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10 Patriotic Songs for the Fourth of July: Videos and Lyrics

WhitneyHoustonsingingAmericanNationalAnthemTen patriotic songs by some of America’s great composers, from Irving Berlin to John Philip Sousa to Woody Guthrie, performed by Leonard Bernstein, James Cagney, Ray Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Collins, Aretha Franklin, Judy Garland, Woody Guthrie, Harlem Boys Choir, New York Philharmonic, Whitney Houston, Paul Robeson and a lone acoustical guitarist who calls himself “Old White Man,” who does a unique rendition of “Hail to the Chief.”

Below the videos are the lyrics

God Bless America by Irving Berlin, sung by Rosemary Clooney

This Land  Is Your Land, written and sung by Woody Guthrie

The Star Spangled Banner, the American National Anthem music by John Stafford Smith, lyrics by Francis Scott Key,  sung by Whitney Houston

My Country tis of Thee,  music by Henry Carey, lyrics by Samuel F. Smith,  sung by Aretha Franklin

America The Beautiful, music by Samuel Ward, lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates, sung by Ray Charles

Stars and Stripes Forever, by John Philip Sousa, performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic

 
The Battle Hymn of the Republic by Julia Ward Howe (using the music from the song “John Brown’s Body”), performed by Judy Collins and the Boys Choir of Harlem

 

Hail to the Chief by James Sanderson, played by lone acoustical guitarist “oldwhtman”

Ballad for Americans  lyrics by John La Touche and music by Earl Robinson, sung by Paul Robeson

Yankee Doodle Dandy by George M. Cohan, sung by James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland

Lyrics

God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

This Land Is Your Land

Chorus:
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

Chorus

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land From California, to the New York Island From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters This land was made for you and me

The Star-Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

America, My Country Tis of Thee

My country, ’tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

Our glorious Land to-day,
‘Neath Education’s sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!

Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation’s pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.

Beneath Heaven’s gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!

Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!


America The Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Stars and Stripes Forever
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
“As ye deal with my contemnors, so with you my grace shall deal;”
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded from the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

Ballad for Americans
In seventy-six the sky was red
Thunder rumbling overhead
Bad King George couldn’t sleep in his bed
And on that stormy morn, Ol’ Uncle Sam was born.
Some birthday!
Ol’ Sam put on a three cornered hat
And in a Richmond church he sat
And Patrick Henry told him that while America drew breath
It was “Liberty or death.”

What kind of hat is a three-cornered hat?
Did they all believe in liberty in those days?

Nobody who was anybody believed it.
Ev’rybody who was anybody they doubted it.
Nobody had faith.
Nobody but Washington, Tom Paine, Benjamin Franklin,
Chaim Solomon, Crispus Attucks, Lafayette. Nobodies.
The nobodies ran a trea party at Boston. Betsy Ross
Organized a sewing circle. Paul Revere had a horse race.

And a little ragged group believed it.
And some gentlemen and ladies believed it.
And some wise men and some fools, and I believed it too.
And you know who I am.
No. Who are you mister? Yeah, how come all this?
Well, I’ll tell you. It’s like this… No let us tell you.
Mister Tom Jefferson, a mighty fine man.
He wrote it down in a mighty fine plan.
And the rest all signed it with a mighty fine hand
As they crossed thier T’s and dotted their I’s
A bran’ new country did arise.

And a mighty fine idea. “Adopted unanimously in Congress July 4, 1776,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
That among these rights are Life, Yes sir!, Liberty, That’s right!
And the pursuit of happiness.”
Is that what they said? The very words.
That does sound mighty fine.

Buildiing a nation is awful tough.
The people found the going rough.
(Some lived in cities, some worked the land,
And united they did stand, to make our country grand.)

Still nobody who was anybody believed it.
Everybody who anybody they stayed at home.
But Lewis and Clarke and the pioneers,
Driven by hunger, haunted by fears,
The Klondike miners and the forty niners,
Some wanted freedom and some wanted riches,
Some liked to loaf while others dug ditches.
But they believed it. And I believed it too,
And you know who I am.
No, who are you anyway, Mister?

