'It's My Party': The Song That Won't Go Away

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The Swedish duo Icona Pop had a big hit with their summery anthem “I Love It.” But its new single (er, not so new single), "My Party," might sound familiar. The song is an updated version of the classic 1963 song “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore. Strangely enough, this is hardly the first time that the classic hit has showed up in recent pop songs.

Jody Rosen, pop music critic for New York Magazine, discusses the song that just keeps showing up


Jody Rosen, on what the original 1963 version of “It’s My Party” such a classic song:

The thing about that’s so indelible is that it’s just this kind of timeless bubblegum anthem. It’s got that teen melodrama narrative. In the verses, the girl is hosting a party and her boyfriend leaves with another girl…. That hook, that chorus is just fantastic, both because it’s very catchy, but it’s also so classically melodramatic and sort of kitschy.

On the brilliance of the song’s hook (“It’s my party...”):

There are many, many songs which — because of sampling and hip hop’s endless cannibalizing of the pop song book — have come back in the form of a break beat or a melodic or rhythmic riff. This is a song where it’s the lyric. It’s that one lyric which is really returning time and time again. It just speaks to the fact that those songwriters, they hit on something.



On the power of pop culture to recycle references from generation to generation:

I wonder about how many teenagers or young people who are downloading [Miley Cyrus’s summer hit “We Can’t Stop”] who have heard “It’s My Party.” Maybe the percentage is relatively low. But it’s something about the way pop culture works. Maybe that lyric or that idea has filtered by osmosis through the culture so much that they kind of get the reference even if they don’t know the original.