Donielle Flynn

There are certain songs that HAVE to be a part of my 4th of July celebration. My idea of a perfect 4th of July includes family and friends, party food with lots of fruit and veggies, pool time, and hopefully some fireworks. We usually check out fireworks ahead of time, so if I need to choose the pool over fireworks, I’m definitely picking the pool. Jams are a MUST.  Here’s a list of my quintessential 4th of July tunes, many of which you’ll hear on WSCX’s block party weekendWARNING: I love these songs that talk about America, but these are not all rah-rah U.S.A. songs, in fact, most aren’t.  I look at the 4th of July as a fun day with family, but also a moment of reflection and remembrance.  This country (and all others) are made up of imperfect people.  That’s how we ALL roll.  Sometimes songs tell a story that offers us a chance to reflect on how NOT to do things again.  That doesn’t mean I’m not proud to be an American and a Michigander, but I also don’t have blinders on.  I warned you!  Don’t worry, the first one up is TOTALLY a party jam. – Happy 4th! – Doni

  • We're an American Band

    They’re coming to your town.  They’ll help you party down.  God bless America and GFR!

  • R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.

    The song is actually subtitled “A Salute to 60’s Rock.” The song is about the birth of rock and roll in America and celebrates the risks musicians took for the love of the music.  Mellancamp said, “I don’t think people are getting the idea of what the song’s about, so I must’ve not done a very good job,” but the song was a huge hit, so he did something right.


  • Young Americans

    Obviously, David Bowie was not American, he was born in England.  “Young Americans” is a song basically jams Bowie’s “American experience” into one song.  The recording sessions for most of the album happened in just 8 days in Philadelphia and was heavily influenced by R&B.

  • Born in the U.S.A.

    The difficulties that Vietnam veterans ran into after their return is, frankly heartbreaking.  With time comes perspective.  I would like to hope that we are all on-page that our vets deserved a better welcome, but I think people didn’t really know how to handle it.  This was the first war that America didn’t “win” so there was no heroes’ homecoming.  Our soldiers were largely ignored.  This song is not about American pride.  “Born in the U.S.A.,” in my opinion, is a song that recognizes our Veitnam vets and what happened when they returned home.   Bruce considers this one of his best, but also most misinterpreted songs.  Bruce said in an interview with Rolling Stone, The country took advantage of their selflessness.” 

  • Living in the U.S.

    Steve Miller has said that many of his songs were just meant to be fun sing-along for car rides.  I agree and disagree.  “Living in the USA” is mostly fun and silly, but the end lyrics always grab me, “Come on try it, you can buy it, you can leave next week, yeah…. somebody give me a cheeseburger.”  I’m feeling some American excess in those words, but maybe I’m reading in too much?

  • Remember the Heroes

    This is not one of Sammy Hagar’s best-known songs, but as far as showing love and respect for our nation… baby, it’s there.

  • Born on the Bayou

    “I can remember the fourth of July… Running through the backwoods bare.” CLASSIC CCR: from the first notes, this song evokes memories and emotion, the perpetual song of summer.  John Fogerty had never been to a bayou: he researched them in encyclopedias.  Did you have encyclopedias in your home?  My kids have NO IDEA what encyclopedia Brittanica is. lol

  • Star Spangled Banner

    I really would have LOVED to have been there to see this Woodstock performance.  Jimi Hendrix was asked in an interview why he played the national anthem in an unorthodox fashion.  Jimi responded, “It’s not unorthodox, I thought it was beautiful.”  

  • Rockin' in the Free World

    Again, not a “Yay, America!” song.  The story behind it is pretty amazing.  From the mouth of Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, Neil’s guitarist, “There was supposed to have been a cultural exchange between Russia and the United States.  Russia was getting Neil Young and Crazy Horse and we were getting the Russian ballet! All of a sudden, whoever was promoting the deal, a guy in Russia, took the money and split. We were all bummed, and I looked at him and said, ‘Man I guess we’re just gonna have to keep on rockin in the free world. He said, ‘Well, Poncho, that’s a good line. I’m gonna use that, if you don’t mind.‘” (2018 interview with Mojo)

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