Marcelle has a degree in journalism. She is also a certified spin instructor, where she shares her passion for fitness and music.
Celebrate America's Independence Day with this patriotic music playlist! Adopted from my "Fourth of July" Spin class, this dozen song playlist crosses the decades with tunes from classic rock to pop hits. Use this playlist for your workout, to rock at your summer cookout, or listen as you watch those grand fireworks! Please comment other songs that you believe would complement this list. Included are comments on how to use each song for a workout.
#12. R.O.C.K. in the USA (John Mellencamp)
This rocking patriotic song will get you warmed up, for a workout or cookout. It also makes a great start to the 4th fireworks display. Influenced by songs from the 1960’s, this 1985 song was a top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The music video features a short talk from the rocker himself on the virtues of 60's music.
Workout: Get warmed up with this quick and energy-packed tune.
R.O.C.K. in the USA Video
#11. Closer to Free (The BoDeans)
Recognized as the theme song for the 90’s TV series Party of Five, this single was the band’s biggest hit. It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 after being re-released in 1996. The lyrics speak to the desire to be free, to live, and to love the way you want!
Workout: A quick beat makes it perfect for a sprint on the bike or a fast run.
Closer to Free Video
#10. Firework (Katy Perry)
Set off those fireworks to this empowerment anthem for the 4th! This hit reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top five on charts all over the world. The corresponding music video won “Video of the Year” at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
Workout: The songs builds nicely for a big hill in an indoor cycling class with strong runs on the chorus.
#9 Breakfast in America (Supertramp)
This classic tune speaks to a desire to go to America for the first time. The single did not rank high on the U.S. charts but peaked in top 10 in the United Kingdom.
Workout: This works well for a slow, progressive climb starting out at a moderate tension and ending heavy.
Breakfast in America Video
#8. Born in the U.S.A . (Bruce Springsteen)
One of the best known singles for Bruce Springsteen from 1984, Rolling Stone ranked it 275th on “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. Although it is often taken as purely patriotic, the lyrics speak to the negative effects of Vietnam War. The music video features an awesome and passionate on-stage performance from the Boss.
Workout: This tune backs a strong, steep hill climb with runs or bursts thrown in.
Born in the U.S.A. Video
#7. We’re an American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)
This classic rock song became the band’s first number one single. It was originally released on transparent gold vinyl.
Workout: It’s a great hill climb for indoor cycling with runs on the chorus. It works well on a running playlist too.
We're an American Band Video
#6. Party in the U.S.A. (Miley Cyrus)
Perfect for hosting a big 4th party or watching fireworks, this tune hit the number two mark on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009. See the music video pay homage to the 1978 movie, Grease.
Workout: This songs works great for climbing a giant hill on an indoor cycle, adding more tension as you go.
Party in the U.S.A. Video
#5. America (Neil Diamond)
Neil Diamond’s inspiring and patriotic song reminds us of the history of U.S. immigration. Released as part of The Jazz Singer soundtrack, this 1980 single peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
Workout: Run to this powerful song or use it for a cycle hill climb with frequent runs.
#4. Fly Like an Eagle (Steve Miller Band)
The official bird of the United States of America, the bald eagle was chosen because of its strength, beauty, and long life. The chorus belts out "I want to fly like an eagle 'till I'm free" in this classic single that peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1994, Seal covered this song for the Space Jam album.
Workout: I use it for jumps on a hill in my class. Find a heavy hill gear and use the strength of your legs to propel you out of the saddle to a standing climb position. Pedal quickly for several rotations and then sink back to the saddle for a moment and repeat.
#3. American Girl (Tom Petty)
Although a well-known song, it never even hit the United States charts when it was released in 1977. Rolling Stone did, however, rank it number 76 on “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.
Workout: This songs works perfectly for a fast flat road in cycle, running, or even a fast-paced walk.
American Girl Video
#2. Pink Houses (John Mellencamp)
Another classic rock tune here from Mellencamp that gives us a picture of small town America. Mellencamp recorded this song in an Indiana farmhouse and the music video was shot at various locations in Southern Indiana, including the singer’s hometown of Bloomington. The single achieved success on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number eight. Rolling Stone ranked the song number 439 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time”.
Workout: Use this song for a slow, steep climb on an indoor cycle while progressively adding tension.
Pink Houses Video
#1. Saturday in the Park - Chicago
The single references the July 4th holiday in its opening lyric:
"Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July."
The single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Fans can hear the song played at Saturday afternoon games at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Yankee Stadium in New York, and Coors Field in Denver.
Workout: Use this tune as the perfect cool down to end your workout.
Saturday in the Park Video
Radford, By Benjamin. "Why Is the Bald Eagle America's National Bird?" LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 13 Sept. 2010. Web. 25 May 2015. <http://www.livescience.com/32811-why-is-the-bald-eagle-americas-national-bird-.html>.