Get your Independence Day celebration going with these songs about how great it is to be livin' in the USA.

In the 1980s, the campaign to re-elect Ronald Reagan as president appropriated Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as a patriotic anthem designed to energize the voters and send the president back to Washington for another term.

Of course, when you take the chorus out of context, you miss the song’s message that things were, in Mr. Springsteen’s estimation, very, very wrong in mid-1980s America.

Kind of embarrassing.

So to help you avoid a similar goof, here are songs that celebrate the virtues of living here in the good ol’ USA. Feel free to use this list to assemble a playlist on your MP3 player or to burn a compact disc for your Independence Day party.

You might be surprised what didn’t make the cut.

For example, did you know “This Land Is Your Land” originally was a protest tune? They don’t teach you those lyrics in school. And we could go on about the brilliant counterpoint between the American dream and the American reality in the popular song “America” from “West Side Story,” but no one’s in the mood for that today. One of the great freedoms in America is freedom of expression … but nobody wants to return to work Tuesday to multiple voice mails from irate mothers complaining that, thanks to an endorsement of a certain Toby Keith song about America’s military might, their 3-year-olds now know an impolite synonym for “rear end.” So play that tune at your own risk.

Otherwise, these songs should be lyrically appropriate for all ages. (We realize this list leans toward songs from previous decades … but maybe the young people at your party can suggest some newer tunes.)


“Living in America,” James Brown

“R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” John Mellencamp

“Our Country,” John Mellencamp

“America,” Neil Diamond

“Back in the USA,” Chuck Berry

“Surfin’ USA,” Beach Boys

“Party in the U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus


“It’s America,” Rodney Atkins

“Where the Stars and Stripes And The Eagle Fly,” Aaron Tippin

“God Bless the U.S.A.,” Lee Greenwood

“Only in America,” Brooks and Dunn

“American Made,” Oak Ridge Boys

“Red, White and Bluegrass,” Dolly Parton


“You’re a Grand Old Flag,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir

“Stars and Stripes Forever,” John Philip Sousa

“America, the Beautiful,” Ray Charles

“Ragged Old Flag,” Johnny Cash

“God Bless America,” Martina McBride

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Whitney Houston