This List of Patriotic Songs Is the Perfect Way to Celebrate America

best patriotic songs
50 All-Time Best Patriotic SongsMichael Zagaris - Getty Images

A reliable way to show off your American pride is by throwing on a playlist full of patriotic songs. Sure, summer seems like the best time to do that given it's when the 4th of July takes place, but you can never go wrong by blasting a USA classic anytime of year! It's as simple as this: Songs about America and all its glory have a way of raising a person's spirits, which is why this list of patriotic songs is just so good.

Yes, you can expect some definitive country songs on this list. Songs like "American Heart" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads" are staples that should never be forgotten! They both speak to the beauty of America's landscape and the pride that exudes because of that. This catalog of songs has more than just that, though. There are a few '80s songs like "Born in the U.S.A." that would be enough to get anyone going. Not to mention the Dolly Parton hits, like "Color Me America." You probably get the point by now that these songs aren't just catchy tunes, but rather principle elements that help describe America.

Before you go, if you're planning your Memorial Day outing or 4th of July activities, tracks such as Mariah Carey's "Fourth of July" or Brad Paisley's "American Saturday Night" will do the job. By the way, you know what pairs perfectly with a patriotic playlist? A red, white and blue cocktail, of course!

"God Bless the U.S.A." by Lee Greenwood

America wouldn't be the country it is without the many different people who make it up. "God Bless the U.S.A." serves as a reminder to not only love your country, but also everyone in it!


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"America the Beautiful" by Ray Charles

Fun fact: If it weren't for Katharine Lee Bates, this Ray Charles classic wouldn't exist! Her 19th century poem, "America," hit home for many citizens. After her words were connected with the hymn, "Materna," Ray Charles went on to create this beautiful ballad that everyone knows today.

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"This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie

If we're being honest, there are numerous Woody Guthrie songs that could have made this list! Still, "This Land Is Your Land" speaks to the heart of the country all these years later, making it one of his most iconic songs.

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"American Heart" by Faith Hill

"When you have an American heart, you can be who you are." These words are spoken by young kiddos at the beginning of this Faith Hill music video, which is eventually followed by a sweet ode to the country that makes it all possible for people to be their full selves.

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"Only in America" by Brooks & Dunn

Brooks & Dunn truly know how to get people on their feet! The upbeat melody in "Only in America" is just one reason to love this song. The meaning, which is about the endless possibilities available and the diverse lives who lead this wondrous country, is a whole other reason!

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"America" by Simon & Garfunkel

Road trip, anyone? Simon & Garfunkel will inspire you to see the beautiful terrains of this wide-spread land, as well as its big-city skylines. Bonus points if you go to every city and state mentioned in this song!

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"Color Me America" by Dolly Parton

You didn't think you'd get through this list without seeing at least one Dolly Parton song, did you? Dolly produced this track after the country faced the attacks from 9/11, hoping to help her listeners and fans heal a bit. Freedom and justice are at the core of this one.

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"American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

There's no better song to begin your summer barbecues with, and that's a fact! It's crazy to think that this song didn't become a hit until much later after it was released!

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"The Star Spangled Banner" by Whitney Houston

The national anthem is already patriotic enough, but no one has ever sung it like Whitney Houston did at the 1991 Super Bowl! This one was *so* iconic, that radio stations even began airing it as they would other pop-hits!

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"Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus

You can't deny it: No matter who you are—you, too, will be putting your hands up when this comes on. Why? Well, because they're playing your song! The 2009 song will surely stand the test of time.

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"America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)" by the United States Army Field Band Soldiers Chorus

If you're looking for a chill inducing experience, the United States Army Field Band Soldiers Chorus is here to give you just that. Their perfect harmonies as they sing the beautiful words to "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)" will probably bring a tear or two to your eyes.

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"American Pie" by Don McLean

While the literal meaning to "American Pie" has been debated for some time now, there's no contesting the fact that it has become a staple at every summer outing and general party. Heck, it's even a constant karaoke request, too!

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"American Woman" by Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz delivers a great cover of this 1970 hit! Sometimes, people even forget that it's not his original song, but the band Guess Who is probably more than okay with the popularity that Lenny gave it.

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"The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa

There may not be any words to this band march, but that hardly matters. If the drums to this quintessential beat don't get you going, we're not sure anything else will!

"Ragged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash

The history of America is delivered so eloquently by Johnny Cash in this one. It's a spoken word over a mellow tune, which sort of adds to the seriousness of it all.

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"In America" by John Legend

This gorgeous song was created by the one and only John Legend for the second season of the series Underground. "The song points out the tension between the promise of America, the ideals of America, and sometimes us not living up to those ideals in practice," he told Billboard.

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"Back in the USA" by Chuck Berry

Little fun fact here: The Beatles' "Back in the USSR" was inspired by a father of rock and roll—the one and only Chuck Berry! Personally, Berry's version is definitely better for our purposes.

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"Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen

This iconic Bruce Springsteen is sometimes misinterpreted as a simplistic celebration of patriotism. In reality, the lyrics explore a Vietnam War vet returning home with "nowhere to go." As a true master of American rock and roll, Springsteen brings a complex, honest picture of patriotism that allows a veteran's struggle to mingle with pride.

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"Kids in America" by Kim Wilde

Here's a shocker—this gigantic hit comes from the British singer Kim Wilde! The lyrics were written by her father, who had been captivated by the idea of iconic Americana pastimes of young people in the US (drinking milkshakes and going to drive-in movies). "I think a lot of that got caught up in the lyrics—all the kids in America are having a better, more interesting, more dangerous time than we were here," Kim explained in 2018.

