Chandelier: Sia Swings in Her First #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

The first time I heard “Chandelier” by Sia, I just thought “what a powerful chorus.”  I then put the song on repeat, and listened to it for about an hour, thereby making “Chandelier” by Sia #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

Sia Furler, known mononymously as Sia, is an Australian singer-songwriter known more recently here in the U.S. for her collaboration with Flo Rida for “Wild Ones” (which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration) and with David Guetta for “Titanium.”  Sia, however, has been the mastermind behind more recent hits by co-writting and producing songs like “Diamonds” for Rihanna, “Cannonball” for Lea Michele, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” for Ne-Yo.  She has also written for Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Jessie J, Eminem, Britney Spears, and many more.  You can view her rather extensive songwriting credits, as well as her complete discography here.  Her album Some People Have Real Problems achieved her most, yet mild, success here in the States, charting #26 on the Billboard 200, while her song “Breathe Me” is perhaps her most well-known song as a solo artist. 

UPDATE: 1000 Forms of Fear has reached #1 on the Billboard 200, and "Chandelier" is climbing the Billboard Hot 100...currently it resides at number eight.

“Chandelier” is the lead single from Sia’s recent album 1000 Forms of Fear.  This is a song that has a power chorus that just shines and emits such freedom.  Take a listen to “Chandelier,” but pay attention to Sia’s incredible vocals around the chorus, especially when she sings the word “I’m” in the line “I’m gonna to swing from the chandelier:”

“Chandelier” by Sia

The following lines, combined with Sia’s delivery, have this ring of freedom, a declaration of being independent and not holding a care:

“I’m gonna swing from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier”

I did some research behind the phrase “swing from the chandelier” because I personally was taking this as a moment of freedom and joy, especially entwined with the next no-regrets-lyric “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.”  The most consistent answer was that this phrase does convey the joyous, party meaning I was interpreting.  However, knowing Sia, I thought there could be the possibility she was talking about suicide.  Like, she’s going to tie a noose around her neck…and “swing” with from the chandelier…and “live like tomorrow doesn’t exist” because tomorrow really won’t exist.  You may be having a moment right now thinking, “Woah, Phillip, really?  You went to a dark place,” but the thing is, it’s really not that far out there.  The rest of the song talks about “throw[ing]” back “drinks” until she “lose[s] count,” and how she is “holding on for dear life.”  She even goes as far to say “Gotta get out now, gotta run from this/ Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.”  Perhaps she’s just innocently saying she partied a little too hard and is not in all that respectable of a state.  If the song was by someone like the ever-so-optimistic Taylor Swift, I wouldn’t consider the idea of suicide, but with Sia’s track record, it makes you pause and wonder.


UPDATE: Read here


P.S. "Chandelier" was nominated for four Grammys: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video!


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3 thoughts on “Chandelier: Sia Swings in Her First #PhillipsSongOfTheDay”

  1. I agree with everything. Swinging from a chandelier sounds suicidal. What do hanged people do? They swing. Other than that the song is superb and I wish all the best, happiness and a long life to Sia.

  2. I don’t think it’s about suicide. One thing I keep finding gets left out of discussions of this song’s meaning is ‘swinging from the chandelier’ is an old saying indicating a party got really wild and crazy, and someone was drunk enough to do this. So she’s using it to say she’s the life of the party, she’s the one swinging from the chandelier. She’s the one drunk, supposedly having fun, but she’s miserable. As the main part of the chorus, it sounds almost celebratory, but has a distinctly pained tone to it.

  3. I also believe this song has a suicidal side to it.

    Seems to me the girl portrayed in this song tries to numb the pain, one day at a time (or rather one night at a time), to keep her from committing suicide.

    “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Drink” could be interpreted as counting pills before swallowing them. Of course, it could also mean taking shots.

    “fly like a bird through the night” could mean to hang from the ceiling, not touching the ground. I could imagine one of her relative finding the body, hanging from the ceiling, feeling her tears as they dry for one last time.

    I am not a native English speaker. I just recently learned the figurative meaning of “to swing from the chandelier”. Even with this new meaning, I don’t see the “Keisha/Tic Tok”-celebratory aspect of the song.

    The fact that Sia has decided to disguise such a dark subject with so many double entendres is what makes this song so interesting and powerful.

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