So, in celebration of Independence Day here in the United States, and to a lesser extent Canada Day, today’s theme is songs of Independence, picnics & celebration. Here are ten that more or less fill the bill.
- Nat King Cole, “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” Hey, it talks about hot dogs, pretzels, and beer! Seems perfectly appropriate for the middle of the summer. Well, okay, not quite the middle, but you get the idea. It wasv the title track from Nat’s 1963 album, which reached #14.
- Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” A perfect song for Independence Day, because said Saturday was on The Fourth Of July. It was the first single from their fifth album and reached #3 in the US, #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #2 in Canada in 1972.
- Perry Como, “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)” Hey, more hot dogs! Doesn’t mention anything about the holiday, the season, or food, explicitly, but it just seems to fit the theme. Como recorded it in 1956 and it reached #1 late that year.
- Three Dog Night, “Celebrate” Celebration is what the holiday is all about, right? This was written by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon and reached #15 on the Hot 100 in 1970.
- Kool & The Gang, “Celebration” Another celebration song. Written by Kool & The Gang and released as a single in 1980, it reached #1 on the Hot 100, R&B chart, and Dance charts that year, and was a permanent addition to the repertoire of bands everywhere.
- Morris Stoloff, “Moonglow/Theme From ‘Picnic'” The theme is from the 1955 movie starring William Holden and Kim Novak. It was written by George Duning with lyrics by Steve Allen. Many orchestras, including Morris Stoloff and the Columbia Pictures Orchestra, played it as a medley with “Moonglow,” a 1933 song by Will Hudson and Irving Mills with lyrics by Eddie DeLange, as was done here. The McGuire Sisters had a hit with the theme in 1956. The song provided the backing music for the dance scene between Holden and Novak, which is definitely hot stuff for 1955. Pretty hot stuff for 2017, for that matter.
- Chicago, “Free” A song about freedom from Chicago’s third album, named, oddly enough, Chicago III. It was released as a single in February 1971 and reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #12 in Canada.
- Richie Havens, “Freedom” An iconic performance by Havens at Woodstock in 1969.
- David Arnold, “Theme From ‘Independence Day'” I honestly thought John Williams wrote this, but he didn’t. The soundtrack for the movie won a Grammy.
- Max McLean, “The Declaration Of Independence” The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us “Max McLean is the founder and artistic director of Fellowship for Performing Arts, a New York City-based producer of live theater from a Christian worldview.” This is a dramatic reading of the document that started it all. If you’ve never read the document (either in its original form, i.e. 18th Century script, or a transcription), this is a good introduction.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 3, 2017. Have a good holiday!