Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July 4th Ride music

I do a July 4th theme ride every year. Since it's only a few days away, I thought I'd post some of the music I've used before or that I've collected in my July 4th folder (or that I've gotten off Pedal-On). I don't know yet what I'm going to do for a profile, but often it's based on the music I end up choosing, whether it feels more like hills or flats.

I also like to do theme rides on other nation's independence days every now and then, like Cinco de Mayo. Bastille Day is July 14th and it's during the Tour de France when I'm already playing a lot of fun French songs, so I cover that anyway. For my foreign readers, you may want to throw in a couple of July 4th tunes this weekend, but if you have playlists of your own country's songs that you might play on your country's holiday, please share!

There are your typical sappy America the Beautiful songs below, but not all these songs paint the good ole USA in a nice way. We as a nation are far from perfect, so take us warts and all. A significant freedom gained on July 4th, 1776 is the ability to challenge ourselves, our actions and our leaders. And that's American.

If you're into country music (which I'm not), you'll find lots more patriotic tunes. I have a few listed below. I don't know how "spinnable" some of the more sappy or country ones are - they may be better for warm-up, cool-down or pre-class mood setting music.

  • Frank Sinatra, America the Beautiful
  • Celine Dion, God Bless America
  • Ray Charles, America the Beautiful
  • Willie Nelson, America the Beautiful
  • Les Greenwood, Proud to be an American
  • Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA (not a happy song)
  • Bruce Springsteen, American Land
  • Neil Diamond, Coming to America
  • James Brown, Living in America
  • Chuck Berry, Back in the USA
  • Linda Rondstadt, Back in the USA
  • George Thorogood, American Made
  • George Thorogood, Anytown USA
  • George Michael, Freedom
  • BoDeans, Closer to Free
  • BoDeans, Freedom
  • Nicole Mullens, Freedom
  • The Guess Who, American Woman
  • Madonna, American Life (funny lyrics about the typical American dream, but the only version I have found has expletives, maybe there's a clean version somewhere)
  • John Mellancamp, R.O.C.K. in the USA
  • John Mellancamp, Ain't That America
  • Big Jack Johnson, It's the Fourth of July (great blues song)
  • U2, The Hands that Built America
  • U2, Walk On (America A Tribute to Heroes)
  • U2, Bad (Wide Awake in America)
  • ELO, Calling America
  • Styx, Miss America
  • Prince, America
  • David Bowie, Young American
  • Steve Miller Band, Living in the USA
  • Don MacLean, American Pie
  • The Offspring, Americana
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born on the Bayou
  • Dave Matthews, American Baby
  • Tom Petty, American Girl
  • Leny Kravitz, American Woman
  • Counting Crows, American Girls
  • Kim Wilde, Kids in America
  • Grateful Dead, US Blues
  • Everclear - This Land is Your Land
  • Agent Orange, America (fast paced)
  • Bigood 20, America
  • The Catholic Girls, Rock'n America (driving rock song)
  • Johnny Cash, I've Been Everywhere
  • Depeche Mode, Route 66 (Beatmasters Mix)
  • Beach Boys, Surfin' USA
  • Fury in the Slaughterhouse, Down There (slow song, cool down)
  • Safri Duo feat Michael M, Sweet Freedom
  • Melissa Etheridge, Christmas in America
  • Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man
  • Paul Simon, Graceland (hey, what's more American than Elvis Presley and Graceland?!)
  • Generation DJ, California Dreamin
  • Royal Gigolos, California Dreamin (Clubhouse Extended Mix)
  • The Ramones, California Sun
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama
  • Tina Turner, Proud Mary
  • Toby Keith, American Soldier
  • Toby Keith, Courtesy of Red, White and Blue
  • US Coast Guard Band, Armed Services Medley (parade music)
  • The Flaming Lips, The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
  • John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change
  • Labi Siffre, Something Inside So Strong
  • John Lennon, Give Peace A Chance

If you didn't already overload your students with Michael Jackson tributes this past week, it would be perfect to throw in a couple of his songs as an American Pop Icon.

Where to get some of this music? Try eMusic for some of the older or more unusual songs. (Don't yet have eMusic? Click on that icon on the left of my blog to get 25 or 50 free downloads). Then check the usual suspects like iTunes.

Anymore suggestions, please list them in the comments!

EDIT Later: I've got a great idea! As I am putting together my own playlist, I have just had a good laugh. Here in Vail, Colorado during ski season, several of the bars in town have Apres Ski celebrations and parties every single day, with a live singer/guitarist playing fun sing-along drinking songs. Everyone (everyone, including the singer!) is doing shots or chugging beer. Not that I ever really Apres much anymore (yes, we've turned it into a verb), but back when I taught skiing, we'd go sometimes after the day on the mountain ended, or take visiting friends. There is not a single Apres Ski entertainer that doesn't include Don MacLean's American Pie in his repertoire - because everyone knows the words. Even just walking down the center of Vail you'll hear the song floating from the bars.

So I plan on playing it this Friday about halfway through my ride. I'm going to have to come up with a joke about doing shots. I think I'll get a shot glass and an empty bottle of Jaegermeister and fill it with dark brown-colored water, pour myself one and throw it back while on the bike during that song! Then I'll ask if anyone else wants one. Think I'll get a few amazed looks at 6 am?? I'll let you know how it goes! :-)

[The challenge: where to find an empty Jaegermeister bottle? I don't drink that crap! Yuck. I guess I can use another liquor, but Jaegermeister is such the "In" thing in the mountains after skiing. Maybe a local bar will be kind enough to save me an empty bottle...which means I'll have to start calling around now. Sheesh, now that I think about it, this practical joke may be more work than it's worth. Man, the things I do to keep my students entertained!!]


lamspin said...

"....Man, the things I do to keep my students entertained!!]" You made me laugh just imagine you go/phone around looking for the bottle. No doubt, your students KNOW who is their best coach/instructor--She does everything with PASSION, money is just a bonus.
Good luck with the bottle searching :>)
HAPPY JULY 4 to you, Jennifer!
(We celebrate our Canada Day tomorrow)

Jennifer Sage said...

So Le, what might you play in a Canada Day theme ride? Are there any patriotic songs, or songs about cities/Provinces in Canada? Or maybe an all-Canadian group ride? Who would that be? I bet I have no idea what well-known singers/groups might be from Canada!

lamspin said...

Good questions! But I don't really have the answers.

I wasn't born here, I came to Canada 28 years ago from VN; was too busy working to make a life in the land full of opportunities... so I didn't have time to visit cities/Provinces, and don't know many singers/groups except couple that you might already knew such as Shania Twain (Country), Celine Dion (Pop)...

Right now I am dealing with a change in my full-time job that forced me to give up all my cycling/yoga classes for the 2 summer months: July & August. Can you imagine how I feel? REALLY PI$$ED! So no theme ride to do tomorrow; and most of the clubs don't have classes on Canada Day. Maybe some instructors already did a theme ride today, I should ask around to learn from them.

Thank you for asking, that makes me think I should know more about MY country. Shame on me!