“4th of July” is culled from X’s sixth album, See How We Are – an album that is often overlooked when discussing X’s best work, which is a shame considering how strong an album it actually is. It was, however, their first record without founding guitarist Billy Zoom. In his stead, for this album only, came Blasters guitarist Dave Alvin. Alvin’s only contribution to the album as a songwriter was “4th of July,” but an important one, as the song is a cornerstone of the record. Here, the narrator is in a relationship that seems to be on the way out — coming home from work to a dark apartment and a woman who won’t respond when he tries to speak to her. Whether it’s over something he did or just an insurmountable distance, it’s not clear. But what is clear is that the holiday is inspiring something. “On the stairs I smoke a cigarette alone / Mexican kids are shooting fireworks below / And hey, baby, It’s the 4th of July.” Whether the ‘independence’ is learning when to walk away from a relationship that isn’t working or freedom from past demons that seem to be tearing them apart, either way points toward a better future. words/ j neas

MP3: X :: 4th of July (demo)

6 Responses to “X :: 4th of July”

  1. [...] X :: 4th of July [...]

  2. I always thought this song was one the bands best and Im a little bummed that Doe didn’t write it.

  3. Great song. I love the fact you’re sharing the demo version which imho is far superior to what ended up on the record.

  4. I actually prefer Dave Alvin’s version. Time has not been kind to the production values of this particular X record.

  5. Great song. See How We Are always gets a spin on this day.

  6. I play this song every 4th of July.

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