Four Perfect Playlists for Independence Day
By The Editors

What is Independence Day without music? To help you celebrate the birth of our nation from picnic to party to personal reflection to fireworks, we offer these four perfect July 4 playlists.

Four Perfect Playlists for Independence Day


We've compiled four playlists below for you, to take you from your afternoon July 4 picnic to the morning after.

The key to a successful picnic playlist is keeping it light and cheerful.

It's not really a picnic until someone busts out the jams.

The perfect Independence Day calls for the perfect set of playlists.

That’s why we’ve compiled four playlists below for you, to take you from your afternoon July 4 picnic to a period of reflection with family and friends on what it means to be both free and part of this great nation, to a modern party playlist for celebrating all these years of freedom, to just the right music while you watch the sky above explode with fireworks until you come to on the fifth. Of July.

All four playlists below include Spotify links for each song, so you can play ’em all or, if you prefer, build on this song collection by adding your own favorites.


The beer is chilled, the dogs and burgers are cooking on the grill, and the picnic tables are covered with snacks, apps, and desserts. But it’s not really a picnic until someone busts out the jams.

The key to a successful picnic playlist is keeping it light and cheerful.

The key to a successful picnic playlist is keeping it light and cheerful. This is no time or place for sad, forlorn songs about broken relationships or politically divisive songs that’ll just raise Uncle Bob or Aunt Karen’s ire. If it contains lyrics like “every little thing is gonna be alright” or “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations,” you’ve hit the sweet spot for everyone as they celebrate together:

“Three Little Birds,” Bob Marley

“Hey Nineteen,” Steely Dan

“Solar Power,” Lorde

“Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

“Cake By The Ocean,” DNCE

“I Feel It Coming,” The Weekend and Daft Punk

“Genie In A Bottle,” Christina Aguilera

“Beautiful Day,” U2

“Good Vibrations,” Beach Boys

“Head & Heart,” Joel Correy featuring MNEK

“Party On The Beach,” Brian Kelley

“The Sweet Escape,” Gwen Stefani and Akon

“Chicken Fried,” Zac Brown Band

“Chillin’ It,” Cole Swindell

“Soak Up The Sun,” Sheryl Crow

“I’m Like A Bird,” Nelly Furtado

“Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset,” Luke Bryan

“Put Your Records On,” Corinne Rae Bailey

“Secret O’ Life,” James Taylor

“Changes in Latitude,” Jimmy Buffet

“Yeah Boy,” Kelsea Ballerini

“Mr. Jones,” Counting Crows

“Meant to Be,” Florida Georgia Line feat Bebe Rexha

“Let’s Dance,” David Bowie

“Coconut,” Harry Nilson

“Beer & Sunshine,” Darius Rucker

“Can’t Stop This Feeling,” Justin Timberlake

“Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac

“I Gotta Feeling,” Black Eyed Peas


At some point in your day, we hope you and your family and friends will use this playlist to inspire you as you take a little time to read or recite from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution or other great books about the birth of our nation like Founding Fathers: The Essential Guide to the Men Who Made America or Founding Fathers: The Fight for Freedom:

“Stars and Stripes Forever,” John Philip Sousa

“God Bless America,” Kate Smith

“The Marines’ Hymn,” John Philip Sousa

“Semper Fidelis March,” John Philip Sousa

“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” Bette Midler

“The Ballad of the Green Berets,” John Philip Sousa

“The Washington Post,” United States Marine Band

“America the Beautiful,” Whitney Houston

“The Boys of the Old Brigade,” John Philip Sousa

“Sound Off Alert,” John Philip Sousa

“This Is My Country,” Al Jacobs, Don Raye

“El Capitan,” John Philip Sousa

“US Army the Caissons Go Rolling Along,” John Philip Sousa

“The Liberty Bell,” John Philip Sousa

“You’re a Grand Old Flag,” Samuel A. Ward, Mormon Tabernacle Choir

“My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” US Military Bands

“Anchors Aweigh,” US Navy Band

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” John Philip Sousa


Of course, on Independence Day we’re proudly celebrating the birth of our nation as well as celebrating our greatest accomplishments as a nation in those 245 years since; so let’s all crank up the music, crack open a beer, and break into an insane air guitar solo:

“Small Town,” John Mellencamp

“God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood

“American Pie,” Don McLean

“American Girl,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton

“Dress Blues,” Jason Isbell

“Philadelphia Freedom,” Elton John

“Party in the U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus

“America,” Neil Diamond

“Born in the U.S.A.,” Bruce Springsteen (Had debate with the writer about if this song is actually considered by some to be unpatriotic, see article here…we may want to remove it or swap it out for “We Take Care of Our Own,” Bruce Springsteen)

“American Woman,” Lenny Kravitz

“Living in America,” James Brown

“Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus

“We Will Rock You,” Queen

“My Country Tis of Thee,” David Crosby, Graham Nash

“Glory Days,” Bruce Springsteen

“America,” Simon & Garfunkel

“This Land Is Your Land,” Pete Seeger

“Firework,” Katy Perry

“Cruise (Remix),” Florida Georgia Line, Nelly

“Boom Boom Pow,” Black Eyed Peas


Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for! Yes, the whole point of fireworks might be to remind us about the horrors and glories of war and the “rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air.” But adding a badass tune by Johnny Cash or Elvis or the Doors will make that fireworks display even more memorable: 

“Great Balls of Fire,” Jerry Lee Lewis

“Firestarter,” The Prodigy

“Master Exploder,” Tenacious D

“Ride of the Valkyries,” Richard Wagner

“4th of July (Fireworks),” Kelis

“Ring of Fire,” Johnny Cash

“Fireworks,” Drake, Alicia Keys

“We Didn’t Start the Fire,” Billy Joel

“Fireworks at Dawn,” Senses Fail

“She Bangs,” Ricky Martin

“Fireworks,” Blue Öyster Cult

“Indoor Fireworks,” Elvis Costello

“Main Theme from The Natural,” Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

“Rockets,” Ella Henderson

“Burning Down the House,” Talking Heads

“Explosions,” Echo & The Bunnymen

“Sparks,” Röyksopp

“Disco Inferno,” The Trammps

“Burning Love,” Elvis Presley

“Star Wars Theme,” John Williams

“Light My Fire,” The Doors

“Hot Right Now,” DJ Fresh & Rita Ora

“Touch the Sky,” Kanye West

“Rocket,” Goldfrapp

“Sparks Will Fly,” J Cole

“Just Watch the Fireworks,” Jimmy Eat World

“Set Fire to the Rain,” Adele

“Let It Bang,” Fetty Wap

“Fire,” Jimi Hendrix

“Rocket Man,” Elton John

“Chariots of Fire,” Vangelis