December 5, 2020

Are Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa’s ‘Prisoner’ Lyrics Are Their Exes?

5 min read

Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa released their duet “Prisoner” at midnight, a dark song that captures what it’s like to be trapped in an unhealthy, manipulative relationship where their partner keeps pulling them back. It’s unclear whether the girls were singing about any specific ex of theirs or just capturing a general situation.

Cyrus, for what it’s worth, has never called her relationships with ex-husband Liam Hemsworth or her last ex-boyfriend Cody Simpson abusive in interviews. She did explain that the withdrawal from her and Hemsworth’s breakup made it hard for her to stop seeing him initially: “Actually I called the love of mine who I was with when we got divorced, it was almost like a pacifier,” she told Joe Rogan in September. “It was that thing I just needed not because we were in love anymore but because the comfort and because my brain said, ‘oh, this feels better. This is comforting.’ But actually, knowing that I was giving in to an addiction made me feel way worse. I had the hangover. Next day, okay, we sleep together, next day, I’m totally hungover. It felt like a relapse every time I’d go back.”

Cyrus and Lipa did have a message for their exes in the last seconds of the music video though: “In loving memory of all my exes: Eat shit.”

the final seconds of dua lipa and miley cyrus' 'prisoner' music video

The final seconds of Dua Lipa and Miley Cyrus’ ’Prisoner’ music video

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Cyrus spoke a bit about “Prisoner” and collaborating with Lipa to Zane Lowe on Apple Music this week. She said the lyrics also reflect being in quarantine: “What I love about ‘Prisoner,’ I mean, I think it’s also coming at a perfect time for everybody,” she said. “I mean, in a way…I feel too, I mean, we’re just trapped in our emotions right now. I mean, really me, there’s no escaping it. It’s like, ‘Locked up, can’t get you off my mind.’ Anything that you’ve tried to suppress or compartmentalize at that point, it’s coming up. It’s yours to own, to own it or release it.”

Cyrus added the two had worked on other songs together in the past. “For her and I, there’s just no competition. That changes just everything. There’s a true partnership. Then I also liked that it wasn’t the first song we’d cut together. We actually cut other songs. She wanted to keep going until it was right, until we found the one that honors our individuality.”

“There was none of the machine in it,” she continued. “She really, I mean, we’ve recorded other songs together. We just waited until we felt like, ‘Now this is Dua-Miley song. You can just, everything about it reflects us.’ I mean, there’s even something to me, like how I talk about like fashion being a way to flip yourself inside out. The colors that I see, when I listen to a song, I see colors. Some people’s charisma is really overwhelming. I see, when Dua’s around, that her charisma, there’s no sense of desperation to it, like, ‘I’ve got to be the best because if I’m not what if…’ There’s a calmness to her success, which I really like. Because I feel like when you can tell someone is too much of a… or a survivalist. That I don’t like.”

Here, the lyrics via Genius, for you to take in. You can watch the music video above:

Intro: Miley Cyrus
Prisoner, prisoner, locked up
Can’t get you off my mind, off my mind
Lord knows I tried a million times, million times, oh-woah
Why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?

Verse 1: Dua Lipa and Miley Cyrus


Strung out on a feeling, my hands are tied
Your face on my ceiling, I fantasize
Oh, I can’t control it, I can’t control it (I can’t control it)
I try to replace it with city lights
I’ll never escape it, I need the high
Oh, I can’t control it, I can’t control it (Oh)

Pre-Chorus: Miley Cyrus


You keep making it harder to stay
But I still can’t run away
I gotta know why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?

Chorus: Dua Lipa and Miley Cyrus


Prisoner, prisoner, locked up
Can’t get you off my mind, off my mind
Lord knows I tried a million times, million times, oh-woah
Why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?
Prisoner, prisoner, locked up
Can’t get you off my mind, off my mind
Lord knows I tried a million times, million times, oh-woah
Why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?

Verse 2: Miley Cyrus

I tasted Heaven, now I can’t live without it
I can’t forget you and your love is the loudest
Oh, I can’t control it, I can’t control it (Can’t control it)

Pre-Chorus: Dua Lipa and Miley Cyrus


You keep making it harder to stay (Oh, ah)
But I still can’t run away
I gotta know, why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?

Chorus: Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa


Prisoner, prisoner, locked up
Can’t get you off my mind, off my mind
Lord knows I tried a million times, million times, oh-woah
Why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?
Prisoner, prisoner, locked up
Can’t get you off my mind, off my mind (Off my mind)
Lord knows I tried a million times, million times, oh-woah
Why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?

Outro: Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa


Can’t get you off my mind
Why can’t you just let me go?
Million times
I wanna know why can’t you, why can’t you
I wanna know why can’t you, why can’t you
I gotta know why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go?

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