Increase the fun for and involvement of your guests as you gather to observe our country’s birthday at your Fourthof July barbecue or party with some or all of the following tunes. Some are easy to sing while others are better listened to. Singing along is a great way to bring the spirits of people together – and not just at baseball games!
1. “Yankee Doodle Boy” by George M. Cohan
First performed in 1904 by Billy Murray and later rewritten and popularized by Mr. Cohan a few months later. Reintroduced to a much wider audience as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by James Cagney as Mr. Cohan in the 1942 film of the same name.
2. “You’re A Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan
Written by Mr. Cohan and first performed in his show, “George Washington, Jr.” in 1906.
Re-popularized in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” as the above.
3. “Born In The U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen
Originally titled, “Vietnam”, officially titled “Glory Days” and released in 1984.
One of Rock and Rolls best known patriotic anthems.
4. “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin
Written in 1918 and widely popularized when it became well 0-known songstress Kate Smith’s theme song in 1938 when Europe was filly immersed in what we would later join in and call World War II. Religious or not, most people in the USA over the age of 30 know this song and while God is featured prominently in it, it is regarded as more of a patriotic homage than as a religious hymn.
5. “Yankee Doodle”
The tune originated as a Pre-Revolutionary tune used by the British to mock the disorganized and ‘rag-tag’ colonists! It evolved, over the centuries since, as the popular simply rhyme known to every school child.
6. “We Are The World” by Lionel Ritchie and Michael Jackson.
First billed as “USA For Africa” when released in 1985, this tune has become a well known anthem of internationalism and makes a nice counterpoint to the USA-centered theme of most Independence Day holiday songs.
7. “Amazing Grace”
Probably the most widely known Christian Hymn in the English language, it was written by 1772 by Englishman John Newton in 1772 and was quite popular with both sides during the American War Between The States.
8. “The Star Spangled Banner”
The poem, written by Francis Scott Key during the British naval siege on Ft. McHenry in 1814 was later set to the tune of (believe it or not) an old English drinking song, “The Anacreontic Song.” Its high notes make it virtually unsingable by all but the voice well trained or the guest moderately intoxicated. None-the-less, it is an imperative listen at any 4th of July event!
9. “America The Beautiful”
The lyrics were written by Katherine Lee Bates in 1893 and set to a familiar hymn tune
That was composed by a Samuel Ward n 1882. This song, known to most school children and adults alike, has been often proposed as a replacement for “The Star Spangled Banner” as the National Anthem because it is so much easier for just about anyone to sing. That may never happen – But it seemed to get a lot closer to reaching that level of stature when Ray Charles released his own version of it.
10. “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”
Written as a Civil War tune by Patrick S. Gilmore in 1863, this tune has particular poignancy today with the USA at war and sending our young people overseas to fight yet again. We hope that all of our loved ones will return as intact as is possible after the ghastly experience of war.