Patriotic music can be the perfect ingredient for a 4th of July party, or for a playlist to use for any event that has a patriotic theme. Stirring music that speaks to pride in one's country can be found across a number of music genres.
Classical and Instrumental
Classical and instrumental pieces such as marches are often used for events like 4th of July parades or for public gatherings and performances.
The Stars and Stripes Forever - John Philip Sousa
The Liberty Bell - John Philip Sousa
The Liberty Bell is a march that has stood the test of time. The United States Marine Corps Band has played it at several of the most recent presidential inaugurations, including those of Clinton, Bush, and Obama.
Semper Fidelis - John Philip Sousa
Since Sousa was leader of the U.S. Marine Corps Band, it seems only fitting that his march Semper Fidelis has become the official march for the Marines.
The Washington Post - John Philip Sousa
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 - Edward Elgar
U.S. Field Artillery - John Philip Sousa
Sousa's U.S. Field Artillery march incorporates The Caissons Go Rolling Along as a refrain. When the Army made The Caissons Go Rolling Along their official song in 1956, they renamed it to The Army Goes Rolling Along.
Hail to the Spirit of Liberty - John Philip Sousa
Hail to the Spirit of Liberty debuted when the Lafayette Monument was unveiled in Paris on July 4, 1900. The Liberty March, as it is commonly known, became one of Sousa's most beloved pieces.
Anthems and Hymns
Patriotic anthems and hymns have deep roots in America, and these beloved songs continue to be passed down from generation to generation.
The Star Spangled Banner - John Stafford Smith
The music for the Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem for the U.S., was originally written for a gentlemen's club in Great Britain. The song's range spans an octave and a half making it difficult for many people to sing, but it has been expertly covered by artists as diverse as José Feliciano, Jimi Hendrix, and Whitney Houston.
Ballad of the Green Berets - Robin Moore
Barry Sadler's song Ballad of the Green Berets enjoyed tremendous popularity on its release in 1966 and spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It continues to be a patriotic favorite.
The Marine Corps Hymn - American Traditional
The highly recognizable Marine Corps Hymn is readily identified with the U.S. Marines, who take great pride in their official hymn.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home - Patrick S. Gilmore
When Johnny Comes Marching Home was written in 1863 by bandleader Patrick Gilmore. With its plaintive lyrics about longing for loved ones to return home from battle, it quickly became popular with both the Union and the Confederates.
My Country 'Tis of Thee - American Traditional
Commonly used as a United States national anthem prior to the official adoption of The Star Spangled Banner, My Country 'Tis of Thee has not lost its appeal and continues to be regularly played and performed at patriotic events all over the country.
Hail to the Chief - James Sanderson
God Bless America - Irving Berlin
God Bless America is a song that has truly stood the test of time. Written by Irving Berlin in 1918, the song has been covered by performers such as Kate Smith, Celine Dion, and LeAnn Rimes. Other notable covers of the song were done by Connie Francis and Daniel Rodriguez.
Anchors Aweigh - Charles A. Zimmerman
Anchors Aweigh is strongly associated in people's minds with the U.S. Navy, and for good reason. Written by Navy lieutenant Charles A. Zimmerman in 1906 to be a football march, the song was adopted by the Navy as its official song.
You're a Grand Old Flag - George M. Cohan
Originally written by George M. Cohan for his musical George Washington, Jr. in 1906, You're a Grand Old Flag was the first composition from a stage musical to sell one million sheet music copies.
The Battle Cry of Freedom - George Frederick Root
The Battle Hymn of the Republic - William Steffe
The music for the Battle Hymn of the Republic was composed by William Steffe, and Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics in 1861. Previous lyrics to the same tune included John Brown's Body, about well-known abolitionist John Brown.
When it comes to patriotism the world of rock and roll has a great deal to offer, with songs that range from gritty and realistic to earnest and inspirational.
Living In America - James Brown
Living In America won James Brown a Grammy Award for Best Male R & B Vocal Performance. This highly inspirational song was included on the soundtrack for Rocky IV to highlight the patriotism of one of the film's characters.
Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
In the eyes of many people, Born in the U.S.A. is a patriotic song, though its lyrics have often been misunderstood. Springsteen intended the song to be an outcry against the alienation of the working class in modern society, and he urges that the American way must be about the search for truth.
Red, White, and Blue - Lynyrd Skynyrd
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. - John Cougar Mellencamp
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. carries the subtitle A Salute to '60s Rock, and this song pays tribute to the American artists who helped shape the rock and roll sound. The song cracked the top ten on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top Rock Tracks chart.
America - Neil Diamond
Country music and patriotism seem to go hand in hand, with many country artists taking pride in creating music that has its own distinct patriotic flair.
God Bless the U.S.A. - Lee Greenwood
America - Waylon Jennings
Ragged Old Flag - Johnny Cash
Ragged Old Flag is a patriotic song that has remained popular since it was released in 1974. Johnny Cash has said that when he sat down to write it, the song pretty much burst out of him.
Arlington - Trace Adkins
Fighting Side of Me - Merle Haggard
After its release in 1970, Fighting Side of Me rose to the top of the Hot Country Singles chart. Its popularity has endured throughout the years, and it has become one of Merle Haggard's most famous songs.
In America - Charlie Daniels
Though Charlie Daniels' In America was originally released in 1980, it enjoyed a resurgence of popularity after the September 11 attacks.
Folk songs spring straight from the heart of America, with some of these pieces becoming synonymous with watershed events in American history.
This Land is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
The Yankee Doodle Boy - George M. Cohan
Home on the Range - Daniel E. Kelley
Written in 1872, Home on the Range became a popular song among the people who settled the West, including cowboys and homesteaders. It has remained a beloved song and was adopted as the Kansas State Song.
Yankee Doodle - American Traditional
Yankee Doodle started out as a song by which British soldiers made fun of the American colonists. Revolutionary War soldiers turned things around by reclaiming the song for their own when the British surrendered.
Patriotism and Pride
No matter what the genre, patriotic music tends to share one thing in common across the board. It speaks to the multifaceted heritage of America that goes all the way back to the founding of the country. Patriotic music that passes the test of time is that which inspires feelings of pride and encourages people to think about what it means to be patriotic.