The Memorial Day holiday is a more than just a 3-day weekend during which Americans BBQ, get drunk, and go camping; it’s a 3-day weekend during which we remember those who have fallen in the name of our country, then we BBQ, get drunk, and go camping!
If you know me personally, it’s probably pretty clear where I stand on American politics and culture. But regardless of politics in the information age, it really has taken a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (not just the band) to get where we are as a society. We have fought wars, endured economic depressions, and engaged in a seemingly-endless number battles over human rights, and somehow we’re still standing.
I know that I have a hard time supporting many things stereotypically “American” for many reasons, but one place we have historically been a prominent voice and influence is in music. Since the earliest musical recordings, America has been at the forefront of sonic innovation and music culture. We have been an important voice in shaping how the world sounds, so without any further adieu, here is a playlist of songs that you might hear at my Memorial Day BBQ. There is a little something for everyone on this playlist, and it both celebrates and criticizes the ever-evolving place we call home.
01. Bruce Springsteen: “Born In The USA”
02. Tom Petty: “American Girl”
03. Simon & Garfunkel: “America”
04. Grand Funk Railroad: “We’re An American Band”
05. Don McLean: “American Pie”
06. Jimi Hendrix: “Star Spangled Banner”
07. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: “This Land Is Your Land”
08. Sufjan Stevens: “No Man’s Land”
09. Green Day: “American Idiot”
10. 2 Live Crew: “Banned In The USA”
11. Otis Redding: “The Dock Of The Bay”
12. “Team America Theme Song”