Songs for the fourth of july
June 29, 2005 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Trying to make a 4th of July themed playlist. Any suggestions on indie melodic pop songs about fireworks, bottle rockets, parades, or 4th of July? It doesn't have to be *that* indie either.

Here's our start:

4th of July - Azure Ray
On Parade - Electrelane
America - Lovejoy
Celebration Guns - Stars
July - Innocence Mission
Ashes of American Flags - Wilco
Fourth of July - Galaxy 500
Independence Day - Elliott Smith
Born on a Train - Lake Holiday (from the American Summer EP)
posted by Yukon to Media & Arts (35 answers total)
The Star Spangles
The Bottle Rockets
"American Girls" by Weezer and Soul Coughing
posted by yerfatma at 5:47 AM on June 29, 2005

If the party goes after midnight you could play Fifth of July by Eddie from Ohio. You should be able to find a live track on

They're folky, but the good kind of folky.
posted by bondcliff at 5:54 AM on June 29, 2005

Robot Parade - TMBG
posted by Alison at 6:03 AM on June 29, 2005

Not so indie: XTC's "Rocket From a Bottle"
posted by kimota at 6:05 AM on June 29, 2005

Fourth of July - Fetchin' Bones
posted by abbyladybug at 6:08 AM on June 29, 2005

Soundgarden's "4th of July"
posted by quibx at 6:12 AM on June 29, 2005

I know this is SOOOO not indie, although since the band has been featured in The Big Lebowski and they haven't been popular in decades, an argument could be made, but....Creedance Clearwater Revival's Born on the Bayou is a bad ass song that starts has the lyric "I can remember the 4th of July...". Not exactly 4th of July themed though.
posted by spicynuts at 6:33 AM on June 29, 2005

[stating the obvious] 4th of July, X
posted by planetkyoto at 6:34 AM on June 29, 2005

'The Battle Hymn of The Republic" by Herbie Mann.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:44 AM on June 29, 2005

Prince has a song called "Good Love" on the Bright Lights, Big City soundtrack that's got the 4th of July in the chorus. Might have been reissued somewhere else since. Oh. Guess he's not "indie?"
posted by muckster at 6:59 AM on June 29, 2005

Roman Candle - Luna
posted by nprigoda at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2005

Whoops, I think I meant:
Roman Candle - Beadhead
posted by nprigoda at 7:08 AM on June 29, 2005

Gahhh!!! BEDhead!! (Preview doesn't work so well when it's white text on a white background as seen on omniweb)
posted by nprigoda at 7:10 AM on June 29, 2005

July, July -- the Decemberists
Firecracker --Ryan Adams
posted by hamster at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2005

Dave Alvin and Rosie Perez do a terrific version of X's "4th of July" (as recommended by planetkyoto).
posted by Dr. Wu at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2005

Well, I used to think "Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band was about actual fireworks.

(Gimme a break - I was, like, eight years old.)
posted by dnash at 7:18 AM on June 29, 2005

"Rose Parade" by Elliott Smith.
posted by gfrobe at 7:35 AM on June 29, 2005

siouxsie & the banshees: fireworks (from their psychedlic phase, not the punk phase)
transmissionary six: black tin rocket
posted by crush-onastick at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2005

Finish it all off with "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by Matmos. It's track 6 on "The Civil War"
posted by redteam at 7:46 AM on June 29, 2005

"New York, New York" by Ryan Adams
posted by paulychamp at 7:51 AM on June 29, 2005

"American Girls" by Weezer and Soul Coughing

"american girls" is by homie, which was one of rivers projects in '98. it is not "weezer" but was written by rivers and played live during his solo boston shows in late '97.


Other ideas (though a bit of a stretch):

"June July" by John Vanderslice, which seems right to follow with the aforementioned "July July" by The Decemberists

"Fiction" by The Lucksmiths
posted by ludwig_van at 8:10 AM on June 29, 2005

Roman Candle by Elliott Smith... not really about fireworks
posted by lalalana at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2005

"Elvis Presley and America" by U2
"This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie or whoever you can get covering it
"No More Parades," Son Volt
"Battle of New Orleans," Johnny Horton, for some feelgood British-ass-kicking
"In a Free Land," Husker Du
"The Star-Spangled Banner," Hendrix

Or, if you're feeling subversive:
"Fortunate Son" by Creedence
"Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who
"The Imperial March," John Williams
"Bonzo Goes to Bitburg," the Ramones
posted by COBRA! at 8:32 AM on June 29, 2005

