It's coming up on the birthday of this great nation, and what better way to celebrate it than to blow shit up, which is basically our M.O. anyway? Aside from the visual spectacle, which these days is starting to get a little esoteric (honestly, what does the Jupiter-burst have to do with the U.S.A.?), fireworks make a big, iconic noise that's as American as the N.R.A. So in honor of this weekend's celebrations -- and, by gum, freedom itself -- we're bringing you this list of our favorite songs featuring the unmistakable pop of the rockets' red glare.
05. HORSE the Band: "New York City" Like many of the songs on this list, "New York City" waits until the end to bring out the fireworks (and we're not even sure they're related to the song), but it's worth the wait. "New York City" is a trademark-HORSE-the-Band melodramatic epic with Nintendo sound-effects to spare.
04. Neon Indian: "Should Have Taken Acid with You" The combo of nostalgia, melancholy and dancability right up front make this song a beautiful summer anthem, but the kicker comes at the end, when synth-operator Alan Palomo distills phaser noises into something resembling the sound of bottle rockets. Or, wait. Did we hallucinate that?
03. Clipse: "Chinese New Year" In the only song on this list with a vocal approximation of firework sounds, Clipse warns you to "give up the money or the angel cries two tears" if he's in "front of your crib sounding like Chinese New Year." It's not the most patriotic sentiment, and it's not really about the Fourth -- and even if it was, he's probably approximating the sound of a gun, anyway. But it can just as easily pass as fireworks.
02. Drake: "Fireworks" This isn't the best song on this list -- in fact, it's probably the worst -- but it is the one in which fireworks are most prominently featured, both as an intro and (we'll admit, this is pretty clever) in the drum sounds. Conveniently, the song is also called, well, "Fireworks."
01. Tchaikovski: "1812 Overture" What can we say? The song has cannons in it, for heaven's sake. Drake's track may feature adroit use of sampling, but Tchaikovsky's magnum opus features actual fucking cannons -- making it, by the way, possibly the only song ever performed that could feasibly kill you.