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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!