Fourth of July
On July 1st Billboard online posted an article entitled 20 Awesome America songs
The point it made was that although The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful take pride of place in the popular songs for the 4th July, musicians have made many contributions to the catalogue of great songs for celebrating American Independence.
The suggestions offered by Billboard include, songs by Madonna, eminem and Bruce Springsteen …. However we have taken a chance and made a guess at the ones Hanson might play during their July 4th firework party …
Simon and Garfunkel America, Tom Petty American Girl, lenny kravitz American Woman, American Pie Don Mclean and James Brown’s living in America.
These songs play on the ideas of the open road, the space, distance and opportunities of life in the USA. They also pay tribute to the amazing musical history of the US.
They talk of the promises, the possibilities and desires of people reaching to fulfil their dreams. Yet they also allow for the realities of life, where dreams don’t always come true, where pressures can be ruthless and the seekers are many.
They also hold within them the essence of the musical heritage of the land of the free … the combination of all kinds of traditions and influences… the gospel, the blues, the rock, the country and the folk.
Those who understand Hanson music would want to add more than just a few of their songs to the list of Awesome American Songs.
There aren’t any overtly patriotic titles on the Hanson song list, but it isn’t difficult to find connections between the ideals and realities of the American way and their music.
On July 4th 2013, Isaac Hanson posted a blog on Hanson.net of himself reading The Declation of Independence.
Here, the familiar words about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, mix with the less well known. This is a courageous and confident assertion of human rights over tyranny and oppression, and the overall message of this historic document, seems to lay a foundation for the positivity and strength of mind characteristic of Hanson.
Their journey from the start has been one of passionate self determination and refusal to bow to the dictates of others.
They have found ways to creatively exercise freedom and independence in their art and business and they have been true to themselves in the expression of their values and profession.
Looking for Hanson songs which express these ideals isn’t difficult.
Strong Enough To Break, You Can’t Stop Us and This Time Around assert with confidence, Hanson’s determination to move forward in their own fashion.
In fact within the Hanson catalogue reside many songs which express, either musically or lyrically, the understanding and love they have of being American.
Hanson create music with richness which draws deeply on a range of genres, revealing an intelligent understanding of the history and nature of American music.
And Hanson write songs which encourage the listener to ask questions about the beauty, nature and complexities of life, freedom and happiness.
Dying To Be Alive, Already Home, Broken Angel, Waiting for This, Blue Sky, Penny and Me, On The Road and Mmmbop itself – One wonders if there are any Hanson songs which don’t in some way, draw the listener on a journey towards pondering these questions.
I wouldn’t dream of suggesting which one to pick as a favourite, but maybe on July 4th 2014, you could take a listen and find a Hanson song which takes you a step closer to a sense of liberation and fulfilment.
If you do, then you might well catch a glimpse of what America celebrates today.
We wish Hanson and their American fans an especially happy Fourth of July and everyone else … gatecrash the party with some @hansonmusic!
Hanson sing the Star Spangled Banner