Staff Picks: Our 'Make It Through The Workday' 4th Of July Playlist

Jul 4, 2013

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Hi America! We hope you are enjoying your day off.  A select few of us are in the studios running a radio station today, but we have been rocking out to some of favorite Fourth of July songs to make it all a little better.

Here is a rundown of some of our whole staff's favorite tracks in celebration of America's 237th birthday.  Editor's note: Unfortunately we couldn't find a YouTube version of Petey Pablo's Raise Up (USA Flag Remix), which we were happy to learn even existed.  But you can listen to it here.  Thanks for that little gem, Kenny Malone.

Here it goes:

Tom Hudson: Tom Petty's American Girl

Sure, the song is about a girl but its also about more than gender. It speaks to the promise and dream America represents. And the challenges of fulfilling that dream.  

Kelley Mitchell: Don McClean's American Pie

I was contemplating trying to trump Tom's "American Girl" with "American Woman" by The Guess Who, which encapsulates everything Canadians are jealous of Americans for, but, hey, it's sung by Canadians, so we can't have that, eh?

So, "American Pie," it is. And no, not the movie, the song.

Kenny Malone: The Muppets' A Salute To All Nations (But Mostly America) Starts at 2:00 minutes

I am endlessly entertained by the ultra-patriotic Sam Eagle.  If I could break into the Archives and sign Sam Eagle's name on the Declaration of Independence, I would do so.


Nathaniel Sandler: Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring

All the way through, and loudly please. The classics are classics for a reason. And there's nothing more American than getting inspired by living in the pristine and untouched beauty of the mountains for only 25 minutes. 

Terence Shepherd: Jimi Hendrix' Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock

There are no words to describe this rendition.  Thus it is instrumental.

Sammy Mack: Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World

There's a lot of human condition happening in that piece of music--it captures the best of the American spirit. 

Danny Rivero: The Pogues' Body of an American

Because the US Supreme Court just more or less upheld Affirmative Action, and we could use some diversity of a different kind here.  Hey-- at least I didn't select that God-awful Spanish version of the National Anthem.  

And it reminds me of the greatest of all American accomplishments: HBO's The Wire.

Rick Stone: Molasses To Rum

Mine's weird and sort of dark. It's "Molasses To Rum," a song about slavery from the musical 1776. Presented as part of the debate over wording the Declaration of Independence, it shows  what the American ideal had to overcome and that all Americans -- from whichever half of the country -- share responsibility for the crime.  

Trina Sarglaski: Johnny Cash's I've Been Everywhere

Rihanna makes some good music, but no one beats the original, Johnny Cash, at "I've Been Everywhere."

This music evokes summer road trips and what's more American/Fourth of July than that?  

Arianna Prothero: Janis Joplin's Me And Bobby McGee

Because 'freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.'  And what's more American than just getting in a car and driving?

Marva Hinton: Ray Charles' America The Beautiful

For me, I have to go back to Ray Charles' "America the Beautiful." For me, it taps into the real heart and soul of this country.

Patience Haggin: Cat Stevens' Peace Train

The "Peace Train" is a symbolic vision for the progress our nation has made toward peace and the work we have still to do.