Miley Cyrus, Poet

Miley Cyrus, Poet

Miley Cyrus is a poor poet if “Wrecking Ball” is any indication. Her words and the images they evoke are contradictory, trite and sophomoric. “Wrecking Ball” with music and lyrics by Stephan Moccio in collaboration with Miley Cyrus, is a poetic jumble.  Cyrus has claimed recently that the song and the video are “about much more than [her] naked body.” This is a proposition that can easily be put to the test by stripping away the music and the video, then considering the lyrics as a work of poetry.

“We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain
We jumped, never asking why”

Immediately we note a problem with “we clawed” and “we chained our hearts in vain.” We can understand the utility of an internal rhyme between “chained” and “vain,” it keeps the line moving; but from a logical point of view why would one “claw” or “chain” a heart? To say that some action has been “in vain” is to imply a sense of need or desire that has been fulfilled or left unfulfilled. Here, the poet suggests “chaining” as a good thing, as in: “we chained our hearts together” but to no apparent purpose. The poet also tells us that “clawing” was involved, though does not tell us just who clawed whom, or to what end the two might have been clawing each other. Again, the presumption is that the act of “clawing” was somehow desirable initially,  but alas, for nothing—it was in vain. We can however, well imagine why [They] “jumped, never asking why”! –Because of all that “clawing and chaining” it is enough to make anyone jump!

“We kissed, I fell under your spell
A love no one could deny”

Now the poet and her paramour are kissing—presumably either before or after the clawing and chaining of their hearts for unknown but vain or ineffectual  reasons; and the poet has fallen under the trite but true “spell” of  “a love” [that] no one could deny.” One suspects however that the family psychologist or even the ASPCA might have a problem with a love that was founded on “clawing” “chaining” and “kissing.”

Don’t you ever say I just walked away
I will always want you
I can’t live a lie, running for my life
I will always want you

I came in like a wrecking ball
I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you, you wreck me

These stanzas represent a fundamental shift in the principle metaphor of the poem –who wrecked whom? It insists: “I am the wrecking ball; but you wrecked me…” This inversion could be read either as irony or incompetence….? The reader will decide… or we all can just move on. We will come back to this; the poet does, perhaps too often.

“I put you high up in the sky
And now, you’re not coming down
It slowly turned, you let me burn
And now, we’re ashes on the ground”

These lines are clearly inconsistent with the whole “I am a wrecking ball/ you wrecked me” theme… “I put you in the sky—[but] you’re not coming down?” Or the line can be read as the equally absurd, “How are you going to wreck me from up in the sky—if you won’t come down how can I claw you or chain you?” There are just so many unanswered questions here. Poets are known for leaving us with questions though, so we will just continue.

“It slowly turned” What turned? And why did it turn slowly—we have no idea. “You let me burn” –well, of course he did! He was preoccupied, because “[you] put [him] high in the sky” … how did [you] burn? by what flame? who lit the match? Perhaps it was a case of spontaneous combustion or was it a conspiracy of flamboyant fanboys? We can’t know, because the poet does not tell us. Either way, we know “[they’re] ashes on the ground” –another strange inconsistency—he let you burn because apparently he was “high up in the air” –where you put him… but now—somehow [you] are both “ashes on the ground.” Thank God the wind was not blowing that day or the metaphor might have been ruined completely! So much for logic! But we must remain calm. Miley Cyrus, the poet has assured us that this is a deep poem, that means much more than it says; and it is after all the emotional truth that should come through, right? We shall see.

“Don’t you ever say I just walked away”

Here the subtext might read: “How could I walk away—I was just reduced to ashes on the ground—after you wrecked me and left me to burn…”

“I will always want you
I can’t live a lie, running for my life
I will always want you”

With our apologies to Miley Cyrus— the poet— the banal line “I will always want you” turns up often in sophomoric love poems; it mingles a sense of pathos (longing for that which cannot be obtained) with the remarkable indifference towards one’s own mortality that only the young enjoy. The phrase, “I can’t live a lie” is equally banal and equally prevalent in the music of heartbreak; and like lukewarm buttered grits, it will simply not go away. Here the phrase is conjoined to the ubiquitous sense of flight “running for my life” which makes about as much sense as white gravy on those grits. When we put the thoughts together, we get:  “Don’t you ever say I just walked away… [I am] running for my life [!] …” Nuff said.

“I came in like a wrecking ball
I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me”

The classic inversion in the hook: “I am a wrecking ball, but you wrecked me” trope has sillied-forth again… so we can ignore it and move on. We will leave the matter of “breaking walls and [rhyming] balls” to lesser critics who cannot resist a pun.

