The patriotic chorus blared through the speakers of literally every single bar I entered on a recent crawl across Iowa City’s finest drinking/dancing establishments—it was inescapable.
But the thing is, I didn’t want to escape it.
I froze in the midst of some serious Cabbage Patching the first time I heard it—since when does Miley Cyrus follow immediately after Akon’s “Sexy Bitch” on a DJ set?
My auditory confusion was settled as I became reassured by the lyrics.
“I put my hands up they’re playin’ song and I know it’s gonna be okay/noddin’ my head like yeah/movin’ my hips like yeah”
I’m an admitted music snob who regularly and unapologetically indulges in (worthy) Top 40 tracks. I love pop music—good pop music (See: Lady GaGa, Devo, Beyonce), though I articulately detest the majority of “musical” slime congesting our radio airwaves (See: Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers).
The first time I heard it I thought, “Well, I suppose this has the potential to fall into the mock-able realm of guilty pleasures” My receptive feelings became more justified the second time around, “I mean, this could definitely be ironic enough to be cool…” And then, in an ephiphanic moment, everything made sense. I put my hands up in the realization that, yea-a-a-a-aa-aaaah—it’s a party in the USA.
By the third or fourth play I was sold, “THIS SONG IS PURELY FUCKIN’ AWESOME!”
Any feelings of guilt melded into pure, unabashed pleasure after that magical night of patriotic partying.
As my newly enlightened life went on, I heard the song blasting from the balconies of frat bros' apartment complexes (more than once), pouring from the speakers at hipster house parties, and in Subway.
I discovered the nationally linking element of Miley Cyrus’ masterpiece: partying and America. If neither of those pastimes rings true, you’re definitely not American, you don’t belong here, and Jay Z hates you.
Check out the (epic) music vid featuring gigantic American flag, swing cage (?), and plenty of “hometown girls”!
-By Bri LaPelusa