(Cyrus assumes that Joan of Arc has come to diss her because many people criticized her actions and behaviors at the time of the battle's release.)
Well, you can stand in the autograph line and wait!
(Cyrus is an up-and-coming celebrity with lots of fans. Fans often want an autograph, so to get one, a fan must wait in line. Because Joan is here to diss her, Cyrus directs her to the many people that do like her.)
'Cause I'm all twerk; I got all day
(Cyrus thrust the "twerk" dance into the spotlight, though the dance was already gaining popularity among girls in small circles despite being sex-forward. Cyrus says she can also battle Joan all day.)
To spit harsh words in this French maid's face! (Ooh la la!)
(Cyrus sets up to battle Joan, and she'll beat Joan with caustic rhymes. French maid is a type of outfit that a servant wears, so Cyrus also insinuates that Joan is beneath her.)
You died a virgin girl. Who you think you messin' with?
(Joan of Arc was executed when she was nineteen and never married, nor did her faith permit her to meet a young man; ergo, she died a virgin. It could also reference Joan's nickname "La Pucelle d'Orléans", Pucelle being a modern French word for "virgin girl". Cyrus thinks Joan does not know who she is up against since Cyrus is not a virgin.)
It's Miley Cyrus; I'm the hottest thing since Britney, bitch!
(Miley Cyrus claims to be as popular as, or more popular than, fellow Disney music artist Britney Spears. Yet, like Spears before her, Cyrus went from teen and tween idol to "bad girl" upon becoming an adult. This also references Spears' catchphrase, "It's Britney, bitch!")
I'm getting lifted on that molly, get that party turned up!
(Cyrus was reportedly under the influence of ecstasy, also known as molly, during a party. She is, after all, a party animal and the "life of the party". When she enters a room, the party gets wilder. This could also be a reference to the lyrics to Cyrus song "We Can't Stop" that say "Dancin' with Molly" which are instead commonly heard as "Dancin' with Miley".)
You're getting lifted on a stake, get that body burned up!
(Joan of Arc, believed to have been a witch for being said to have visions in order to lead the French army, was tied to a stake and then burned by the English armies that overtook France.)
Had enough? It's my habit; when I grab the mic, I milk it.
(A reference to Cyrus family farm, where she grew up. One would milk cows on a farm like this, so Miley would be skilled at it, similar to how when she sings she's very skilled, so when she's on the mic, it's like she's milking a cow. Milking something is also a term used to mean using something to the greatest extent that one could, so Cyrus also says that she is using her verse the best it could possibly be used.)
You could say this rap is like my alter ego 'cause I killed it!
(Cyrus used to use Hannah Montana as her stage name, as well as her alter ego, until her TV show ended its run. She explained her reasons for "killing" the character in an interview. She believes that she has already won this battle before Joan even takes a turn, as "to kill [something]" means that the thing referred to has been mastered in full.)
(Joan of Arc was a devout Catholic, so she prays to God in advance of her counterattack on Cyrus, believing it a sin to do so.)
I know the voices of the angels tell me turn the other cheek,
(As a woman of deep faith, Joan claimed that she heard voices from on high that told her how to act. She cites a Bible verse here: "If a man should strike you on the cheek, turn to him and offer the other also." From this comes the expression "to turn the other cheek", which loosely means "to allow something to happen without (negatively) reacting to it".)
But I'm about to rip Hannah Montana's tongue out through her teeth!
(Cyrus is notorious for letting her tongue stick out during photo ops, but Joan will pull it out through Cyrus' teeth once she defeats her opponent, and she addresses her as the character from her self-named Disney show, Hannah Montana.)
Je suis la fille en feu; call me Katniss Everdeen!
(This is French for "I am the girl on fire," a reference to her being burned at the stake. Katniss Everdeen is the female lead in the The Hunger Games book and film series. In one event in the series, Everdeen wears a fire-themed costume, and she becomes referred to as the "Girl on Fire" by the citizens of the Capitol. Joan was burned for assisting Britain's enemy as said earlier by Cyrus, so she says she is the original girl on fire, which is a compliment in the novels.)
When it comes to bad bitches, I'm the patron saint,
(A patron saint is one chosen to represent and keep watch over a group of people or things, as St. Francis of Assisi is said to have defended animals and the poor. Joan was extraordinarily courageous for one so young, declared a saint, and was therefore badass; thus she has taken it upon herself to represent all badass women.)
But I only get down on my knees when it's time to pray!
(Joan calls Cyrus a whore by saying that Cyrus gets on her knees to give people blowjobs. Joan herself falls to her knees before she prays and nothing more.)
I came to Frenchmen's aid in their time of need,
(Joan saw her first visions at the age of 12 and was recruited by local infantry at 16, having posed as a young man successfully. Her strategy was instrumental in the French victories in and around Orleans.)
'Cause I'm the maid of Orleans. You're the Mardi Gras beads, honey.
(Joan was, once again, known as "La Pucelle d'Orléans" (The Maiden of Orleans). Cyrus is being compared to outlandish jewelry worn at a Mardi Gras fête and said to bring luck.)
My Father taught me things your daddy couldn't teach ya.
(Joan's "father" referenced here is actually God, who, Joan being very religious, called her to stand up for what was right. Billy Ray Cyrus only taught Cyrus about music.)
Your highest calling was a text from Wiz Khalifa!
