What's The Real Meaning Of Used To Be Young By Miley Cyrus? Here's What We Think

Here's what we think Miley Cyrus' emotional new single "Used To Be Young" is about.

Since getting her big break on Disney Channel's hit sitcom "Hannah Montana," Cyrus has curated a long and successful career within the music sphere. From her record-breaking music video for "Wrecking Ball" to her unforgettable 2013 VMA performance with Robin Thicke, the beloved talent has delivered an array of iconic moments that will never leave the minds of pop culture enthusiasts. When reflecting on the unapologetic trajectory of her music career, Cryus told Forbes: "If I know there's going to be a greater reward by taking a greater risk, usually I'll do it. I do that with everything – my business, my relationships, with love, with life."

On August 25, the "Party In The U.S.A." singer ushered in her new music era by releasing her single "Used To Be Young," which sees the entertainer at her most vulnerable. "These lyrics were written almost 2 years ago at the beginning of my [Endless Summer Vacation]. It was a time I felt misunderstood," she explained on Instagram. Join us as we explore the meaning of "Used To Be Young." 

Is Miley Cyrus reflects on ditching her party lifestyle for a sober life on Used To Be Young?

While Miley Cyrus is known for releasing countless pop bangers, the beloved talent also has incredible skill at constructing heartwrenching ballads about self-reflection and personal growth. This is undoubtedly the case with her new emotional single "Used To Be Young." At the start of the track, the warm and rich sound of piano strings set the tone before ushering in Cyrus' raspy vocals. "The truth is bulletproof, there's no foolin' you. I don't dress the same. Me and who you say I was yesterday have gone our separate ways," she sings, per Genius. As the first verse progresses, Cyrus exclaims that she's moved on from partying and drinking, which seems to reference her real-life sobriety journey. "Left my livin' fast somewhere in the past, 'cause that's for chasin' cars. Turns out open bars lead to broken hearts. And goin' way too far."

By the time we reach the chorus, Cyrus seems to release her past fears, regrets, and traumas, belting: "I know I used to be crazy, I know I used to be fun, You say I used to be wild, I say I used to be young." Back in 2020, Cyrus opened up to Zane Lowe about getting sober. "I think everyone has to do what is best for them," she explained. "I don't have a problem with drinking. I have a problem with the decisions I make once I go past [a certain level]... I become very impulsive."

Miley Cyrus embraces her controversial past on Used To Be Young

While Miley Cyrus' new single "Used To Be Young" shines a light on her sobriety journey, it also sees the singer embracing her younger self — flaws and all. "Take one, pour it out, it's not worth cryin' bout. The things you can't erase, like tattoos and regrets, words I never meant, and the ones that got away," she croons in the track's second verse, per Genius. "Turns out crowded rooms empty out as soon there's somewhere else to go." After the song's passionate bridge, Cyrus switches up the last chorus by looking back fondly on her wild and colorful past.

"I know I used to be crazy, messed up, but God was it fun. I know I used to be wild, that's 'cause I used to be young," she sings. "Those wasted nights are not wasted, I remember every one." In a press release obtained by People, the young talent described "Used To Be Young" as an optimistic record. "This song is about honoring who we've been, loving who we are and celebrating who we will become," she explained. Months before dropping her introspective track "Used To Be Young," Cryus echoed similar sentiments in an interview with British Vogue. "I carried some guilt and shame around myself for years, because of how much controversy and upset I really caused," she explained. "Now that I'm an adult, I realize how harshly I was judged."