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"Butterfly Fly Away" is an acoustic pop duet performed by American actors and recording artists Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus. The song was first heard in the 2009 film Hannah Montana: The Movie, in which both Cyruses star, and was subsequently released on the film's soundtrack. An extended version is featured on Billy Ray's eleventh studio album, Back to Tennessee. The song is a soft country ballad with lyrics that describe a child's transition to adulthood.

The song received generally favorable reviews and, though not released as a single, achieved notable commercial outcomes in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It reached its highest international peak in the Irish Singles Chart, at number forty-six. The Cyruses performed the song live at several venues; a performance in an English Apple Store was recorded and eventually released on an extended play.

Background

As with Miley and Ray Cyrus's last duet, "Ready, Set, Don't Go" (2007), "Butterfly Fly Away" describes a child's transition to adulthood. The song was written and produced by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri for the 2009 film Hannah Montana: The Movie. According to the film, when main character Miley Stewart (played by Miley Cyrus) was young, her father Robby Ray Stewart (played by Billy Ray Cyrus), would often tell her that while a caterpillar may not be able to move much, it can still dream about the butterfly it will one day be.< This comment became a recurring motif in the film and provided the basis for the lyrics to "Butterfly Fly Away", which use a caterpillar's metamorphosis as a metaphor for a child's coming of age. In Hannah Montana: The Movie, the Cyruses perform the song as their characters in "a tender movie scene under a gazebo in the rain". Billy Ray said filming the scene was "a pretty special moment. The song itself was written by Glen Ballard, a masterful songwriter who wrote 'Man in the Mirror' for Michael Jackson. I knew it was a pretty special song [...] and it certainly comes at a nice spot in the movie."

Critical reception

Reviewers gave the song moderately positive reviews. Warren Truit of About.com found it "sentimental" while Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called it "a sweet duet". Allmusic reviewer Heather Phares said the song was "a treacly duet". Stephen Thomas Erlewine, also of Allmusic, was more negative, calling it a "syrupy, icky" song on which Billy Ray never sounds quite right. Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "[Miley's] delicate duet with dad Billy Ray, 'Butterfly Fly Away,' is quietly lovely." Billboard reviewer Ken Tucker stated that it "is an airy and flowing song about family on which father and daughter's voices blend nicely". Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter called "Butterfly Fly Away" a "tender Glen Ballard/Alan Silvestri ballad". The song was included on the short list for Best Original Song at the 82nd Academy Awards, but did not achieve a nomination.

Live performances

The Cyruses performed the song on Good Morning America on April 8, 2009, along with performances of "Full Circle", "Hoedown Throwdown" and "The Climb". They included the song in their set for the AOL Sessions, recorded on April 13, 2009. They also performed the song in London in an Apple Store, along with a duet version of Billy Ray's "Thrillbilly" and several of their own singles. The set, along with some songs by Cyrus's father, was sold exclusively by the United Kingdom iTunes Store as an extended play titled iTunes Live from London.

Charts

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 56
Canadian Hot 100 50
Irish Singles Chart 46
UK Singles Chart 78
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 56

Lyrics

You tucked me in, turned out the light
Kept me safe and sound at night
Little girls depend on things like that

Brushed my teeth and combed my hair
Had to drive me everywhere
You were always there when I looked back

You had to do it all alone
Make a living, make a home
Must have been as hard as it could be

And when I couldn't sleep at night
Scared things wouldn't turn out right
You would hold my hand and sing to me

Caterpillar in the tree,
How you wonder who you'll be
Can't go far but you can always dream
Wish you may and wish you might
Don't you worry, hold on tight.
I promise you there will come a day
Butterfly, fly away

Turned around and you were there
The two of us made quite a pair
Daddy's little girl was here at last

Looked away and back again
Suddenly a year was ten
Don't know how it got so far so fast

Butterfly, fly away (butterfly, fly away)
Got your wings, now you can't stay
Take those dreams and make them all come true

Butterfly, fly away (butterfly, fly away)
You've been waiting for this day
All along you've known just what to do

Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly
Butterfly, fly away
Butterfly, fly away