(Joan claimed at trial that she was "called" by three saints in a dream to drive the English out of France, much as a priest or pastor must be summoned to serve his people through God and which would be from a very "high" position of authority. Cyrus once posted that she received a text message from rapper Wiz Khalifa, which is technically a call between cell phones. This could also be a reference to the Mike WiLL Made-It song "23" in which both Miley Cyrus and Wiz Khalifa appear. Wiz Khalifa is known for getting high on drugs, so this could be her "highest" calling.)
You gotta die for something, Miley. Just picture your epitaph:
(Joan was executed for heresy, or acting against the Church, but was found innocent years after her death and proclaimed a martyr; she had died strong in her faith. She tells Cyrus to imagine what could be inscribed on her headstone when she dies, which follows.)
"Had the world watching, chose to show them all her flat ass!"
(At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus performed a duet with Robin Thicke, in which she bent over and twerked right in front of his genitals. The entire world was watching the award show at the time, and therefore, it has become popular news. It is also a reference to a popular joke about Cyrus' butt being too flat to be able to twerk.)
Sweet burn. (Ooh, tss!) no pun intended.
(This is another reference to Joan of Arc's burning at the stake, as well as a reference to the characters Amber and Ashley from Hannah Montana, who had their catch phrase of "Ooh," followed by the burning noise "Tss." Miley Stewart and Lilly Truscott make their brief appearance here, as in the first episode of Hannah Montana, Miley and Lilly had mocked Amber and Ashley's typical catchphrase by doing it themselves.)
You're a cross-dressing peasant betrayed by those you defended!
(Joan of Arc was born to a peasant family and, as a young woman in medieval Europe, would have no social standing or personal freedom. She posed as a young boy to participate in the Hundred Years' War, and her influence won many battles for France. However, when Joan was captured in battle, the French king, Charles VII, did little to intervene to help her. She was eventually bought back by the English government who led her into her trial and execution. Cyrus says that Joan started as a failure and ended as a failure.)
But when I come under fire, I can hashtag handle it!
(Cyrus says she can handle being flamed on, otherwise known as being criticized, by her haters better than Joan could at being burned. When Cyrus is the target of negative publicity, she takes it to Twitter to spin it her way. Twitter users deploy a "hashtag", or pound symbol (#), to link topics of interest, as in #HandleIt.)
If God's in your corner, girl, you need better management!
(If Joan of Arc had God, an all powerful deity, on her side, the only reason she could have been sentenced to death is if she had bad management. Cyrus' manager, who also helped Britney Spears, taught Cyrus to be a sex symbol while not giving in to the pressure of being criticized.)
Joan of Arc:
Do not take the Lord's name in vain, you ratchet skank!
(Joan returns fire for Cyrus' last line having used the Holy Name with disrespect and therefore committing blasphemy, which violates the Third Commandment: "You will not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold without guilt one who has taken His name in vain." Joan calls Cyrus a trashy slut once more.)
Your manager's riding you to the achy breaky bank!
("Achy-Breaky Heart" was Billy Ray Cyrus' most famous song. Joan contends that Cyrus' manager forces Cyrus to use obscene gestures and language to gain money and popularity. Riding one to the bank could also mean to push someone to the point of insanity, which makes Cyrus look even more crazy.)
Be thankful for your talent; don't just rub it on your crotch!
(Reference to a public comment by songstress Mariah Carey, a contemporary and one of Cyrus' mentors, regarding Cyrus' bizarre behavior at the MTV VMA's. Quoting Carey verbatim, Joan says Cyrus should make the most of her potential instead of being known for pleasing audiences with her music videos, some of which involve nudity or rubbing things on her private area.)
Keep your party in the USA. Viva la France!
("Party in the USA" was a Cyrus mega-hit song, but Joan counters this with "Long live France!" She wants no part of Cyrus' antics. 'Vive' /VEE-vuh/ is the present subjunctive of 'vivre', "to live"; when used with a noun, it forms the sentence, "May [noun] live (long)." When this is, in turn, exclaimed, it becomes a hailing call, "Long live [noun]!". Joan tells Cyrus to keep her party in the USA because Joan's party in France is better. )
You gettin' lifted on a pyre; get that body burned up.
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "You're getting lifted on a stake, get that body burned up!")
The country she defended sold this cross-dressin' peasant! [laugh track]
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "You're a cross-dressing peasant betrayed by those you defended!" A laugh track is added to represent laughter after a joke in a sitcom, a reference to Miley Cyrus' appearance on Hannah Montana.)
Joan of Arc:
I know the…voices told me turn the other cheek.
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "I know the voices of the angels tell me turn the other cheek.'")
But I'm the…girl on fire, Katniss Everdeen!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "Je suis la fille en feu; call me Katniss Everdeen!")
But I only get down on my two knees when it's time to pray!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "But I only get down on my knees when it's time to pray!")
I can't help but bring the heat, I'm a human firebomb!
(To bring the heat means to go hard in a fight. Joan naturally does so, as she was burned at the stake, making her a human fireball and very heated.)
You're a wreck on a ball, I wish a Jay-Z song was on!
(Miley Cyrus sang the song "Wrecking Ball," the music video of which controversially featured Cyrus nude riding on a wrecking ball. Joan uses this as a pun to call her a wreck on said ball, then says she'd rather listen to a different song, preferably Jay-Z. This is a reference to a lyric in Cyrus's song "Party in the U.S.A." This line was scrapped because the lyric about Jay-Z in "Party in the U.S.A." was deemed not iconic enough to mention.)
Notes and references
↑The actual subject of "23" is a fantasy based on Air Jordan shoes. Michael Jordan, the shoes' endorser, wore that number, and appeared in his own rap battle two episodes later.