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"God Bless America" by Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin's songs are a cornerstone of American popular music, including his World War I era anthem "God Bless America." Its title and lyrics exemplify the pride that Irving exuded for this country.

"Over There" by Geroge M. Cohan

You might know this song from its iconic lyric: "The Yanks are coming." Many of the tunes written by George M. Cohan are staples of American music.

"You're a Grand Old Flag" by George M. Cohan

Pay tribute to the U.S. flag with this adorable kids version of the 1906 American patriotic march. This adaptation is perfect for school choir performances.

"(I'm a) Yankee Doodle Dandy" by George M. Cohan

This classic tune by George M. Cohan was written for the Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones. It was also memorably performed by James Cagney in the 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy, in which he portrayed Cohan.

"Everyday America" by Sugarland

This song was once used as the intro to Good Morning America, and it's easy to see why! There's something so universal and relatable about just gettin' by but still dreamin' big.

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"Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

The message of this song will resonate with anyone who's ever wanted to see the world—even if it meant having to leave behind someone you love.

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“Blue Sky” by Allman Brothers

For some easy listening at your next barbecue, add this sweet country love song to your playlist.

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"(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding

There's something so soothing about Otis Redding's soulful warble on this song. He was committed to writing this classic, using both napkins and scraps of paper to pen the lyrics when he felt inspired.

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"I’ve Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash

This song was originally written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack about his homeland and later rerecorded by Johnny Cash, who tweaked the lyrics to reference different parts of America. Both versions are great, but Cash's fits right in with the others on this list.

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"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" by Beyoncé

Prepare to be absolutely enthralled by Beyonce's rendition of this beautiful hymn. Many might remember her original performance of this song at Coachella, which immediately went viral.

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"Wide Open Spaces" by The Chicks

No one does it like The Chicks! Their passion for country music and female empowerment is exhibited in this tune. It's a great song to play when you want to ride around in your car with your windows down.

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"The Star-Spangled Banner" by Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye put his own personal twist on our national anthem. Those who enjoy both funk and soul will get a kick out of this one.

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"A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke

The King of Soul wrote this famous song that went on to become an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. In 2007, it was chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress. It was dubbed one of the most important songs of the Civil Rights Era by NPR and ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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"Travelin' Soldier" by The Chicks

From their album Home, this emotional track from The Chicks details the story of a girl writing to a soldier in the Vietnam War who is later killed in battle.

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"Surfin' USA" by The Beach Boys

Hitting the beach this summer? The Beach Boys' classic surfing song is the perfect soundtrack to a Memorial Day or 4th of July spent soaking up the sun.

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"Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John

You may not be familiar with this 1975 Elton John song. It's actually a tribute to his friend, tennis legend Billie Jean King, after she won the "Battle of the Sexes" match in 1973!

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"The Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis and The News

What's more American than rock and roll? This one's a tribute to cities across the country where rock is alive and thriving—at least, in the '80s!

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"America" by Neil Diamond

The hit single from the movie The Jazz Singer was also used in the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1984, as the song celebrates America's history as a home for immigrants.

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"American Saturday Night" by Brad Paisley

This title track off Brad Paisley's sixth studio album celebrates cultural diversity in America. The title itself is likely a nod to Saturday Night Live, whose iconic line, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night," is referenced in the lyrics.

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"California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & The Papas

This is about missing the warmth and sunshine of California. So if you love the Golden State, it should definitely be on your playlist!

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"American Boy" by Estelle feat. Kanye West

Performed by British singer Estelle, this upbeat song is all about meeting an American boy and wanting to travel around the country seeing the sights. John Legend is also featured in the music video!

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"Red, White, and Blue" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

With a chorus that says "My hair's turning white / My neck's always been red / My collar's still blue," the Lynyrd Skynyrd track honors the blue collar workers of America.

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"Freedom" by Pharrell Williams

The stunning music video for this inspiring song was nominated for a Grammy. It explores the pursuit of freedom in different places across the world that perfectly complements the chorus.

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"R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." by John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp almost cut this track from his album Scarecrow because he thought it clashed with some of the more grim songs on it. However, the single ended up as a Top 10 hit in 1986.

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"Wagon Wheel" by Darius Rucker

The Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer's cover of this Old Crow Medicine classic went certified triple platinum in 2014.

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"Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver

While this singalong staple has gone on to become the state anthem of West Virginia as the song's "mountain mama," it was actually inspired by winding Maryland roads.

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"All American Girls" by Sister Sledge

The R&B group behind the iconic song "We Are Family" released this track in 1981 as the lead single off their fifth studio album.

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"Alexander Hamilton" by the Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton

While the entire Hamilton soundtrack should be required listening for the 4th of July, you can just listen to the first song if you don't have 2 hours and 22 minutes to spare. It's enough to get you pumped up for the day!

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"Firework" by Katy Perry

Katy Perry co-wrote this chart-topping single with Songland star Ester Dean. Play it during the firework show finale for the full effect.

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"Our Country" by John Mellencamp

Country band Little Big Town actually provided the backing vocals on this song, as well as several others on the album Freedom's Road.

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"Some Gave All" by Billy Ray Cyrus

As the title track of Billy Ray Cyrus's debut album, this patriotic song pays tributes to those in the military who have sacrificed their lives. It's often used to honor fallen soldiers with the lyrics "All gave some, some gave all" etched on memorials.

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