While there’s no better time to bump up the volume of our national anthem, there’s got to be some alternative tunes to party to on the Fourth that don’t make you feel obligated to take off your cap and stop smiling. Here is what buzz will be playing in celebration of the homeland.
1. “Growing Older but Not Up”
by Jimmy Buffett — the last line of the chorus, “I’d rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead,” sums up the American desire not only for youth, but for the thrills of life itself.
2. “Redemption Song”
by Bob Marley — it’s easy to connect this song to the civil war era with regards to slaves and their freedom, but it carries on today, too. All together, the song is about freedom on all levels — a truly American ideal.
3. “Graceland”
by Willie Nelson — Willie Nelson alone is an American classic, but with this song’s imagery of lost love and the search for sanctuary in this “cradle of the Civil War,” “Graceland” makes the list.
4. “Blowin’ in the Wind”
by Bob Dylan — without singling out a specific event, this discrete war protest song brings to light the freedoms, successes and failures of our country over the years.
5. “Our Country”
by John Mellencamp — even though this song has become a (slightly cliché) anthem for truck commercials and Martin Luther King, Jr. documentaries, this feel-good song appeals to the masses and arouses that patriotic adrenaline.

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