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Independence Day Playlist

Happy Fourth of July! Today, we celebrate our nation's independence. Enjoy this playlist of music that displays symbols of patriotism and freedom:


Enjoy Aretha Franklin's powerful rendition of My Country 'Tis Of Thee, which she sang on the National Mall more than 70 years after Marian Anderson sang the same song at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. Anderson's National Mall concert became historic because it took place after she was denied singing a concert in a performance hall in Washington, D.C., due to segregation. An estimated 75,000 people were in attendance.


The fourth movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 has become synonymous with freedom, from Leonard Bernstein's concert 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Chinese student broadcast in Tiananmen Square. In fact, the text, Schiller's "Ode To Joy," is thought to have originated as his "Ode To Freedom."


Here is one of the most beloved modern-day renditions of America the Beautiful, in Ray Charles' signature style.


Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture was written to celebrate Russia staving off Napoleon's army. Why do we hear it so much during American Independence Day concerts? This article sheds a bit of light on the rational (hint: Howitzers!).


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