“I came in like a wrecking ball
Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung

Here we have another problematic phrase: what is she swinging? The video suggests that she is swinging on a wrecking ball. Of course one also could imagine that she was swinging a very large hammer, before or after licking it. What makes sense on video does not always make sense as a line of poetry; no doubt the opposite is also true. While we ponder that deep thought, we move on quickly.

Left me crashing in a blazing fall
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you, you wreck me”

We should consider these three lines quickly; they appear mostly because of the need to fill out a musical line; this explains the unfortunate repetition of “you, you.” Lesser poets, poets other than Miley Cyrus, might balk at the silliness that the two words might represent on the printed page; Miley is nothing but fearless. She even offers us the “Yeah” to create a kind of assonance or alliterative rendering “Yeah, you, you.” This repetition really pays dividends musically when we arrive at the terminal and plaintiff “wreck me.” This line worked so well in fact that the poet has chosen to end her poem and the song with the same line repeated twice. Before we get to the end, we must first find out the deeper meanings of the poem; since we are nearing the end, we might think that the next lines come, not a moment to soon:

“I never meant to start a war”

And there we have it! This has all been a grand scale war! This explains the falling, blazing balls, the reduction to ashes and all of the patent absurdities; it tells us how one can be suspended in mid air by another’s unseen hand and yet wreck havoc upon— the person with the unseen hand….It is a mysterious, inexplicable war in the heavens—or somewhere…. And war is unreasonable and absurd. Could this be the hidden, deeper meaning? We should keep reading.

“I just wanted you to let me in
And instead of using force
I guess I should’ve let you win
I never meant to start a war
I just wanted you to let me in
I guess I should’ve let you win”

We cannot be sure what these lines mean, although we know that they are important somehow because Miley Cyrus, the poet has repeated them at least twice. When we dig down a bit into the actual wording of the second line of the stanza, we find the puzzling admission “And instead of using force/ I guess I should’ve let you win.” The lines are puzzling because we have no prior record of, or admission to the poet’s use of force. At least the poet has seemed to have been more on the receiving end of the burnings, fallings and wreck-ings, thus far. Although, there was that whole “I put you up in the air” thing—perhaps that took a great deal of force, we have no way of knowing how much her lover, kissing, clawing, chaining partner weighs—for example. Mercifully, we are near the end.

“Don’t you ever say I just walked away
I will always want you”

We have covered this; it still makes no sense.

I came in like a wrecking ball
I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me

That was the whole “walls, balls, breaking” thing. We got that.

I came in like a wrecking ball
Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
Left me crashing in a blazing fall
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you, you wreck me
Yeah, you, you wreck me

This is the piece de resistance, the final chorus: with the “ball” “fall” “crashing” “swinging” “blazing” and of course the “wrecking” “wrecking” “wrecking” –and the song simply would not have been complete without –the “yeah, yoo-yoo, yeah, yoo, yoo’s” and of course the  “me” “me” “me’s”  at the end….

Miley Cyrus is not a very deep poet after all it seems. Stephan Moccio is however a most profound composer, lyricist, pianist and performer. Moccio wrote or collaborated on several notable hits like “I Believe” from the 2010 Olympic Games; “A New Day has Come” (2002) with Celine Dion; and “What You Never Know” (2003) with Sarah Brightman. Every 20 year old poet, singer and performer should have his considerable talents in their employ. “Wrecking Ball” is a hit; this week it pushed Katy Perry’s song off of the number one spot– and presumably out of sight; and there is little doubt that the song will remain in that position for some time to come. However there is no doubt that while there, it will not acquire any additional “deeper” meanings nor impart any serious emotional truths, despite Miley Cyrus’s protests to the contrary. Miley Cyrus may have many things to reveal; but there are few emotional truths in her poem, because Miley Cyrus is not a deep poet.

source 1

source 2

source 3

source 4

 

by Kelly Knox

2 Responses to "Miley Cyrus, Poet"

  1. Jeanie   February 11, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t think Miley wrote Wrecking Ball… have to google to prove me wrong….

    Reply
  2. Tyler   December 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Really? That much time on your hands to pick apart and rebuttal every lyric. I mean, I’m no Miley Cyrus fan, but here’s the thing: some of the lyrics actually do make sense if you look at them from an artistic standpoint. Have you ever written a song? It doesn’t sound like you have. If you take what you are reading with a grain of salt, you’ll appreciate it more.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.