3 songs from the 1980s that will make your 2023 July 4th cook-out better

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The Kinks - "Come Dancing"

The Kinks are certainly not a "1980s band." They made most of their great music in the 1960s, though they were able to stay relevant into the 1980s. The Kinks were also one of the more important bands from the '60s but they were also among the bands that held close to the Englishness. Songs like "Sunny Afternoon" simply weren't going to be written by an American band.

And neither would "Come Dancing." The song is an ode to singer/songwriter Ray Davies' sister who was quite a bit older than Ray but used to go to dance halls simply for the joy of dancing. So, here's the sad part. Ray's sister, Rene, died of a heart attack while dancing at the Lyceum ballroom when Ray was 13 years old and after his sister had given him a guitar.

But the heart of the song is about people hanging out and going dancing basically, There's a bit of a side story where the singer is kid and part of a London gang, but the gang isn't there to harm anyone. They simply want to have some fun.

Anyway, I realize that maybe part of this song is a bit sad, but Davies didn't mean it to be a sad song. He simply wrote it to show how people can connect simply by hanging out and having a good time. That's exactly what you'll be doing at your Fourth of July get-together.