God's Country

Released in 2019, Blake Shelton sings this southern rock anthem about the simple things in life, God’s power and how connected one can feel to their home state.

Golden

With lyrics like, “I’m taking my own freedom, putting it in my song, singing loud and strong, grooving all day long,” plus it’s positive beat, it’s hard not to sing along to Jill Scott’s song.

Life is a Highway

Originally recorded by Canadian musician Tom Cochrane, the Rascal Flats’ version is likely the one you’ve been dancing to for years.

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You might not be able to keep up with the fast-paced lyrics, but Billy Joel mentions major moments and figures in America’s history.

Jack & Diane

It’s hard to think of American songwriters and not mention John Mellencamp a.k.a. the king of Heartland rock. Jack & Diane just happens to be one of his greatest hits.

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The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner

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The Star Spangled Banner

The most iconic rendition of The Star Spangled Banner has to be played on the 4th of July. Houston’s take during the 1991 Super Bowl will move you to tears.

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Color Me America

In 2003, Dolly Parton put out an entire album dedicated to America. One of the most moving tracks is Color Me America, a ballad that declares: “I am red, white and blue.”

Party In The U.S.A.

Miley Cyrus was still a teenager in 2009 when she came out with this smash hit — with autobiographical lyrics about her move from Nashville to Los Angeles to make it as a pop star. This all-ages-friendly tune will make everyone want to get up and dance.

Firework

Katy Perry’s 2016 hit is perfect for the fourth of July, with its endlessly catchy verses and the inspirational chorus: “You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine. Just own the night, like the Fourth of July, ‘cause baby you’re a firework, come on show ’em what you’re worth … ”

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American Pie

Don McLean’s ’70s tune famously mourns “the day the music died,” a reference to the 1959 plane crash that killed Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper all at once; its lyrics also reference American music superstars Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. The enduring classic is overall steeped in nostalgia and Americana.

America

From Neil Diamond’s movie The Jazz Singer, this powerful song celebrates immigration to America: “On the boats and on the planes, they’re coming to America. Never looking back again, they’re coming to America.” And it ends with a moving spoken-word version of “My Country, ’Tis of Thee.”

Born in the U.S.A.

It’s been decades since Bruce Springsteen came out with this hit told from the perspective of a Vietnam war vet. But it will have listeners belting out the lyrics joyfully, even if it does have pretty dark undertones when you listen close.

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Kids In America

Nothing says “dance party” like Kim Wilde’s 1981 classic “Kids in America.” The lyrics transport you to a time and place when responsibility is scarce, nothing’s that serious, and it’s all about being young and having fun with the music cranked up loud.

Fight For Your Right

Sure, it might not be the most intellectual song ever made — but this is a party, isn’t it?! Beastie Boys’ iconic ’80s anthem will get the beer cans popping and the energy flowing.

American

This sultry and dreamy song nods to patriotism — with a special callout to L.A. in particular.

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American Boy

In this fun duet, British Estelle imagines Kanye West as her cool “American boy,” and she eagerly invites him to take her on a trip to show her all of this great country’s famous spots: “Take me to Chicago, San Francisco Bay. Take me to New York, I’d love to see L.A … ”

American Girl

Rest in peace to one of the greatest of all time in American music: Tom Petty, who passed in 2017. But his 1976 classic “American Girl” will forever reign as one of the best fast-paced tracks for your dance playlist.

American Woman

This song originally goes back to 1970 and the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. But it’s been covered widely — including a rockin’ version by Lenny Kravitz in 1999, which became the most memorable rendition.

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This Is America

If it just doesn’t feel right to you to celebrate America without acknowledging its flaws, Childish Gambino’s powerful multiple-Grammy-winning track about our systemic failings is the one you need to round out your playlist.

American Girl

You know it’s a summer party song when it starts with lyrics about mixing Slurpees with alcohol in a 7-11 parking lot. Bonnie McKee’s 2004 track is pure, danceable fun and fluff: “Oh I’m an American girl, hot blooded and I’m ready to go!”

 

preview for Good Housekeeping US Section: Holidays

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