Miley Cyrus: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis

Miley CyrusDue to the multi-layered and largely cryptic messages used by musical sensation Miley Cyrus* in her compositions, I’ve decided to provide a Rosetta-Stone-esque primer for one of her songs: “Party in the U.S.A.”   This thought-provoking piece has had me ensnared by its complex lyrics since I first heard it last spring.**

Countless hours of work spent deciphering “Party in the U.S.A.” have paid off, as I proudly present the lyrical analysis you see below.  My one and only hope is that it will make Cyrus’ often enigmatic music more accessible to a wider audience, helping to bring her songs out of hipster cafes and upper-level music theory classes and into the mainstream.

Here, now, a narrative explanation of “Party in the U.S.A.”

I arrived in the Los Angeles International Airport with my career aspirations (and a sweater that buttons down the front) in tow.  I realized immediately that this city puts a premium on notoriety and indulgence.  That realization sparked feelings of insecurity as to my ability to conform to the expectations of the local sub-culture.

I took a taxi from the airport, noticing the iconic “Hollywood” sign on my right as I made my way to my destination.  I felt a bit overwhelmed, particularly by the ubiquitousness of celebrities.

Suddenly, I realize that I’m actually nauseated by the stress of my new environs.  What I wouldn’t give to be back home at this very moment.  Fortunately for me, the cab driver decided to turn on his car stereo, and a Jay-Z song was playing.  A Jay-Z song was playing.  Just to reiterate: a Jay-Z song was playing.

I begin to dance to the music in recognition of the fact that the song in question has an emotional connection to me.  It reminds me of home and assuages my fears and self-doubts.  My head bobs and my feet move in time with the beat.  I am reassured by this music.  This is a celebration of a uniquely American character.  Indeed, this is a celebration of a uniquely American character.

When the cab arrived at the night club, I felt the judgmental stares of the Angelinos the moment I passed through their collective field of vision, their attention settling on my questionable footwear.  They realized instantly that I was an outsider.

What a difficult night this will be without my friends from back home.  I would feel so much safer were this party on my turf.  Unlike me, all the women here are wearing stiletto heels.  Word about this aspect of the L. A. dress code apparently didn’t reach me in time.

I once again feel nauseated by a stressful situation.  What I wouldn’t give to be back home right now.  Fortunately for me, the club’s disc jockey played a Britney Spears song.  He played a Britney Spears song.  In case I haven’t made this clear, he played a Britney Spears song.

I begin to dance to the music in recognition of the fact that the song in question has an emotional connection to me.  It reminds me of home and assuages my fears and self-doubts.  My head bobs and my feet move in time with the beat.  I am reassured by this music.  This is a celebration of a uniquely American character.  Indeed, this is a celebration of a uniquely American character.

Despite all the foregoing, I nonetheless continue to long for a return flight home.  That is, of course, until I hear a familiar song again, at which point I return to some feeling of normalcy.

I begin to dance to the music in recognition of the fact that the song in question has an emotional connection to me.  It reminds me of home and assuages my fears and self-doubts.  My head bobs and my feet move in time with the beat.  I am reassured by this music.  This is a celebration of a uniquely American character.  Indeed, this is a celebration of a uniquely American character.

I begin to dance to the music in recognition of the fact that the song in question has an emotional connection to me.  It reminds me of home and assuages my fears and self-doubts.  My head bobs and my feet move in time with the beat.  I am reassured by this music.  This is a celebration of a uniquely American character.  Indeed, this is a celebration of a uniquely American character.

__________________________________

*Cyrus is the daughter of legendary country and western musician Billy Ray Cyrus.

**While watching a high school baseball team take infield.
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174 Responses to Miley Cyrus: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis

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  6. Renata Torres says:

    Great job! Keep doing more of that. 😉

  7. element119 says:

    Loved every word of it. Please do more of these!

  8. Pingback: Miley Cyrus: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis (via The Axis of Ego) | espacio de Windows Live

  9. jannajesson says:

    This is genius.

  10. Enjoyed,thanks for the great post.

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  13. the wuc says:

    Absolute gold! Cracked me up, but good.
    http://thewuc.com

  14. amazingasitwere says:

    Love the post. It had me laughing the whole time!

    I just joined WordPress. Comments, tips, suggestions are very much appreciated!

    My blog http://amazingasitwere.wordpress.com/

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  18. mrawesum says:

    Hilarious…

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  20. raunstrup says:

    This is hilarious! Genius.
    There are quite a few songs to analyze like this, ey?
    Rihanna – Rude Boy is a great example ;D

  21. dudecomeon says:

    Ah, sarcasm. How I miss this!

    Laughed through the whole thing! You’re good 🙂

  22. jillfeyka says:

    Hilarious post! I just posted a list of “spoof” predictions that included Ms. Miley. She is not headed in a very good direction. Hopefully, she is young enough to turn herself around.

    • Tom Garrett says:

      Yeah, I hope for the best for her. I can’t imagine what it must be like to become famous while still a child. Difficult to handle, to say the least.

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