10 Of The Best Songs About July

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

July is known, at least in the United States, as something of a party month. So it should come as no surprise that there are a bunch of songs about this month.

July is also summertime, and the weather’s great (well, it’s hot in most places, but at least there’s no snow). And there’s that big party on the fourth.

From these, we can say that July usually equates to good times. So here are 10 of the best songs about July. Enjoy reading!

1. “4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” By Bruce Springsteen

It’s not a Bruce Springsteen song without a dark undercurrent, and “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” keeps to that tradition. The song comes from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, his 1973 album.

Take note, though, that this song is not about the holiday, and Sandy is not one person. Instead, she is a composite of the girls that Springsteen knew in New Jersey, his adopted hometown.

For Springsteen, this song is a goodbye to New Jersey, as told in the line, “Oh love me tonight, for I may never see you again.” Surely he’s going to miss all the happenings in Asbury Park.

2. “Fourth Of July” By Mariah Carey

In 1997, Mariah Carey’s Butterfly debuted at #1 and stayed on the charts for over a year. “Fourth of July,” while not released as a single, was an integral part of the album’s sound. It helped propel the album to its status as one of the best R&B albums of the 1990s.

It’s not a song with complex lyrical imagery but rather a straightforward recounting of spending an evening under stars and fireworks. Then, of course, the obligatory falling in love under said stars and fireworks.

Is it the best song ever written? No. Does it have a simmering summer vibe made all that more enticing by Carey’s otherworldly voice? Absolutely.

3. “Cold Day In July” By The Chicks

Anyone can refer to hell freezing over to say something will never happen. Songwriter Richard Leigh made the saying a little less supernatural on “Cold Day in July,” which appeared on The Chicks’ 1999 album Fly.

In this song with “July” in the title, the singer and her lover have come to that point when they have to say goodbye. She reminds him of what he always said about leaving her. That it would be a cold day in July.

Bags are packed, and nothing is left to be said. She finds herself crying as she watches him drive away. The song ends with her recognizing, to her chagrin, that the cold day has come.

4. “July, July!” By The Decemberists

Up next is a song with “July” in the lyrics. The Decemberists included “July, July!” on their 2002 album Castaways and Cutouts. To call this, a quirky song would be an understatement.

The month in question was the month when frontman Colin Meloy lived in a former chicken slaughterhouse. And there’s every indication he was squatting there.

On the surface, the song is about the fact that Meloy and his bandmates thought that the ghosts of dead chickens haunted the place, leading to a rather strange month in the singer’s life.

5. “4th Of July” By Aimee Mann

Another song that mentions “July” is Aimee Mann‘s “4th of July.” This was from Whatever, her 1993 debut album. In this song, she proves to be a consummate songwriter with a lovely voice and a stunning way with words.

Rather than freedom, partying, or summertime, Mann sings of the end of a relationship. That end begins with fireworks, and the singer wonders aloud if the man who left her harbors any regret.

According to her, everything’s the same. It’s another chapter in her book (life) where the chapters are long and endless.

6. “July Tree” By Nina Simone

When it came out in the UK in 1965, Nina Simone‘s album I Put a Spell on You was a big hit. But it experienced a resurgence in the US in 2021. It ended up as a top-ten jazz album, which contained “July Tree.”

This song boasts Simone’s smoky voice and delicate piano stylings. But the lyrics are all about love—sparse though they are. The titular tree springs from the seeds of love sown the previous year.

The seed gets planted in November and has to endure the harsh winter that follows. When the seed survives and thrives, becoming a tree by the summer, we know the love she sings about is true.

7. “Fourth Of July” By Sufjan Stevens

Included in Sufjan Stevens’ 2015 album Carrie & Lowell is “Fourth of July.” This is a song about the death of the singer-songwriter’s mother.

Because it is a song about loss, it experienced a renaissance of late in the face of the huge loss most of the nation has experienced over the past few years. In the song, Stevens asks his departed mother what she learned in her life before it ended.

The answer comes from him, and it’s the only lesson he can take from the loss: that death is inevitable. And one day, “we’re all gonna die.”

8. “Sunset In July” By 311

Not every band can record a top-ten hit that pleases hardcore fans and critics alike. But 311 did it with “Sunset in July,” the first single from the group’s 2011 album Universal Pulse.

The sunset in question is one that the band sees while playing live shows in the summer. Time passes and seems to do so faster when you’re having fun. And watching the sun go down makes the feeling a little more urgent.

The lyrics mention people in the crowd at a live show. As the sun goes down and the evening wears on, they seem to drop their inhibitions and have more fun.

9. “Fourth Of July” By Fall Out Boy

Our next song is Fall Out Boy’s “Fourth of July,” from their sixth studio album. The song took a novel approach to the love-and-fireworks thing so many July songs use.

In the song, the singer compares the sparks flying from celebratory explosions to the spark between a developing romance. Too bad, though, because, like fireworks, they “went off too soon.”

As it happens, things go south for the couple. The singer finds himself hoping to find a way back to that July evening and make things work out better this time.

10. “End Of July” By Paper Lions

What a perfect way to end our list with a song titled “End of July” from Paper Lions. Its laid-back feel would be soothing if it weren’t for the song’s obvious longing. Even without words, the song drips with loss.

“End of July,” tells the story of the singer’s partner leaving. She’s ostensibly going off to find herself, promising to return before July is over.

The singer implores her to come back, saying that it’s too cold in the winter for her to be alone. And so he waits, but the implication is that she’s gone for good.

Summing Up Our List Of July Songs

Does July stand as a special month for you? As it turns out, many songs on our list talk about sad things that happened this month. The majority of these are about breakups and loss.

On the good side, there are songs that recall good things happening in July, such as falling in love and having fun. We can only hope that you’ve found some songs above that resonate closely with your experiences.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.