Song Lyric Sunday — Party Down

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us “Birthday,” “Cake,” “Gift,” “Party,” and “Surprise” to work with. I decided to go to a party and to spotlight Grand Funk Railroad, an American band that is comin’ to your town to help you party down.

“We’re an American Band” was a single by Grand Funk Railroad released in July 1973 from its album of the same name. It was the band’s first number one hit. The song was written and sung by the band’s drummer, Don Brewer and was produced by Todd Rundgren.

Grand Funk Railroad started out as a hard rock trio in 1969, but by 1972, in order to widen their appeal and to become more commercially successful, they felt they needed to migrate from “heavy metal” to more of a “Top 40” rock sound. They parted ways with their old manager and their new manager suggested that they “just write songs about what you do. You’re out here on the road, you’re going to this hotel, you go to different places, there’s people, you come into town.”

Brewer took that advice to heart. He thought “we were coming into town and we were the party.” That’s where the line, “We’re comin’ to your town / We’ll help you party it down” came from. Brewer said that, “the next thought I had was, ‘We’re an American band.’ It wasn’t to wave the flag or anything, it was just simply what we were. It was a true description and it kind of rolled off my mind.”

According to Brewer, the song’s lyrics were based upon the little things that were going on on the road during the band’s tours. Here are the song’s lyrics.

Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact
Up all night with Freddie King
I got to tell you, poker’s his thing
Booze and ladies, keep me right
As long as we can make it to the show tonight

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

Four young chiquitas in Omaha
Waitin’ for the band to return from the show
Feelin’ good, feelin’ right, it’s Saturday night
The hotel detective, he was outta sight
Now these fine ladies, they had a plan
They was out to meet the boys in the band
They said, come on dudes, let’s get it on
And we proceeded to tear that hotel down

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band, wooo
We’re an American band, wooo
We’re an American band, wooo

16 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Party Down

  1. odell01 April 5, 2020 / 3:08 am

    Interesting music story. A lady friend of mine a few years back praised Todd Rundgren, who you mention was the producer, as the musician who most moved her. I was curious as to what that might be like.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango April 5, 2020 / 8:19 pm

      I’m not that familiar with Rundgren’s songs, other than “Hello it’s Me.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie April 5, 2020 / 6:59 am

    What a great choice for today. I love the back story. I feel so much better just listening to this today. It is a bit of a gray day here and this has been firmly lodged in my internal jukebox for the day. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor April 5, 2020 / 7:52 am

    I remember listening to a lot of Grand Funk Railroad back in the early ’70s and then either I stopped listening to them or they disappeared. Great party song Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. msjadeli April 5, 2020 / 8:30 am

    Oh boy does this bring back the memories. Grand Funk was a very popular band on the radio for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

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