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Why am I posting a video of Miley Cyrus’ different “Let’s Dance” song on New Year’s Eve?

Last New Year’s Eve, Miley Cyrus and David Byrne performed a cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on the show covering New York City’s ball-drop event. I posted the video the following day and then…poof- it was gone. I saved my write up for a year, hoping that the video would return on YouTube for this New Year’s Eve, but nope.

Instead, I’m posting another song called “Let’s Dance” by Miley Cyrus. This would be a candidate for a Divine Symmetry analysis except there isn’t much to write about, other than that the Cyrus song opens with a line that includes the observation, “the moon is low in the sky,” which seems to be an homage to Bowie’s “serious moonlight” line. Also, in this performance, the male dancers are dressed in modified zoot suits, which are reminiscent of what Bowie wore during his Serious Moonlight tour. But, like the song itself, this mode of dress takes a point of commonality and then departs— Cyrus uses the opportunity to inject a Latin theme to the number, which is more obvious from her own attire and that of the female dancers.

I take all of this to mean that Miley Cyrus wanted to do a song that included the refrain, “Let’s Dance,” while acknowledging that it’s been done before.

That’s the very tenuous connection between this video and New Year’s Eve and David Bowie. If the Cyrus/Byrne performance ever reappears, I’ll post it in the future.

Here’s what I wrote last year about this now-missing video:

I had thoughts of saving this for almost a full year and posting it on December 31, 2023 for next New Year’s Eve. But it’s too good to hold back. This was this past New Years’ Eve performance of “Let’s Dance” by David Byrne and Miley Cyrus. I think this was for the New York City-based ball drop event, and, see for yourself, it is very well done.

I’m not especially familiar with the music of Miley Cyrus. I know who she is and I have an idea about her image, and I think I’ve heard a couple of her songs, but I’m not really her audience. That said, I like her performance here. She has a good voice, she’s fun to watch, and she seems really, really into singing this song. So, great.

I AM a big fan of David Byrne. The last Broadway show I saw before the pandemic, which might be the last Broadway show I ever see, was Byrne’s “American Utopia.” We had front-row seats. The show is more a concert than a play, and features a mix of well-known Talking Heads songs and new songs, which is the way to do it. David Byrne still sounds like David Byrne. He looks older, because he’s older, and he gives a little more of a hint that he’s in on his own joke than he did forty years ago, but I couldn’t have been happier with that performance.

I get the impression that Byrne, not unlike Bowie, has become a presence within New York City. He has his show, but I’ve read and heard that he has a presence in civic affairs as well, and has often been seen riding his bike around Manhattan. A man after my own heart. This New Year’s Eve show is almost a civic affair, so I think this is another example of him saying, “Hey, I’m a New Yorker. Here I am contributing to the cultural fabric of the community.” Terrific!

I don’t know if Byrne and Cyrus are working on anything together. They are an odd looking couple up on stage. Their voices both sound fine and they do the song well as a duet, but beyond that they don’t seem to have any particular chemistry. I think of Bowie and Annie Lennox performing “Under Pressure” at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert— they sounded good together, but Annie Lennox was more expressive and Bowie almost seemed taken aback by her enthusiasm. That’s not quite the dynamic here, but Cyrus has the moves and, well, Byrne never really did have the moves but that’s OK.

Well, however this came together, I’m happy it did. I kind of think this performance will be remembered, come up again and, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets released as a single. Maybe I’m just too excited about it, but hey, Happy New Year!

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