Monday’s Music Moves Me: Songs For The Fourth of July

So, in celebration of Independence Day here in the United States, and to a lesser extent Canada Day, today’s theme is songs of Independence, picnics & celebration. Here are ten that more or less fill the bill.

  1. Nat King Cole, “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” Hey, it talks about hot dogs, pretzels, and beer! Seems perfectly appropriate for the middle of the summer. Well, okay, not quite the middle, but you get the idea. It wasv the title track from Nat’s 1963 album, which reached #14.
  2. Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” A perfect song for Independence Day, because said Saturday was on The Fourth Of July. It was the first single from their fifth album and reached #3 in the US, #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #2 in Canada in 1972.
  3. Perry Como, “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)” Hey, more hot dogs! Doesn’t mention anything about the holiday, the season, or food, explicitly, but it just seems to fit the theme. Como recorded it in 1956 and it reached #1 late that year.
  4. Three Dog Night, “Celebrate” Celebration is what the holiday is all about, right? This was written by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon and reached #15 on the Hot 100 in 1970.
  5. Kool & The Gang, “Celebration” Another celebration song. Written by Kool & The Gang and released as a single in 1980, it reached #1 on the Hot 100, R&B chart, and Dance charts that year, and was a permanent addition to the repertoire of bands everywhere.
  6. Morris Stoloff, “Moonglow/Theme From ‘Picnic'” The theme is from the 1955 movie starring William Holden and Kim Novak. It was written by George Duning with lyrics by Steve Allen. Many orchestras, including Morris Stoloff and the Columbia Pictures Orchestra, played it as a medley with “Moonglow,” a 1933 song by Will Hudson and Irving Mills with lyrics by Eddie DeLange, as was done here. The McGuire Sisters had a hit with the theme in 1956. The song provided the backing music for the dance scene between Holden and Novak, which is definitely hot stuff for 1955. Pretty hot stuff for 2017, for that matter.
  7. Chicago, “Free” A song about freedom from Chicago’s third album, named, oddly enough, Chicago III. It was released as a single in February 1971 and reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #12 in Canada.
  8. Richie Havens, “Freedom” An iconic performance by Havens at Woodstock in 1969.
  9. David Arnold, “Theme From ‘Independence Day'” I honestly thought John Williams wrote this, but he didn’t. The soundtrack for the movie won a Grammy.
  10. Max McLean, “The Declaration Of Independence” The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us “Max McLean is the founder and artistic director of Fellowship for Performing Arts, a New York City-based producer of live theater from a Christian worldview.” This is a dramatic reading of the document that started it all. If you’ve never read the document (either in its original form, i.e. 18th Century script, or a transcription), this is a good introduction.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 3, 2017. Have a good holiday!

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

30 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Songs For The Fourth of July”

  1. Always enjoyed performing Free and Saturday in the Park onstage. I haven’t practiced regularly for years, but I can still sit down and play those signature piano chords. Robert Lamm’s lyrics of everyone getting together for funny days in the park were written at the tail end of the Vietnam War era in 1972, but are still very pertinent in today’s divided world.

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  2. Thanks for including “Moonglow.” One of my all-time favorites. You are right: The Novak/Holden dance passed for “R” rated stuff in those days. Happy 4th – “Hi” to Mary.

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  3. Don’t forget the many rousing songs of John Phillip Sousa. They’ll be played all across America on this 4th. I still get stirred inside by Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American” which will undoubtedly get a spin at many celebrations.

    Let me also throw in a song by a friend of mine. Here’s “I’m an American” by Kathy Bee:

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I republished one of my early Two for Tuesdays with Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Semper Fidelis.” Fiedler did a great job with Sousa’s marches, some of which were used as dance tunes.

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  4. Good choices. For 4th of July I usually lean toward patriotic songs like Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to Be an American”, Kid Rock’s “American Badass” and Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”, as well as some good old Sousa tunes.

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  5. John,

    Fabulous Independence Day party celebration tunes! It’s been awhile since I’ve heard, “Celebrate” by Three Dog Night. Last night, we had a quiet celebration, just the two of us, watching the PBS A Capitol Fourth. The mewsic and fireworks were awesome! By the way, your first vid on the playlist doesn’t work. Have an awesome week and thanks for stopping by for a dance!

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  6. Excellent lineup! Haven’t heard Free in a while, but I love Chicago and other “horn bands”. I’m a bit late to the party, but there is still so much to , uh….celebrate. And, with the sky clearing out after several days of humidity, perhaps tonight we will have some Moonglow.

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  7. I really loved the following songs: 2,4,5 and 7. Chicago is one of my favorite go to bands. I saw them twice in concert, the last time they played “Color My World,” they had called Columbus and found out when the sun was setting and perfectly timed the song. 🌄

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      1. Awesome! I am not positive about the members who were present but my brother and I were listening to America who came to the Delaware County Fair, as well as Three Dog Night. We checked and not too long after we heard America, Dan Peek passed away in 2011. Several members of Three Dog Night have gone to that big band in the sky.

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