Miley Cyrus and Pharrell’s “Doctor (Work It Out)” Lyrics, Explained

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Miley Cyrus is officially back. The pop culture icon is still riding her Grammys high thanks to “Flowers” and her tenth album Endless Summer Vacation, and now, she dropped a Bangerz-era bop she produced with Pharrell. Twelve years (!!!) after they worked on the track together, Pharrell teased “Doctor (Work It Out)” at his Louis Vuitton menswear fall-winter show during Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024.

“We just believe so much in timing and in everything happening when it’s supposed to. And around the Grammys, Pharrell and I were talking about putting the song out, and it just felt like it was so serendipitous, and there were so many alignments and so many moments that made me know that now was the perfect time,” Miley said of the song in conversation with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1. “And then sometimes things in our past make more sense in our present than they ever did then. And so this song, I think the nature, the celebration, the feeling, especially with the video, the joy, the dancing, the letting go, it’s what this song really always needed.”

She continued, “And I don’t think I could have delivered that at that time, and I know I couldn’t have because I didn’t or I would’ve. And so this has just worked out. It completely embodies my spirit and my essence at this exact moment. And this song is really just kind of fun, and it’s not too heavy or heady or deep, and that’s kind of right where I am and my nature at this moment. And so it just feels really reflective of where I’m at, and that’s really what my music always does.”

That! Being! Said! Let’s dive into Miley Cyrus and Pharrell’s “Doctor (Work It Out)” lyrics meaning so we don’t miss a beat.

Lyrics provided by Genius.

[Chorus]

I could be your doctor

And I could be your nurse

I think I see the problem

It’s only gon’ get worse

A midnight medication

Just show me where it hurts

I need to rock you, baby

Before your body bursts

Not only is the hook to the track incredibly catchy, but playful and sensual as Miley sings about playing doctor with the subject of the song. According to her collaborator, Pharrell, the track was originally written in produced in 2012 after she wrapped up Hannah Montana and wanted to explore a new sound.

“Who knew she could sing [“Party in the USA”] and then at the same time sound like Stevie Nicks. And when I figured that out, I was like, ‘Oh, this is about to be so fucking fun,'” Pharrell explained to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “And it has been the entire time, and it’s just been so great to just watch her. We did a couple songs that went on her Bangerz album, but then this one was like, this was always fine wine to me. This was Petrus.”

[Post-Chorus]

Let me work it out (Oh)

Let me work it out, oh yeah

Let lil’ mama work you out (Huh, ah)

You wanna work it out? (Wanna work it out? Oh yeah, ow)

[Verse 1]

You’re my lover (You’re my lover)

I show you sympathy

Take your sugar (Take your sugar)

And pour it into me

Let’s let bygones be bygones and throw it all away

You’re my lover

I wanna hear you say

In the verse, Miley and Pharrell explore the heat that comes after a fight with your partner and the desire to work things out, be it through conversation or steamy makeup sex. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

[Pre-Chorus]

(I feel like working it out) yeah

If that’s something you wanna do (Uh, uh)

(Yeah, I feel like working it out)

Baby, if you want me to

Of course, it takes some convincing (but not too much) on the pre-chorus.

[Chorus]

[Post-Chorus]

Let me work it out (Let me, let me, ah, let me, let me, let me)

Let me work it out, oh yeah (Let me, let me, ah, let me, let me, let me)

Let lil’ mama work you out (Let me, let me, ha, let me, let me, let me)

You wanna work it out? Oh yeah (Wanna work it out, yeah, babe)

[Bridge]

Are you on the fence?

Stop playing on the side

Are you on the fence?

Don’t waste my damn time (Don’t waste my damn time)

Are you on the fence?

I’ll slip but I won’t slide

Don’t gotta be forever

Just together for the night

The bridge serves as a reminder that some connections aren’t meant to be forever—a sentiment that Miley’s expressed before on her Endless Summer Vacation track, “Violet Chemistry”:

Fingers start to dance along the figures and the shapes / Mixing all the colors like we’re making a Monet / There’s something between us that’s too major to ignore / May not be eternal but nocturnal nothing more

[Pre-Chorus]

[Chorus]

[Post-Chorus]

[Outro]

Let me, let me, ah, let me, let me, let me

Let me, let me, ah, let me, let me, let me

Let me, let me, ah, let me, let me, let me

You wanna work it out? (Wanna work it out, yeah)

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