Spotify study highlights America's top patriotic tunes

Lee Greenwood, Miley Cyrus among top picks

You’ve got a bounty of hot dogs, a respectable arsenal of fireworks and the swimming pool filled to the brim -- but before you spark your Fourth of July festivities, do you have the perfect playlist cued up?

Not everyone wants to hear patriotic anthems on Independence Day but according to the people at The Echo Nest, a music research company, every state in the union has its own favorite song to celebrate the Red, White and Blue.

Researcher Paul Lamere looked at thousands of songs included on Spotify user playlists that included the words “Fourth of July” in their titles. According to Spotify’s blog, the giant list was narrowed down to a group of 140 tunes most associated with Independence Day, based on how many times they were listened to on July 4, 2013 versus during the following week.

The numbers were then crunched further, creating a map showing the most popular Fourth of July song in each state. Spotify employee Eliot Van Buskirk explained the selections as, “The one that people in a particular state tended to listen to the most on the Fourth of July relative to the rest of the year.


As the map shows, some states paid tribute to their own identities, with New York and New Jersey each represented by a Bruce Springsteen song while Hawaiians preferred “Surfin’ U.S.A.” by The Beach Boys. Lee Greenwood’s anthemic “God Bless the U.S.A.” was most popular, as 21 states listened to his 1984 hit most frequently on Independence Day.

The Echo Nest’s study also ranked the states based on how much time they spent listening to “Fourth of July” music on the actual holiday. Washington D.C. topped the list, followed by Nebraska and Delaware. The state’s that spent the least time listening to patriotic tunes on Spotify during the holiday were Alaska, New Hampshire and Maine.

As of this writing, Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” is the only track on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart that could be considered a “Fourth of July” title. But over the years, plenty of songs referencing the U.S.A. in their titles have had success on the charts.

AmericanSongs Infographic by Clint Davis

Follow this writer on Twitter @MrClintDavis and let us know your favorite “Fourth of July” song.

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