Song of the Day: 4th of July (by Soundgarden)


It is now just minutes since the 4th of July finally arrives in the US once more (at least on the West Coast since the East Coast has been celebrating the 4th of July for 3 hours now). What better way to celebrate the arrival of another 4th of July than to pick the song of the same name for today’s latest “Song of the Day”.

Soundgarden’s Superunknown album from 1994 may be part of the grunge scene which sprouted during the early 1990’s but this album has more metal about it than the grunge espoused by the disciples of Cobain. The song I picked for today I consider the best in the album which contains other classics. “4th of July” is such a heavy song that so many casual fans of the album fail to miss the heavy influence of early Black Sabbath in the song. They also fail to realize just how un-grunge it is with its dark lyrics (not emo mind you, but dark in a palpable sense). “4th of July” becomes an accidental introduction for newbie metal fans to the world of doom metal.

This song is the very definition of heavy and doom. From the heaviness in the guitar riffs to the subdued, but evocative way Cornell sings the dark lyrics (lyrics I always thought of someone just experiencing and living through the aftermath of a nuclear war). But in the end this song really shows it’s Black Sabbath and doom metal pedigree from the sludge-like sound coming out of the bass guitar chords.

“4th of July” once heard cannot be unheard. It’s a song that grabs one by the throat, doesn’t let go until the final doom-laden lyric and note has finally faded into the air.

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

4th of July

Shower in the dark day
Clean sparks driving down
Cool in the waterway
Where the baptized drown
Naked in the cold sun
Breathing life like fire
Thought I was the only one
But that was just a lie

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Pale in the flare light
The scared light cracks & disappears
And leads the scorched ones here
And everywhere no one cares
The fire is spreading
And no one wants to speak about it
Down in the hole
Jesus tries to crack a smile
Beneath another shovel load

And I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Now I’m in control
Now I’m in the fall out
Once asleep but now I stand
And I still remember
Your sweet everything
Light a Roman candle
And hold it in your hand

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

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