12 of the Best 4th of July Songs

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, celebrates the Declaration of Independence of the United States which occurred on July 4, 1776.

Ever since then, the day has been celebrated by Americans across the world and usually involves fireworks, parades, barbecues, sports games, and family reunions.

This weekend will see many families and friends celebrating everything there is to love about the United States of America.

Newsweek has the perfect patriotic soundtrack to go alongside your Independence Day celebrations.

'The Star-Spangled Banner' — U.S. National Anthem

The "Star-Spangled Banner" has been America's national anthem since 1814.

The lyrics come from the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry" which was written on September 14, 1814, by a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key.

He reportedly wrote the poem after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships in Baltimore Harbour during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.

Over the years, there have been many different renditions of the iconic track from Whitney Houston, Luke Byran, Demi Lovato, Cher, Diana Ross, Carrie Underwood, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

Whitney Houston's performance at the 1991 Super Bowl will no doubt have you in tears and feelings proud.

The song holds a poignant place in people's hearts in the U.S. with Houston's version being released after the onset of the Persian Gulf War. The song was re-released after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with all proceeds going to charity.

At Woodstock 1969, Jimmy Hendrix famously performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" if you fancy a guitar heavy instrumental version of the track.

'Party in the U.S.A.' — Miley Cyrus

Post Hannah Montana stardom, Miley Cyrus burst onto the music scene with a pop tribute to America.

"Party in the U.S.A" touches on Cyrus's own move from Nashville to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a pop star.

Good luck trying to not get up and dance when this All-American song plays.

'My Shot' the cast of Hamilton

Musical fans will enjoy blasting "My Shot" from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton.

The patriotic track introduces the founding father Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States who expresses his hopes and dreams to secure America's independence.

My Shot will keep you upbeat all day whilst reminiscing on the founding fathers—including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, and Benjamin Franklin.

'Living in America' — James Brown

Who wouldn't want to listen to some soul on a beautiful day like the Fourth of July?

Brown's jazz-infused bop about, living in America, will keep you toe-tapping all day.

'American Heart' — Faith Hill

In 2012, singer Faith Hill released the country track "American Heart" in a powerful tribute to America's freedoms.

The song's chorus pays tribute to America's culture, with the lyrics: "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."

4th of July celebrations
Fireworks are launched from the Empire State Building as part of the 44th annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks on July 4, 2020 in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty Images

'Empire State of Mind' — Jay Z and Alicia Keys

In one of the most iconic duets in history, Jay Z and Alicia Keys teamed up to pay tribute to their home state — New York.

Referencing the American Dream throughout the track, Keys sings: "Even if it ain't all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams /Baby I'm from New York/ Concrete jungle where dreams are made of/ There's nothing you can't do/ Now you're in New York" on the chorus.

Keys went on to record a slower sequel titled "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" which was released on her fourth album, The Element of Freedom.

'Born in the U.S.A.' — Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen's rock anthem "Born in the U.S.A." is told from the perspective of a Vietnam war veteran returning to the U.S after the war ended.

When you listen closely, the song touches on some dark issues but the chorus became the soundtrack of U.S. Patriotism.

Regardless, the energetic track will no doubt get you fist-pumping and feeling very patriotic.

'America' — Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel pay tribute to the American Dream in the song called simply "America."

The song is based on Paul Simon's 1964 hitchhiking trip with his girlfriend Kathy Chitty across the US in search of "America."

The song pays tribute to the beautiful scenery the U.S. has to offer and the hopes and dreams young people hold.

'American Pie' — Don McLean

One of the catchiest songs about the U.S., Don McLean in his acoustic banger passionately sings "So bye-bye, miss American pie/ Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry."

The 70s tune pays tribute to the day "music died", a reference to the 1959 plane crash that killed Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper.

McLean also references Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan in the track, two of America's biggest music stars.

'Kids in America' — Kim Wilde

Kim Wilde pointed to the new wave with her single "Kids in America" in 1981.

Try as you might, it will be almost impossible to not sing along to the party track.

'American Boy' — Estelle and Kayne West

The fun duet between British singer Estelle and the American rapper in "American Boy" has become a classic staple at a party.

In the track, Estelle sings about wanting her "American Boy" to take her on a trip to "Chicago, San Francisco Bay. Take me to New York, I'd love to see L.A..."

'The Times They Are a-Changin' — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan in 1964 asked people to come together during the civil rights and peace movements with his hit "The Times They Are a-Changin."

The track is regarded as the quintessential "protest" song, and became the song of the 1960s, calling for a change for the status quo and change from below.