Americans tend to associate fireworks with the Fourth of July, though they were actually invented some two thousand years ago in China. Since fireworks are much older than America itself, there are a number of songs that get overlooked when planning a musical supplement for a fireworks show.
It goes without saying that the "Star Spangled Banner," the U.S National Anthem, is the first song Americans associate with Fourth of July fireworks, but there are other patriotic themes that do the job just as well.
For instance, John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" can invoke the same sense of Americanism. You could also use a military theme like Sousa's "Semper Fidelis" or "Anchors Aweigh," the song of the U.S. Navy, which can be just as heavy on the patriotism. If you really want to surprise patrons, you might play "Hail to the Chief," or if all else fails, "God Bless America."
Some of the most popular fireworks songs are actually classical arrangements, but they've been used for years to invoke excitement. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" is an example of a classical song that can be arranged to excite people in an uplifting, joy-filled manner.
Another good song to accompany fireworks is the "1812 Overture," which has been featured in numerous movies including "V for Vendetta," where it was played accompanying fireworks and the destruction of Parliament. The "William Tell Overture" is another great choice, as is "The Ride of the Valkyries" from the famous helicopter scene of "Apocalypse Now."
Some of the greatest contemporary hits of our time were written for movies and some are excellent choices to accompany fireworks. John Williams's theme to the original "Superman" movie may be described as amazing or inspiring, but it can be even more so if played along with a fireworks show. The original "Batman" theme, by Danny Elfman, is another good recommendation for the start of a fireworks show. Other movie themes include "Jurassic Park," "Requiem for a Dream," or anything by Immediate Music, a company responsible for a good percentage of the captivating music used in movie trailers.
College Fight Song
If you are a fan of college sports or marching bands, you might try playing your favorite team's fight song, as performed by their marching band. Not only is this a great choice to set a background for the fireworks, but you can also needle patrons who may be fans of your school's rival team.
If you want to take on a more literal translation, you could play "Fireworks," by Plain White T's or Animal Collective.