The Songbook: Party in the USA

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Music Therapy

Song #4 for the songbook (after a long back) hearkens back to a simpler time when Miley Cyrus wasn’t crazy:


It’s very popular to hate on Miley these days (and for good reason), but I will freely admit that I like this song.  It’s more because of the message than anything to do with the singer herself.  It’s a story of a girl from Tennessee that has come to Los Angeles for the first time to be a big star.  We’re probably meant to think it’s autobiographical since that was basically the plot of Hannah Montana.  But we don’t find out if this girl makes it, we simply get to hear what happens when she hears her favorite music:

So I put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away
I’m noddin’ my head like “Yeah!”, movin’ my hips like “Yeah!”
Got my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, I know it’s gonna be okay
Yeeeeeaaaaah, It’s a party in the USA!

This speaks to the “music as a universal language” we talk about in music therapy, and it’s one of our core principles.  Music can make us more comfortable in challenging situations.  If we’re in an unfamiliar place, it’s comforting to know that they listen to the same music.

The song itself is fairly easy to play.  Most of it is in a I-iii-vi-V pattern, which I play F-Am-Dm-C.  I know a lot of people hate that F chord (I’m one of them), but just nod your head like yeah and it will be OK.




  1. Peggy Hickle says:

    Welcome back!

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