Monday, July 3, 2017

Music Moves Me - Independence Day Music Fest

Climb aboard the music train!  It's time for another installment of Music Moves Me.  Today is July 3 and the theme is "Songs of Independence, picnics & celebration for 4th of July".

So, without further ado, let's get this music train a'rolling.

I so loved a 60's group called the Fifth Dimension.  One of their hits was a song called "Stoned Soul Picnic".  I have absolutely no idea what the lyrics mean ("Surry down to a stoned soul picnic...") but I decided to feature the version sung by the songwriter, the talented Laura Nyro.

Although there are no picnics mentioned in the lyrics, I think of picnics when I listen to this hit by the Cowsills - Indian Lake.

But, truthfully, I'm not the biggest fan of picnics.  Switching now to patriotic songs and July 4th celebrations, I want to go a little "old school". I love fireworks, and the patriotic songs which accompany Independence Day fireworks.

There are some songs that are absolutely perfect, with not one note out of place.  One of those songs is a march written in 1896 and first performed in 1897: John Phillip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever". I refuse to watch any July 4th fireworks show that doesn't feature this song.

Another song I must hear, sung by Neil Diamond, is America, from the movie The Jazz Singer.  The lyrics "“On the boats and on the planes, they’re coming to America”is the song of my grandparents coming to America to escape persecution and start a new life. They knew they would never see their homeland again - and they never did.  "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing..."

The late great James Brown, singing "Living in America", another required fireworks song, originally from the movie Rocky IV.  If you don't rise at the end of this song and shout "I feel good!", I feel for you.

One more.

In summer camp I learned this song "You're A Grand Old Flag", written in 1906.  Why not end with this, sung by James Cagney?  You can click through the video to hear the original piano score from 1906.  I still remember the lyrics, too, after all these years!

Thank you for stopping by!

X mas Dolly is the Conductor of this trip, and the other Conductors are her fellow bloggers Callie of JAmerican Spice, ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥  and Cathy from Curious as a Cathy !  Oh, did I mention there is a giveaway at Xmas Dolly's site, too?  Just sweetens the blog hop a little more.

If you live in the United States, may you have a rockin' Independence Day tomorrow.  And if not, Happy 4th! 

Day 3 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge


  1. I love community fire works and music too .We have them during some if out festivals .Your music train is great .That's an interesting way to relive our lives through favourite songs .

  2. Alana,

    I'm not a picnic person or at least not in the traditional sense of picnicking on a blanket or in a designated picnic area. I prefer sitting in the car with a sandwich or KFC with a spectacular view of the Appalachian mountains in the Smoky's or on the Blue Ridge Parkway. "Sousa's Stars and Stripes" is a magnificent song for such a gala event - our nation's birthday. The KSO performs this song each year, as do most of the programs we watch on the 4th do. In my opinion, it's a landmark tune that's synonymous with Independence Day. James Cagney, "You're a Grand Old Flag" is a classic. I enjoyed your mewsic picks for our big 4th of July party and we're really glad you decided to hit the dance floor with the 4M gals today. Have a safe and fun 4th!

  3. I listen to the first two music as I worked, something I have not heard before, I enjoyed Neil diamond, was not loud, so I move on to u tube to watch him live,it was good, thank you for sharing :) Happy Independence day, congratulations and !! wishing you Gods blessings!!

  4. America is one of those songs that has me well up in tears. James Cagney version doesn't - but I like it. Living in DC we get bombarded with Sousa all the time. I recall hearing the 5th Dimension at Forest Hills Tennis (competing with the planes overhead). The Cowsills and Laura Nyro....Oh, and I never knew that James Brown's song was used for Rocky.

  5. I ADORE music posts! Thanks for this!

  6. Great choices, as always. We had the pleasure of seeing Diamond in concert at Jones Beach a few years ago.

  7. Such a lovely collection of songs! Wish you a Happy 4th of July!

  8. Great 4th of July songs. In Hi-School and College I was a big fan of Laura Nyro who died way too soon. Yes I feel good!

  9. Hey Alana,
    Wow, James Cagney?? I had no idea! How cool is that!
    Also cool is Laura Nyro's Stoned Soul Picnic. I did not know that she was the original artist for this song. I thought it was the 5th Dimension. Love when I learn new trivia!

    The Cowsills have such great harmonies. I know them mostly from their song for that amazing musical "Hair". Did you know they were the inspiration for the Partridge Family?? I used to watch that show all the time back in the early 70s. Back when David Cassidy was the all-American heart-throb and a regular cover on Teen Beat magazine. :) (now I'm really dating myself!)

    All great picks for this patriotic theme.
    Have a fabulous 4th of July!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  10. My fav song out of your list is Neil Diamonds America!
    It just has a ring to it!

    Happy 4th of July!

    Zainab @

  11. What a great selection of Patriotic songs. I too, always want to hear John Phillip Sousa and anyone singing God Bless America. We do the 'Backyard Burgers & Hotdog' picnic under a canopy tent and patio...looking forward to having Son, DIL and Grands over tomorrow. My all time favorite quote on the 4th of July...
    "You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle,but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. Erma Bombeck

  12. Wonderful selection today! I just love You're A Grand Old Flag! I hadn't heard of Laura Nyro, but I may go look her up and listen to more of her. thanks for that introduction.

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  13. Great songs from first to last! And now I've got Indian Lake in my head . . .

  14. Great songs. I see that we both have Neil Diamond on our list, that is a great song.

    Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July.

  15. Love Neil and the America song...saw him perform it live....nothing compares.

  16. I always enjoy Neil Diamond's voice. What a great list. Thanks for celebrating with us!

    MMMM Anniversary Santana Guitar Style + #music #Giveaways

  17. Ah, "Stars and Stripes Forever". We marched that one year... Sophomore? Junior? High school marching band. The trio part for the piccolo... That's some hard stuff.

    And my mom is such a Neil Diamond fan. If "America" comes on, she's pumping it full blast.

  18. Neil Diamond's America is a classic. And that the only song I know from your list :) have fun and enjoy the fireworks.

  19. Way ta go girlfriend! Stand up and be counted! HAPPY FOURTH! AND Thanks for joining us! Fabulous pickin's I'd say! Happy Fourth again & Be safe, Have fun and Be happy!!! BIG HUGS... Gotta go play Neil Diamond again and turn up the speakers!!! WOO HOO

  20. Brava for celebrating America's Birthday this way! I love all of these songs! Thank you! Brenda

  21. You will get absolutely no argument from me on "The Stars And Stripes Forever." That's a great song, and to hear the Marine Band playing it makes it all the better. Ditto James Cagney (an outstanding singer and dancer in addition to being the movies' favorite tough guy) singing "You're A Grand Old Flag." And thank you for using Laura Nyro's version of "Stoned Soul Picnic." Let it never be forgotten that in addition to being a Hall of Fame songwriter, she's an excellent performer (and I think she's gorgeous ;) ). Great set, Alana!


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