About a week ago it dawned on me that July 4th this year fell on a Wednesday, and since it was on a Wednesday that meant no long weekend (and when I say “dawned on me” I mean that someone told me, not many things really and truly dawn on me). So since I had been assuming I got a long weekend in July, I missed out on putting a request in to take any time off to actually have a long weekend, wah wah. And now as a result I’m missing out on beach, booze, and all foods red, white, and blue. So that’s the crappy part, the good part is that now I have no excuse not to hit the gym and stay on point nutritionally. If you’re a sucker like me and are staying in town and working for the next two days, you can still have a taste of July 4th festivities, in your playlist. Instead of gorging yourself on a cake with a cake made of strawberries and blueberries download this playlist and give 110% at the gym.
- The Hands That Built America, U2. Ok so your warm up song is by a bunch of foreigners, but it’s from the soundtrack of a fantastic movie (The Gangs of New York) about the early days of our country, and its moving reminder that we are at our core a country of immigrants.
- America, Rita Moreno from West Side Story The Original Motion Picture. Confession, I’m a musical theatre nerd. West Side Story is the American Romeo and Juliet, and the dance scene where the Sharks and their ladies sing “America” is in my opinion the most fun, light-hearted in the movie (I’m sure some of you will argue “Officer Krumpe” but I respectfully disagree).
- Philadelphia Freedom, Elton John. Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote this song to honor Billie Jean King and her tennis team the Philadelphia Freedoms. The song doesn’t have anything to do with tennis, but it does have some vaguely patriotic lyrics, and all of us gals that came after Title IX owe a great deal to female athletes like Billie Jean King who paved the way for girl athletics as we know them. You owe it to all of them to bust your a$$ to this song!
- American Girl, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. This is my favorite Tom Petty song, hands down, even if I include the Traveling Wilburys; and Rolling Stone ranked it number 76 on its top 100 rock songs (not bad for a song that didn’t even chart in the US when it was released). Who hasn’t at one point or another felt “that there was a little more to life somewhere else”?
- American Woman, Lenny Kravitz. Cover of a 1970s hit by a Jewish African American from a comedy about a British spy made by a Canadian, so basically the perfect example of the melting pot that is America. Interesting fun fact, Sam the Eagle from the Muppets sings it in a viral video the Muppets put out, and Sam the Eagle is my favorite Muppet.
- I’ve Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash. I don’t know if statistics are kept on this type of thing, I bet Johnny Cash wins the award for most US cities named in a song, so that’s something.
- Proud Mary, Tina Turner. “Proud Mary” may not have any specific references to patriotism, but I think we can all agree that the tone of the song is uniquely American, and also it’s my go-to karaoke song. And who doesn’t love Tina Turner? Poor, abused, pulled off a staggering comeback when she was over 40, isn’t this the type of success story we American’s love? Total inspiration, love you Tina!
- Party in the USA, Miley Cyrus. I love this song. I am not ashamed, I don’t care what you think of me; I love everything about this song. I love the song name drops Jay-Z and Miley can’t even name one of his songs, I love the notion that a Britney song coming on makes everything ok (because it does), and I love the “whoa” in the first verse.
- Star Spangled Banner, Whitney Houston. Ahhh, Whitney how I chose to remember her. This gives me chills, it makes me tear up, if Whitney belting out The Star Spangled Banner doesn’t move you you have no soul. I just hope we call make it through our cool down without crying, because if we don’t we’re going to be known as that creepy lady who cries at the gym.
So there you have my Americana playlist for the long weekend that wasn’t. I bet a lot of you are thinking “what, no ‘Born in the USA?’” and to that I say, “well write your own darn blog and you put whatever you want on your playlist”. Just kidding, kind of.