Happy 4th of July!

Celebrate our country’s birthday with some American tunes today!

The obvious starting point is our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” — except that the tune itself is so difficult to sing that only rarely do we hear an outstanding live performance. Maybe that’s why one of my favorite renditions is this instrumental version from Jimi Hendrix…



For an interesting twist on the song, musician Case Holfelder transposed it into a minor key, lending it a hauntingly different tone…


Many Americans wonder if this tune — “America the Beautiful,” rendered lovingly here by Beyoncé — might serve better as our national anthem, celebrating our land’s great natural beauty rather than a long-ago military battle…


Singers and songwriters celebrate America in their own way as well, giving us memorable melodies and lyrics that sing of a love for our country, like this one from Paul Simon…

“We come in the age’s most uncertain hours
And sing an American tune…”


Even rebellious rock and rollers like the Grateful Dead celebrate the U.S. in song with this perennial summertime favorite…

“I’m Uncle Sam — that’s who I am:
Been hiding out in a rock & roll band!”


Strictly on sing-along value alone, I nominate this modern standard by Woody Guthrie, our archetypal American poet-minstrel, for our anthem.

“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.”


Happy 4th of July, folks!



About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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