American folk songs aren't all about protesting something; there are also plenty of great tunes that pay homage to America. Included on this list are particularly songs that make reference to American Independence Day. Some of them seem to only refer to the 4th of July in passing, but the themes the songs depict embrace the spirit of American patriotism just as much.
To punctuate his Living With War CD, Neil Young decided to sing "America the Beautiful." Perhaps as a way of reiterating that protest music isn't anti-American, or perhaps just to remind himself and the rest of us that America can be beautiful and wonderful, despite all the things we may find upsetting about current events. On this version, Young is joined by a hundred-voice choir at the end of what some participants referred to as a "twelve-hour peace rally."
This tune by Johnny Cash is one of the flag-wavingest songs Cash ever sang. It makes no mistake, and wastes no time in saying, "I'm a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam."
This tune about a soldier who's become disenchanted with the systems of war, though he started out true blue and committed to the cause in Viet Nam. Tom Paxton's lyrics are hard-hitting and honest, pulling no punches in describing the man's journey from a child who looked at soldiers as heroes, to the veteran now married to his wheelchair.
This classic old country-folk song (not the traditional "Yankee Doodle") by the Carter Family sings hopefully about the prospect of a real leader bringing peace to America. As they sing "He ain't no politician / He ain't no high-fallutin' / He's the everyday person like you / Believin' in the truth..." it becomes clear how timeless this song is.
This classic traditional folk song has been sung by just about everyone, with lyrics talking about the price of freedom and the importance of persistance in achieving it. It's always good to be reminded of the importance of personal liberty, and "Oh Freedom" as sung by Pete Seeger does just that.