There are much cooler songs that say God bless the U.S.A. than God Bless the U.S.A. In fact, Lee Greenwood's patriotic gush doesn't make me want to salute at all; it makes me want to take an American-made sledgehammer to the nearest radio.
But lest you think I'm a wild-haired flag-burner, I have gobs of U.S. of Yay! songs on my iPod, tunes that make Grandma's celery-free Independence Day potato salad taste that much better. (For the record, I also sob at the Olympics, disagree with outsourcing and saw First Blood three times in the movie theater. Go us!)
Today, at the annual neighborhood block party, I'll be spinning all the celebratory songs that make me proud to be an American. Some are solemn, some are rousing and some, in their own strange, soothing way, make me stoked to have a Social Security number.
For instance, you have to put Ray Charles' America the Beautiful on a patriotic playlist. It's a must. But don't forget Hank Snow's rollicking travelogue I've Been Everywhere ("I've been to Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado / Ellisburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado …"). Or Simon and Garfunkel's coming-of-age stunner America ("Kathy, I said, as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh / Michigan seems like a dream to me now"). And is there anything more inherently American-spirited than Chuck Berry's take on Route 66?
So here you go, Sean Daly's Red, White and Wahoo Playlist. Have a happy Fourth everybody and watch out for those cherry bombs! Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467.