v - e - d
Hannah Montana Logo
Media
Hannah MontanaThat's So Suite Life of Hannah MontanaWish Gone Amiss WeekendHannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds ConcertHannah Montana: The MovieWizards on Deck with Hannah Montana
Video Games: Hannah MontanaHannah Montana: Spotlight World TourHannah Montana: Music JamDisney Sing ItHannah Montana: The MovieHannah Montana: Pop ExclusiveHannah Montana: Rock Out The ShowDisney Sing It: Pop HitsDisney Sing It: Party HitsDisney Channel All Star Party
Music: Hannah MontanaDisney's Karaoke Series: Hannah MontanaHannah Montana 2Hannah Montana 2: Non-Stop Dance PartyBest of Both Worlds ConcertHannah Montana: Hits RemixedDisney's Karaoke Series: Hannah Montana 2Hannah Montana: The MovieHannah Montana 3Disney's Karaoke Series: Hannah Montana The MovieDisney's Karaoke Series: Hannah Montana 3Hannah Montana ForeverBest of Hannah Montana
Characters
Miley Stewart/Hannah MontanaRobby Ray StewartJackson StewartLilly Truscott/Lola LuftnagleOliver OkenRico SuaveJake RyanRoxy RokerAmber AddisonAshley Dewitt • Traci van Horn • Cooper Montgomery • Albert Dontzig • Susan Stewart • SienaJesse • 'Mamaw' Ruthie Ray Stewart • "Bubba" Joe Stewart • Grandma Ruby • Aunt Dolly • Uncle Earl • Aunt Pearl • Luann Stewart • Bobby Ray Stewart • Kenneth "Ken" Truscott • Heather Truscott • Taylor SwiftOswald GrangerAlbert EinsteinHenrietta LaverneLucindaJohn CenaThorJoannie PalumboMr. CorelliJoshMikayla
Episodes
Season One: "Lilly, Do You Want to Know a Secret?" • "Miley Get Your Gum" • "She's a Super Sneak" • "I Can't Make You Love Hannah if You Don't" • "It's My Party, and I'll Lie if I Want To" • "Grandmas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Play Favorites" • "It's a Mannequin's World" • "Mascot Love" • "Ooh, Ooh, Itchy Woman" • "O Say, Can You Remember the Words" • "Oops! I Meddled Again!" • "On the Road Again?" • "You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Zit is About You" • "New Kid in School" • "More Than a Zombie to Me" • "Good Golly, Miss Dolly" • "Torn Between Two Hannahs"• "People Who Use People" • "Money for Nothing, Guilt for Free" • "Debt it Be" • "My Boyfriend's Jackson and There's Gonna Be Trouble" • "We Are Family, Now Get Me Some Water!" • "Schooly Bully" • "The Idol Side of Me" • "Smells Like Teen Sellout" • Bad Moose Rising"
Season Two: "Me and Rico Down by the Schoolyard" • "Cuffs Will Keep Us Together" • "You Are So Sue-able to Me" • "Get Down, Study-udy-udy" • "I Am Hannah, Hear Me Croak" • "You Gotta Not Fight for Your Right to Party" • "My Best Friend's Boyfriend" • "Take This Job and Love It" • "Achy Jakey Heart" • "Sleepwalk This Way" • "When You Wish You Were the Star" • "I Want You to Want Me... to Go to Florida" • "Everybody Was Best-Friend Fighting" • "Song Sung Bad" • "Me and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas" • "Don't Stop 'Til You Get the Phone" • "That's What Friends Are For?" • "Lilly's Mom Has Got it Goin' On" • "I Will Always Loathe You" • "Bye Bye Ball" • "(We're So Sorry) Uncle Earl" • "The Way We Almost Weren't" • "You Didn't Say it Was Your Birthday" • "Hannah in the Streets with Diamonds" • "Yet Another Side of Me" • "The Test of My Love" • "Joannie B. Goode" • "We're All on This Date Together"
Season Three: "He Ain't a Hottie, He's My Brother" • "Ready, Set, Don't Drive" • "Don't Go Breaking My Tooth" • "You Never Give Me My Money" • "Killing Me Softly with His Height" • "Would I Lie to You, Lilly?" • "You Gotta Lose That Job" • "Welcome to the Bungle" • "Papa's Got a Brand New Friend" • "Cheat It" • "Knock Knock Knockin' on Jackson's Head" • "You Give Lunch a Bad Name" • "What I Don't Like About You" • "Promma Mia" • "Once, Twice, Three Times Afraidy" • "Jake... Another Little Piece of My Heart" • "Miley Hurt the Feelings of the Radio Star" • "He Could Be the One" • "Super(stitious) Girl" • "I Honestly Love You (No, Not You)" • "For (Give) a Little Bit" • "B-B-B-Bad to the Chrome" • "Uptight (Oliver's Alright)" • "Judge Me Tender" • "Can't Get Home to You Girl" • "Come Fail Away" • "Got to Get Her Out of My House" • "The Wheel Near My Bed (Keeps on Turnin')" • "Miley Says Goodbye?"
Season Four: "Sweet Home Hannah Montana" • "Hannah Montana to the Principal's Office" • "California Screamin'" • "De-Do-Do-Do, Da-Don't-Don't, Don't, Tell My Secret" • "It's the End of the Jake as We Know It" • "Been Here All Along" • "Love That Lets Go" • "Hannah's Gonna Get This" • "I'll Always Remember You" • "Can You See the Real Me?" • "Kiss it All Goodbye" • "I Am Mamaw, Hear Me Roar!" • "Wherever I Go"
Songs
Season One: The Best of Both WorldsWho SaidJust Like YouPumpin' Up the PartyIf We Were a MovieI Got NerveThe Other Side of MeThis is the LifeI Learned from You
Season Two: We Got the PartyNobody's PerfectMake Some NoiseRock StarOld Blue JeansLife's What You Make ItOne in a MillionBigger Than UsYou and Me TogetherTrue Friend
Movie: You'll Always Find Your Way Back HomeLet's Get CrazyThe Good LifeDon't Walk AwayHoedown ThrowdownDreamThe ClimbButterfly Fly AwayCrazierLet's Do ThisSpotlightWhat's Not to LikeThe Best of Both Worlds: The 2009 Movie Mix
Season Three: It's All Right HereLet's Do ThisMixed UpHe Could Be the OneJust a GirlI Wanna Know YouSupergirlEvery Part of MeIce Cream Freeze (Let's Chill)Don't Wanna Be TornLet's Get CrazyLet's Make This Last 4EverIf We Were a Movie (duet)
Season Four: Gonna Get ThisQue SeraOrdinary GirlKiss It GoodbyeI'll Always Remember YouNeed a Little LoveAre You ReadyLove That Lets GoI'm Still GoodBeen Here All AlongBarefoot CinderellaWherever I Go
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