Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone enjoys time with their families and loved ones while hopefully having some good eats. To celebrate, I tried to think of songs with the title "Independence Day". The two songs came to mind pretty fast. Interestingly, neither song really celebrates the Holiday itself (though it is referenced in the second song).
First was Bruce Springsteen's "Independence Day". I first heard the song when my Mom bought the box set Live 1975 - 1985 way back when. One of Springsteen's story-songs, it was a moving portrait of a young man (presumably Springsteen) moving out of his Father's house. The song explores the personal cost of freedom to live your own life (Springsteen and his Father were known not to get along while he was growing up, The Boss both personalizes and universalizes the struggle here). My favorite part of the song was about how times were changing and soon everything they know will be swept away. Awesome lyrics.
Second is Martina McBride's "Independence Day". American Idol Carrie Underwood's performance was my first exposure to this sad but determined Country hit. The song itself tells the story of a battered woman's escape from her situation by burning down the house with her husband and possibly herself inside told from the point of view of their daughter who left the house to see the fair. The events place the daughter in a county home away from the abuse and occur on the 4th of July. This song I took to mean that freedom is worth fighting and dying for. (note: I do not endorse spousal abuse or murder.) The chorus is a stunner, going on about letting freedom ring and that this will be a day of reckoning for the guilty.
Both songs are downers, doesn't anyone write happy songs about Holidays anymore?
To close, I will offer up a speech about this great day from the greatest president of our time - Bill Pullman in the movie Independence Day:
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind.
Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today.
We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.
We will be united in our common interests.
Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from annihilation.
We're fighting for our right to live, to exist.
And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on!
We're going to survive!"
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!
Bruce Springsteen "Independence Day"
Martina McBride "Independence Day"