What Miley Cyrus’ River Song Lyrics Really Mean


After releasing her global hit “Flowers,” Miley Cyrus has another single—well, a whole album, really—for us to play on repeat. The bop is called “River,” and Cyrus dropped a fresh new music video for it at midnight, coinciding with the debut of her long-awaited album Endless Summer Vacation.

Cyrus teased what “River” is about in a clip for her upcoming concert special on Disney+.

“It was a time in my life where I was going through just a lot emotionally and personally, and I guess all my songs kind of evolve,” she says. “They can start as something that was a trouble, like, it just feels like it’s an April shower. It never stops raining. And then it started raining down like love.”

 

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She also joked about how the song’s upbeat feel and ’80s vibe may mask its explicit content at first. “‘River’: sometimes we just need a dance floor banger, a.k.a. they don’t want me to talk about the fact that the song is about [redacted],” she explains before getting bleeped out.

“It’s fucking nasty,” Cyrus reiterates. “It’s nasty.” That considered, it’s a surprise Disney will be broadcasting the song. (Her concert special, Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation (Backyard Sessions) debuts on Disney+ Friday at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.) But with lines like “You’re just like a river / You go on forever” and “You could be the one, have the honor of my babies,” one could probably guess what she’s alluding to.

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Directed by Jacob Bixenman, the accompanying black-and-white visuals are sleek and sexy, featuring Cyrus dancing in a mini dress in a crowd of shirtless bodies in the rain.

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Miley Cyrus – River (Official Video)

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Read the full “River” lyrics below, courtesy of Genius. The song was written by Cyrus, Justin Tranter, Thomas Hull, and Tyler Johnson, and produced by Johnson and Kid Harpoon.

[Verse 1]
I got a new dress just to meet you downtown
Can you walk me through the park just to show it off?
I can pull my hair back in that tight way that you like
If you wrap me in your arms and never stop

[Pre-Chorus]
Heart beats so loud that it’s drownin’ me out
Livin’ in an April shower
You’re pourin’ down, baby, drown me out (Ooh, ooh, ooh)

[Chorus]
You’re just like a river (Ooh, ooh, ooh)
You’re just like a river (Ooh, ooh, ooh)
You go on forever
You’re just like a river

[Verse 2]
Blowing bubbles in the bath, I can’t stop from thinking lately
You could be the one, have the honor of my babies
Hope they have your eyes and that crooked smile
Was a desеrt ‘fore I met you, I was in a drought

[Pre-Chorus]
Heart bеats so loud that it’s drownin’ me out
Livin’ in an April shower
You’re pourin’ down, baby, drown me out (Ooh, ooh, ooh)

[Chorus]
You’re just like a river (Ooh, ooh, ooh)
You’re just like a river (Ooh, ooh, ooh)
You go on forever
You’re just like a river

[Post-Chorus]
You’re never runnin’ dry (Oh)

[Bridge]
I feel you everywhere
Your face is all in my hair (Hair)
Covered up in your sweat
It turns me on that you care, baby
Your love, it flows just like a river

[Chorus]
You’re just like a river (That’s what you are)
You’re just like a river (That’s what you are)
You’re just like a river (That’s what you are)
You’re just like a river
You’re just like a river (Heart beats so loud that it’s drownin’ me out)
You’re just like a river (Livin’ in an April shower)
You go on forever (You’re pourin’ down, baby, drown me out)
You’re just like a river

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Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now. 



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