Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Get The Party Started - Songs As Chapter Titles

This song was considered for chapter one's title for a simple reason. The first chapter is about getting started. But the intentional narcissism in the young P!nk's hit underscores another element. While this is Whitney's first scene as a DJ, it's also her reunion with Leah. 

At first glance, this is a fun, bouncy song about having a good time and being recognized. In 2001, P!nk was finding notoriety--there's a star-struck, no-shit quality of someone still coming to terms with her success that felt very well suited to the opening. Likewise, Whitney is flourishing and her progress puts her at a crossroads faster than she can say DJ Kelly. She worked for this, true, but it's still like a giant present.

To fully appreciate the song, it's vital to consider the cynical tone regarding stardom. P!nk is a defiant woman--more akin to Sadi--capable of mocking her fledgling celebrity status. Whitney is neither interested in exhibition, nor does she believe that she's made it. However, Leah is also introduced in the first chapter and prefers being the center of attention. For her, P!nk's song, taken at face value, is ideal. 

In the most basic subtext, though, this is Whitney's "coming up" moment. She's achieved her initial goals, allowing her to take the next big step--permanence. By seeking a real apartment, she commits to her choices and settles in Sundown. She completes her first major transition.

Released November 20, 2001
As I collected songs to use as chapter titles, each one contributed differently. Get the Party Started was the first song for which the album title added another meaningful layer. Being misunderstood is a theme that weaves throughout most of the book. Some misunderstandings are prejudicial and some are naivete that ends with pain.

I am a big fan of P!nk and Get the Party Started was one of the first songs by her that I recognized.*  It wasn't until after several more albums that I became enamored, but this #1 song made an impression and has never lost its infectious sass. 

Due to the timeline (the novel is set in 2002/2003), there were few songs by P!nk that both spoke to me and highlighted aspects of "Strong Enough." Constraints can make for interesting choices. Zeroing in on this song at its most basic interpretation led me to this album. 

So far there are no happy accidents--all the nuances were intentional. I'm looking forward to readers discovering things I didn't knowingly insert.

* Note: Get the Party Started was written by 4 Non Blondes' Linda Perry for P!nk.