Theme Ride Thursday: Kick off Your Summer with this Memorial Day Playlist

The summer is almost upon us! In honor of the holiday, we have a Memorial Day playlist that pays respect to our fallen soldiers, as well as pays tribute to the unofficial kickoff of summer with over 9 hours of music to choose from. Music spans everything from “Holiday” by Madonna to more recent favorites such as “Freedom” by Pharrell and “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band. And let’s not forget classics like Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” which is a perfect cool-down song.

So whether you’re teaching class this Memorial Day or hanging out with friends poolside, feel free to give this playlist a listen. As always, if you have other songs that you think should have made our list, please comment below and we’ll add them into the rotation!

In 2018, I visited friends in New York City in May. While there, I got to take Michael Reilly’s (a longtime ICA member) Memorial Day class at Equinox. I took some videos of that ride and posted them here. Michael gladly shared his profile and playlist which you can find at that link—I know you are going to enjoy it and I hope it gives you ideas on creating your own theme ride for Memorial Day.


  1. I love all your playlists, thank you!!…however, many studios/gyms/health centers where we teach will not allow any “explicit” material.

    1. Yeah, it can be hard to know who can play what. The good news is that this playlist has 73 songs (and growing) so if one doesn’t work you can find another. I understand that some gyms/studios don’t allow explicit songs but many do—and what one person might find objectionable might be perfectly fine to someone else.

      My policy at ICA (for my music contributors and for our larger theme playlists) is not to be the music police and to let an instructor or studio decide if they can use it. However, I do try to limit the number of songs that we post that one might consider “explicit.” I draw the line at lots of “f-bombs” (a subtle one might slip in here and there—there is no way I can listen to every song my contributors provide) and no “n-word” or misogyny.

      Me personally? I rarely use explicit songs. I don’t mind the occasional “s” word (the song “Original Prankster” by the Offspring comes to mind—but I always warn my class about it and they always laugh when he says it!) or if the song is really awesome, I’ll talk over an “f-bomb.”

      I hope you can find some good usable songs in this playlist for Memorial Day!

  2. I have used this song for a more somber cool down:
    “Some Gave All” – Billy Ray Cyrus

  3. Ohhhh!! Great list! Lots of goodies! Thx! Happy Riding!

  4. Thank you for it as I was looking to swap out a few songs in my Memorial Day ride. I would love this list in Excel so it’s easier to search for what I need.

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