Pain - Bottle Rocket War

Four Bics get flicked and the punks get lit.
We never asked if we should
It’s a game, it’s a chore, it’s a bottlerocket war
And life never got so good.

posted by emmling at 8:58 AM on June 29, 2005

Van Morrison, "Almost Independence Day"
posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 AM on June 29, 2005

Ani Difranco's "Independence Day"
posted by Bear at 10:20 AM on June 29, 2005

Timbuk3, "National Holiday":

They put the chairs out on the lawn
Grandma's got her new dress on
There's fresh fowers on Grampa's grave
and junior smells of after shave

Oh boy, hey hey, it's a national holiday

Everthing's ready for the big parade
Mayor's got his place in the shade
We can't wait 'till the sun go down
lie on a hill at the edge of town
while the presidential proclamation
is blasting out across the nation
and mad dog and his band of jerks
are lighting off the fireworks

oh boy, hey hey, it's a national holliday

So let's all sing the national anthem
free the hostages, pay the ransom
raise the flag, lower the taxes
plan the bomb, bury the hatchet

The usual staff calls a session
called for an end to armed agression
they're easing up on covert action
appeasing all oppossing factions
they communicated with the communist
pacified the pacifists
stopped all pain, stopped all sorrow!
real life shall resume tomorrow

Oh boy, hey hey,
It's a national holiday

(Lyrics taken from a online discussion elsewhere about a July 4th mix tape)
posted by Mapes at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2005

Firecrackers, by Dr. Worm
posted by 23skidoo at 10:55 AM on June 29, 2005

"american girls" is by homie, which was one of rivers projects in '98. it is not "weezer" but was written by rivers and played live during his solo boston shows in late '97.

Good to know. I take no responsibility for this, choosing to place the blame on some other Napster user. Not as bad as the guy who got me all excited (why?) for making me think The Clash covered "Tainted Love".

How 'bout "The Internationale" covered by Billy Bragg to close the festivities?
posted by yerfatma at 10:59 AM on June 29, 2005

"Fourth of July," Aimee Mann.

Kidding, kidding. This is really far more of a Canada Day song than a 4th of July song, but luckily the last bunch of verses are country-agnostic, about fireworks, and awesome to boot: "Fireworks" by the Tragically Hip.
posted by chrominance at 12:16 PM on June 29, 2005

Heh, I started making a mix similar to this once. Not as much 4th of July, but more of a crash/bang/explode type of deal...anyway.

Bjork - fireworks
Nada Surf - firecracker
Mirah - light the match
Coldplay - sparks
Broken Social Scene - stars and sons
Superchunk - 100,000 fireflies (this is a cover of the magnetic fields, right?) (also, fireflies because I always used to see them walking to the fireworks through the woods on the 4th)
posted by jetskiaccidents at 12:58 PM on June 29, 2005

Well considering that this song has the sound of fireworks going off in the background, I must really, really, really recommend:

Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve

Look past the long title and you'll find a very kickass song.
posted by cyphill at 2:21 PM on June 29, 2005

Commandante by The Mountain Goats has the phrase "bottle rockets" in the chorus:


i'm gonna drink more whiskey than brendan behan.
and i'm gonna send my belongings all to tripoli.
and i'm gonna ride home to california
with a banjo on my knee.

i'm never gonna turn off the television.
i'm just gonna let it run all night.
i'm gonna plant root vegetables out in the backyard
and come summer i am going to treat you right
so lace up your skates real good.
come on over to my neighborhood.
let's turn this whole place upside-down
and shake it 'til the coins come falling out of its pockets,
yeah put on your chairman mao hat.
you look so god damned cute in that.
we're gonna sail through the night sky like a pair of bottle rockets.

I recommend the live show at the China Clipper in Iowa for recording quality.
posted by mecran01 at 2:36 PM on June 29, 2005

Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen (sort of anti-patriotic but Americana at the same time, appropriate for These Modern Times, no?)
Sweepstakes Prize, Mirah ("You sparkle and burn but you take your time and I bet I can carry you across state lines")
Also seconding Born on the Bayou and Fortunate Son, CCR
posted by slimslowslider at 11:26 PM on June 29, 2005

"Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" by Bruce Springsteen

I'm going to try to go to Asbury Park, NJ this year because of that song.
posted by bitpart at 9:57 AM on June 30, 2005

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