of July. But it’s also a whole lot of fun, so why not include it among the best fourth of July songs?
Country legends Sawyer Brown recorded their fifteenth album in 2005, and it was named Mission Temple Fireworks Stand, which is also the name of this opening track.
This is a great way to open an album because it’s a fast, fiery number full of energy. The Country guitars and vocals blend perfectly with the Gospel choir sound they’ve introduced here.
This sounds like a praise song…
…even if it is more silly than anything. But the lyrics are fun, with lines like, “He said I quit my job at a big church where the milk and money flowed – To sell cherry bombs for Jesus in a tent beside the road.” The whole track is lighthearted, fun, and funny, making it an excellent choice for your 4th of July party playlist.
Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
Put your hands up because they’re playing your song. And that song is “Party in the U.S.A” by Miley Cyrus. Yes, this is little smiley Miley when she was just 17 and before all the twerking and tattoos. This is an infectiously happy, poppy dance song that is positive and just plain fun.
This song is about getting through tough times…
And finding solace in music to let you remember to still have fun in life.
Miley sings, “So I put my hands up – They’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away – I’m noddin’ my head like, yeah – Movin’ my hips like, yeah – I got my hands up, they’re playin’ my song – They know I’m gonna be okay – Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.”
If you’re planning a party to celebrate the birthday of the land of the free, “Party in the U.S.A.” is going to be a song everyone can get behind.
Celebration – Kool and the Gang
As this song starts with its funky guitar, phat piano chords, and strong disco beat, you’re going to see bums rising out of their seats.
And, when the fun “Woo hoo’s” start, even your grandma will be rocking her walker on the dance floor. “Celebration” is just one of those incredibly fun, joyous songs that nobody can resist.
Kool and the Gang were pretty clever writing this song…
“Celebration – Let’s all celebrate and have a good time” are such ambiguous lyrics that you can use this song for any celebration you can think of. This makes it fit right in with your Fourth of July playlist as well as anywhere else.
This song has been providing the soundtrack for parties around the world since it came out in 1980 and shows no sign of slowing down anytime. The fun, positive, Soul-Disco sound is just way too funky to ignore.
American Woman – The Guess Who
American Pie – Don McLean
American Kids – Kenny Chesney
Independence Day – Martina McBride
Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue – To– Keith
Made in America – To– Keith
America’s Sweetheart – Elle King
Red White & Blue – Lynyrd Skynyrd
America Will Survive – Hank Williams, Jr.
Star Spangled Banner – Whitney Houston
American Saturday Night – Brad Paisley
God Bless the U.S.A. – Lee Greenwood
America, Fuck Yeah – Team America: World Police
Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen
I’m Proud to Be an American – The Oak Ridge Boys
American Soldier – To– Keith
Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John
My Country, ‘Tis of Thee – Aretha Franklin
The Yankee Doodle Boy – James Cagney
Back in the USA – Chuck Berry
Rockin’ in the Free World – Neil Young
Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys
American Life – Madonna
Fight for Your Right – Beastie Boys
American Ride – To– Keith
Looking for More Great Songs for a Celebration?
Well, take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Birthday Songs, the Best Women Empowerment Songs, the Best Songs About Presidents, the Best Songs About Life, and the Best Songs About the Weekend for more great song selections.
Of course, you need to hear those tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones you can buy in 2023.
And don’t miss our comprehensive reviews of the Best Party Speakers, the Best Tailgate Speakers, the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, and the Best Bluetooth Speakers With Radio currently on the market.
The Very Best Fourth of July Songs
That was a big list of songs that spanned about 200 years of this country’s musical history. And that’s fitting, too, since music is a huge part of the American experience.
We’ve had a chance to look at some of the most patriotic songs written for America. Also, some of the best songs about the 4th of July, fireworks, fun, and celebration to spice up any Independence Day party.
So this year, if you’re looking for a great playlist for your 4th of July, you’ve got it. Just pop these top tracks on and enjoy America’s birthday with the ones you love.
Until next time, happy listening, and let freedom reign.