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5 Patriotic Songs for the 4th of July Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Culture, English Language

It’s the 4th of July, which means Americans are wearing their red, white, and blue to celebrate the country’s Independence Day. All across the nation, people are gathering at parades, barbecues, and baseball games for the important holiday. In addition to lighting off fireworks and eating plenty of hot dogs, people will sing patriotic songs. Celebrate the holiday and learn English at the same time with these 5 patriotic songs for the 4th of July.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Image by Tom from flickr.com.

Let’s start with the national anthem of the United States, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It has been the national anthem since 1931, but it was written long before that. The lyrics come from a poem that was written by Francis Scott Key, who was inspired by the American flag waving proudly after a victory over the British in the War of 1812.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

America the Beautiful

One of the most popular patriotic songs is “America the Beautiful.” In fact, many people would prefer it if this were the national anthem. Katherine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics as a poem originally titled “Pike’s Peal,” and Samuel A. Ward penned the music.

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

God Bless America

Image by Nan Palmero from flickr.com.

Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” back in 1918 while he was serving in the US Army during World War I. He kept it tucked away for 20 years until he was looking for a good “peace song” in the run up to WWII. He gave it to the famous singer Kate Smith to sing on her radio show in 1938, and the rest is history.

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

This Land Is Your Land

Folk singer Woody Guthrie wasn’t a big fan of the song “God Bless America,” so he wrote a song as a retort. At first, he called it “God Blessed America for Me.” He forgot about it for a few years, but eventually recorded it and renamed it “This Land Is Your Land” after changing some of the lyrics.

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

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

You’re a Grand Old Flag

Image by Mike Mozart from flickr.com.

George M. Cohan wrote “You’re a Grand Old Flag” in 1906 for his stage musical titled George Washington, Jr. It went on to become the first song from a musical to sell more than a million copies of sheet music. It’s said that the lyrics came to him after an encounter he had with a veteran of the Civil War who had a ragged but carefully folded old flag with him.

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.

 

What are some patriotic songs from your country? Leave us a message and let us know where you’re from as well as the name of a song or two!

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is a teacher, student, writer, photographer, web designer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently planning a trip through Central/South America.


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