Finding the perfect patriot songs for your 4th of July or Memorial Day cookout can be surprisingly difficult. Curate too heavily on the "rah rah rah" and you're bound to set a mood that's more "insurrection" than "chill backyard hang." And lean too heavy on the Springsteen or Creedence and you'll have to endure another night of your friends giving you "well, actually" lessons in the real meaning of subversive classics.
That's why we've carefully curated a list of songs with genuinely patriotic content that don't beat you too hard over the head. While some of these songs might work for your funky cookout (looking at you, James Brown), others offer a more reflective take on the ol’ U-S-of-A. There’s room for both. Consider these a starter pack, and throw in as much Miley and Bruce as you like once the party gets going.