Well, you see it’s like this. I started to tell you.
I represent the whole… Why that’s it!
Let my people go. That’s the idea!
Old Abe Lincoln was thin and long,
His heart was high and his faith was strong.
But he hated oppression, he hated wrong,
And he went down to his grave to free the slave.

A man in white skin can never be free while his black brother is in
Slavery,
“And we here highly resolve that these dead shall not haave died in vain.
And this government of the people, by the people and for the people
Shall not perish from the Earth.”
Abraham Lincoln said that on November 19, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

And he was right. I believe that too.

Say, we still don’t know who you are, mister.
Well, I started to tell you…
The machine age came with a great big roar,
As America grew in peace and war.
And a million wheels went around and ’round.
The cities reached into the sky,
And dug down deep into the ground.
And some got rich and some got poor.
But the people carried through,
So our country grew.
(With Susan B. Anthony and the Suffragettes,
We women fought with all our might
And we made voting our right.
Our struggle continues to this day.
And the people carried through,
So our country grew.)

Still nobody who was anybody believed it.
Everybody who was anybody they doubted it.
And they are doubting still,
And I guess they always will,
But who cares what they say whem I am on my way

Say, will you please tell us who you are?
What’s your name, Buddy? Where you goin’? Who are you?
Well, I’m the everybody who’s nobody,
I’m the nobody who’s everybody.
What’s your racket? What do you do for a living?

Well, I’m an
Engineer, musician, street cleaner, carpenter, teacher,
How about a farmer? Also. Office clerk? Yes sir!
That’s right. (Homemaker?) Certainly!
Factory worker? You said it. (Mail carrier?) Yes ma’am.
(Hospital worker?) Absotively! (Social worker?) Posolutely!
Truck driver? Definitely!
Miner, seamstress, ditchdigger, all of them.
I am the “etceteras” and the “and so forths” that do the work.
Now hold on here, what are you trying to give us?
Are you an American?

Am I an American?
I’m just an Irish, (African), Jewish, Italian,
French and English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Polish,
Scotch, Hungarian, (Jamaican), Swedish, Finnish, (Dominican), Greek and
Turk and Czech
And (Native American).

And that ain’t all.
I was baptized Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, Luthern,
Atheist, Roman Catholic, (Moslem) Jewish, Presbyterian, Seventh Day
Adventist,
Mormon, Quaker, Christian Scientist and lots more.
You sure are something.

Our country’s strong, our country’s young,
And her greatest songs are still unsung.
>From her plains and mountains we have sprung,
To keep the faith with those who went before.

We nobodies who are anybody belive it.
We anybodies who are everybody have no doubts.
Out of the cheating, out of the shouting,
(Out of the greed and polluting,
Out of the massacre at Wounded Knee,
Out of the lies of McCarthy,
Out of the murders of Martin and John,
It will come again,
Our song of hope is here again.)

(Precious as our planet),
Deep as our valleys,
High as our mountains,
Strong as the people who made it.
For I have always believed it, and I believe it now,
And now you know who I am.
Who are you?
America! America!
Yankee Doodle Dandy

I’m the kid that’s all the candy
I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
I’m glad I am
(So’s Uncle Sam)
I’m a real live Yankee Doodle
Made my name and fame and boodle
Just like Mister Doodle did, by riding on a pony
I love to listen to the Dixey [Dixie] strain
“I long to see the girl I left behind me”
And that ain’t a josh
She’s a Yankee, by gosh
(Oh, say can you see
Anything about a Yankee that’s a phoney?)

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
A Yankee Doodle, do or die
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam
Born on the Fourth of July
I’ve got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart
She’s my Yankee Doodle joy
Yankee Doodle came to London
Just to ride the ponies
I am the Yankee Doodle Boy

Father’s name was Hezikiah
Mother’s name was Ann Maria
Yanks through and through
(Red, white and blue)
Father was so Yankee hearted
When the Spanish War was started
He slipped upon his uniform and hopped up on a pony
My mother’s mother was a Yankee true
My father’s father was a Yankee too
And that’s going some
For the Yankees, by gum
(Oh, say can you see
Anything about my pedigree that’s phoney

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
A Yankee Doodle, do or die
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam
Born on the Fourth of July
I’ve got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart
She’s my Yankee Doodle joy
Yankee Doodle came to London
Just to ride the ponies
I am the Yankee Doodle Boy

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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