A while ago I wrote about Sia’s song “Chandelier” and how it holds an air of freedom to it. Since that time, it has become my most viewed post and has received three comments (thanks guys!!!). And, since then, I have also managed to change my opinion about the song.
I still think it’s a powerful song and Sia’s vocals are incredible, but I don’t really think it’s as optimistic and joyous as I did back then. The comments from you guys did fuel this thinking, all of which seemed to agree that there was a depressive nature and feel of suicidal tendencies in the song. But the more I listened to the song and Sia’s delivery, the more I began to wonder and realize that Sia is really not as happy as I thought she was. I thought the song was about her fighting off the demons and moving on…but I really think it’s about the struggle of still fighting the demons.
From the first time I heard the song, I always wondered what the first lyric, “Party girls don’t get hurt,” meant. Originally I just wrote it off and thought it was irrelevant. Then, I looked at the pre-chorus of “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink/ Throw ’em back ’til I lose count,” and I realized that she is attempting to be a “party girl” because party girls “don’t get hurt.” In other words, she sees those people who go out and get drunk and party, and thinks they just don’t have a care in the world, so she is going become one of them so as not to hurt anymore. This now suggests that Sia has a deep pain that she’s trying to outrun, not a joyous moment of freedom that I thought.
With this in mind, I thought about the following lyrics and how I may have misinterpreted them: “Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes/ Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight.” She’s literally saying “help me” and that she’s “holding on for dear life,” which cannot be construed as being free. She’s actually suffering and is just trying to make it through the night. Especially the way Sia sings this part of the song, you can hear the pain in her vocals if pay close attention.
At any rate, I smell a couple Grammy nominations for Sia…she at least deserves Best Pop Solo Performance, if not Song and Record of the Year for “Chandelier.”