Backyard Sessions

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The Backyard Sessions are two series of music videos released by Miley Cyrus on YouTube in 2012 and 2015. The 2015 series coincided with the formation of Cyrus's philanthropic organization, the Happy Hippie Foundation, and were billed as "Happy Hippie Presents Backyard Sessions".

The first series was released between September and December 2012, and showed Cyrus performing covers of classic songs with her band in an outdoor setting. Performances included "Lilac Wine" by James Shelton, "What Have They Done to My Song Ma" (stylized as "Look What They've Done to My Song Ma") by Melanie Safka, and "Jolene" by Dolly Parton.[1][2][3]

In 2015, Cyrus released a new set of Backyard Sessions videos to publicize the launch of the Happy Hippie Foundation. On May 6, the first daily video was posted to social media, with Cyrus joined by Joan Jett in covering Jett's 2013 song "Different".[4] In a second video posted later that day, Cyrus covered Dido's "No Freedom", dedicated to Leelah Alcorn, a teenage transgender girl who killed herself by walking out in front of traffic the previous December.[5] Two more videos were posted on May 9, 2015. In the first, Cyrus performed "Androgynous" by The Replacements alongside Jett and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace,[6] who came out as transgender in 2012.[7] In the fourth installment of the Happy Hippie Backyards Sessions, Cyrus provided backing vocals for Grace's performance of the Against Me! song "True Trans Soul Rebel".[8]

In videos posted May 12, Cyrus was joined by Melanie Safka for performances of "Peace Will Come (All According to Plan)" and "What Have They Done to My Song Ma," as covered in the original Backyards Sessions videos.[9][10] On performing with Cyrus, Safka commented that Cyrus showed "only the part she wanted me to see," but added that she was "very accommodating" and "totally real [...] Her heart is really in the music. The true test of character, for me, is if your heart is in the music."[11] Safka credited the videos with an increase in young people at her concerts.[11] Safka also performed a rendition of "Yaw Baby (Break My Heart)" while Cyrus watched in the background.[12]

In a May 15 video, Cyrus was joined by Ariana Grande for a cover of "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House.[13] Cyrus wore a unicorn onesie, while Grande wore a mouse onesie.[14] The pair reprised the performance at the One Love Manchester benefit concert organized by Grande in June 2017.[15]

In two videos posted on May 19, Cyrus performed covers of "Happy Together" by The Turtles, and Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover".[16] In the final video, released May 23, she sang "Pablow the Blowfish" in memory of her recently deceased pet fish.[17] The song later appeared on Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015).

Video listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Release DateLength
1."Lilac Wine"James SheltonSeptember 6, 2012[18]3:57
2."Look What They've Done to My Song Ma"MelanieOctober 4, 2012[19]3:07
3."Jolene"Dolly PartonDecember 24, 2012[20]2:59
4."Different" (featuring Joan Jett)Joan Jett and Dougie NeedlesMay 6, 2015[21]3:06
5."No Freedom"Dido and Rick NowelsMay 6, 2015[22]3:34
6."Androgynous" (featuring Joan Jett, Laura Jane Grace, and Atom Willard)Paul WesterbergMay 9, 2015[23]3:14
7."True Trans Soul Rebel" (featuring Laura Jane Grace and Atom Willard)Laura Jane GraceMay 9, 2015[24]3:03
8."Peace Will Come (According to Plan)" (featuring Melanie)MelanieMay 12, 2015[25]4:46
9."Yaw Baby (Break My Heart)" (featuring Melanie)MelanieMay 12, 2015[26]3:11
10."Look What They've Done to My Song Ma" (featuring Melanie)MelanieMay 12, 2015[27]3:40
11."Don't Dream It's Over" (featuring Ariana Grande)Neil FinnMay 15, 2015[28]3:51
12."Happy Together"Alan Gordon and Garry BonnerMay 19, 2015[29]2:43
13."50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"Paul SimonMay 19, 2015[30]3:19
14."Pablow the Blowfish"CyrusMay 23, 2015[31]3:39


  1. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (September 7, 2012). "New Song: Miley Cyrus Covers 'Lilac Wine,' And We Are Officially Bowled Over With WOW". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "Miley Cyrus 'Look What They've Done To My Song': Singer Covers Classic Folk Song (WATCH)". Huff Post. AOL. October 4, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  3. ^ "Miley Cyrus Releases 'Jolene' Video: Singer Covers Dolly Parton's Classic Song (VIDEO)". Huff Post. AOL. December 26, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Hilton, Perez (May 5, 2015). "Miley Cyrus Launches Her Happy Hippie Foundation With A Backyard Session With Joan Jett!". Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Saul, Heather (May 9, 2015). "Miley Cyrus pays tribute to late transgender teen Leelah Alcorn as she launches homeless LBGT Happy Hippie Foundation". The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  6. ^ Goble, Corban (May 8, 2015). "Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, Joan Jett, and Miley Cyrus Cover the Replacements' "Androgynous"". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "Tom Gabel of Against Me! Comes Out as Transgender". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. May 8, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Kerps, Daniel (May 10, 2015). "Miley Cyrus and Laura Jane Grace Perform Against Me! Track". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  9. ^ Dionne, Zach (May 11, 2015). "Watch Miley Cyrus' "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)" in New Backyard Session With Melanie Safka". Fuse Networks. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  10. ^ Varga, George (May 14, 2015). "Watch Miley Cyrus & Woodstock alum duet". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Tronc. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Bingaman, Brian (March 10, 2016). "Melanie talks about hanging out with Miley Cyrus, an award held hostage 26 years, and more". Ticket to Entertainment. 21st Century Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  12. ^ "Happy Hippie Presents: Yaw Baby (Break My Heart) (Performed by Melanie Safka)". CMT. Viacom. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "Miley Cyrus & Ariana Grande cover Don't Dream It's Over for Happy Hippie Foundation". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. May 13, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Lovitt, Bryn (May 14, 2015). "Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande Put on Their Best Onesies and Covered Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over"". Vice Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Weiss, Suzanne (June 4, 2017). "Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus Sing Duet at Manchester Benefit Concert". Teen Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  16. ^ Van Nguyen, Dean (May 19, 2015). "Miley Cyrus covers The Turtles' 'Happy Together' as part of Backyard Sessions". NME. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  17. ^ Malec, Brett (May 19, 2015). "Miley Cyrus Actually Wrote a Beautiful Song About Her Dead Blowfish, Pablow, and the Lyrics Are Insane". E! Online. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  18. ^ Miley Cyrus - The Backyard Sessions - "Lilac Wine" on YouTube
  19. ^ Miley Cyrus - The Backyard Sessions - "Look What They've Done To My Song" on YouTube
  20. ^ Miley Cyrus - The Backyard Sessions - "Jolene" on YouTube
  21. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Different' (Performed by Miley Cyrus & Joan Jett) on YouTube
  22. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'No Freedom' (Performed by Miley Cyrus) on YouTube
  23. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Androgynous' (Performed by Miley Cyrus, Joan Jett & Laura Jane Gr... on YouTube
  24. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'True Trans Soul Rebel' (Performed by Miley Cyrus & Laura Jane Gra... on YouTube
  25. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Peace Will Come (According to Plan)' (Performed by Miley Cyrus & ... on YouTube
  26. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Yaw Baby (Break My Heart)' (Performed by Melanie Safka) on YouTube
  27. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Look What They've Done to My Song Ma' (Performed by Miley Cyrus &... on YouTube
  28. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Don't Dream It's Over' (Performed by Miley Cyrus & Ariana Grande) on YouTube
  29. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: 'Happy Together' (Performed by Miley Cyrus) on YouTube
  30. ^ Happy Hippie Presents: '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' (Performed by Miley Cyrus) on YouTube
  31. ^ Miley Cyrus - Pablow "Backyard Sessions" (Official Video) on YouTube