Miley Cyrus, Party in the U.S.A.: the lyrics & meaning

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Party in the U.S.A. is one of the first big hits released by Miley Cyrus: the song was published in 2009 when the world knew Miley primarily for her role in the series Hannah Montana, years before her breakout as a music pop star. This song was initially written by Jessie J, but then she offered it to Miley Cyrus because she felt it didn’t fit her character. Therefore, the lyrics and their meaning apply more to Jessie J, but they actually reflect the feelings of all young people coming to California and trying to get famous. This article will explore the song’s meaning and will offer the complete lyrics at the end.

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You can find the official video of the song below.

Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A. (Official Video)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Party in the U.S.A.: inside the lyrics and their meaning

Party in the U.S.A. is about the mixed feelings of a young girl arriving in Los Angeles, seeking fame. She misses her previous life, family, and friends, but when she feels homesick, the beauty of the new life emerges in the form of fun and music, and she suddenly feels again in the right place.

The song’s first lines describe the insecurities of the young girl who landed in Los Angeles. She jumps off the plane, takes a cab, and reaches the city with only a few clothes and her big dream.

I hopped off the plane at LAX
With a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame excess (Woah)
Am I gonna fit in?
Jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time
Look to my right, and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

Two times during the song, she seems to feel initial anxiety about being far from home. She describes this feeling as something in her tummy, like those butterflies you feel when a strong feeling overwhelms you. But every time a song comes out on the radio and makes the girl feel at home again, happy to be there.

My tummy’s turnin’ and I’m feelin’ kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I’m nervous
That’s when the taxi man turned on the radio
And a JAY-Z song was on
And a JAY-Z song was on
And a JAY-Z song was on

So I put my hands up
They’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away
I’m noddin’ my head like, “Yeah”
Movin’ my hips like, “Yeah”
Got my hands up, they’re playing my song
I know I’m gonna be okay
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A. 

The song mentions Jay Z and Britney Spears as famous artists that a young girl would listen to in those years. They probably represent a safe memory of her happy years, so hearing their song makes her happy. There is a lovely symbol in this: for a girl that wants to become a music star, music represents the context that can make her feel at home wherever she is. It’s true, she left her hometown, arrived in the big city, and everything seemed different. But music is always with her, and that is a reassurance.

Feel like hopping on a flight (On a flight)
Back to my hometown tonight (Town tonight)
Something stops me every time (Every time)
The DJ plays my song and I feel alright (Hey, hey)

When we leave our hometowns as young people looking for our direction, we always miss what we left. But we all try to build a new life in our chosen place, filling our days with what makes us feel comfortable. In the case of the girl in this song, music is what makes her happy. And Los Angeles is the place where music can be her life.

That’s, therefore, the real meaning behind the lyrics inside Party in the U.S.A.: I left home and arrived in Hollywood, seeking success. I miss my old life, but music saves me every time I feel homesick. And through the music I love, I feel at home again.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

I hopped off the plane at LAX
With a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame excess (Woah)
Am I gonna fit in?
Jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time
Look to my right, and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

My tummy’s turnin’ and I’m feelin’ kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I’m nervous
That’s when the taxi man turned on the radio
And a JAY-Z song was on
And a JAY-Z song was on
And a JAY-Z song was on

So I put my hands up
They’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away
I’m noddin’ my head like, “Yeah”
Movin’ my hips like, “Yeah”
Got my hands up, they’re playing my song
I know I’m gonna be okay
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.

Get to the club in my taxi cab
Everybody’s lookin’ at me now
Like, “Who’s that chick that’s rockin’ kicks?
She gotta be from out of town”
So hard with my girls not around me
It’s definitely not a Nashville party
‘Cause all I see are stilettos
I guess I never got the memo

My tummy’s turnin’ and I’m feelin’ kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I’m nervous
That’s when the DJ dropped my favorite tune
And a Britney song was on
And a Britney song was on
And a Britney song was on

So I put my hands up
They’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away
I’m noddin’ my head like, “Yeah”
Movin’ my hips like, “Yeah”
Got my hands up, they’re playing my song
I know I’m gonna be okay
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.

Feel like hopping on a flight (On a flight)
Back to my hometown tonight (Town tonight)
Something stops me every time (Every time)
The DJ plays my song and I feel alright (Hey, hey)

So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song, the butterflies fly away
I’m noddin’ my head like, “Yeah” (N-n-n-noddin’ my head)
Movin’ my hips like, “Yeah” (Ooh, yeah)
Got my hands up, they’re playing my song
I know I’m gonna be okay (Gonna be okay)
Yeah (Na-na, na-na), it’s a party in the U.S.A.
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A.
So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song, the butterflies fly away (Flying away)
I’m noddin’ my head like, “Yeah” (Noddin’ my head like, “Yeah”)
Movin’ my hips like, “Yeah” (Movin’ my hips like, “Yeah”)
Got my hands up, they’re playing my song
I know I’m gonna be okay (I’m gonna be okay)
Yeah (Yeah), it’s a party in the U.S.A.
Yeah (Ha-ha-ha-ha), it’s a party in the U.S.A.