Whether you’re packing up the mini-van to head to the beach or staying in town to watch fireworks on the National Mall, the Independence Day spirit will be surrounding you for the near term.
Even if America’s birthday celebration, with its hot dogs, baseball and government sanctioned explosions, isn’t your thing it’s best to get into the swing of things, because you just won’t be able to escape it.
In that vein, Roll Call After Dark is happy to provide you with a Fourth of July medley to get you into the patriotic mood.
Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” is a staple of political rallies and the like. But it’s worth remembering that the song was released on the somewhat awkwardly titled album, “You’ve Got a Good Love Comin’” and we’re proud to present the song in its 1980s glory:
We’re guessing that politicians and their media teams who use Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” at campaign rallies and such aren’t paying particularly close attention to the Boss’s lyrics, which detail how truly messed up things are for the forgotten people in American life, like the working class and veterans. Who knows? Maybe they are into grim realism. At any rate, “Born in the U.S.A.,” is about as patriotic as you get, because it’s of the “love it and fix it” strain of patriotism:
Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” is frequently covered, from the likes of his own son to contemporary giants including the Boss. But no one does it better, or more simply, than the original:
The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, was capable of making pretty much anything cool, with his deep baritone and soulful intensity. Just try to watch him sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and not be stirred:
And finally, what list of patriotic songs would be complete without Parliament Funkadelic performing “One Nation Under a Groove” in D.C., Chocolate City itself:
Roll Call After Dark is about what Washington does when it's not at work.
The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick