Friday on My Mind: Happy Fourth of July!

BBQing with METZ / photo by Dave Lichterman

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

Next Thursday our country will be celebrating 4th of July. This year it lands on July 4th. On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration. Can you imagine five politicians getting together today to write anything together, even a recipe, and get it done? Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document. There were a total of 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence. In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. The nation’s estimated population during this upcoming July Fourth 2013 is 316.2 million. The value of fireworks imported from China in 2012, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported is $218.2 million. That’s kind of ironic. Traditionally, Americans celebrate the day through the staging of parades, firework displays, playing “Born in the USA” while drunk in boxer shorts passed out in the back of a boat, oh and barbecues. So Happy 4th to all of you…

X – 4th of July

From their 1987 album, See How We Are, our first song choice is “4th of July” from X. X formed in 1977 and this particular album was the first without original bassist and founding member Billy Zoom. Zoom was replaced by Dave Alvin, who wrote “4th of July”, making it the only song on the album not written by Excene Cervenka and John Doe. This has become a 4th of July staple on the KEXP airwaves.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – American Girl

From a 1978 appearance during The Old Grey Whistle Test.

First Aid Kit – America (As performed on KEXP)

First Aid Kit may be Swedish, but they’ve covered Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”, which is pretty American and it’s a pretty damn gorgeous rendition as well.

Honorable Mentions:

Kim Wilde – Kids in America

We’re all kids in America.

David Bowie – Young Americans

Performed during The Dick Cavett Show on Dec. 4th 1974. Something about “nothing says America like Dick Cavett”

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