Chandelier: The Viral Sia Song That Everyone Misinterprets

Chandelier: The Viral Sia Song That Everyone Misinterprets

Sia’s 2014 single catapulted the prolific singer from behind-the-scenes back into the spotlight

Play It Again analyzes the sticking power of songs and their ability to compel people to go so far as to permanently alter their skin with cheesy lyrics. We've covered the Beatles, Lady Gaga, and even Modest Mouse.

You don’t know it, but you’ve been listening to Sia’s songs for years. The Aussie songstress has quite a writing and producing record under her belt (That Rihanna song “Diamonds” — Sia. Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts”? Sia. “Perfume” by Britney Spears? Sia. Get the point? The list goes on and on.) But we’re not here to praise Sia for her many, many producing and writing credits. We’re here to focus specifically on her 2014 pop hit, “Chandelier.”

Originally intended as a song for Beyonce or Rihanna, “Chandelier” instead became Sia’s own pop hit after the artist toyed around with recording some piano bars for it. She’d kept away from the musical limelight after her 2010 album We Are Born, working instead on other artists’ tracks and recording some major studio hits.

I'm gonna swing from the chandelier (via IG—flumjossan) #PlayItAgain #Sia #SiaTattoo #Chandelier #Lyrics #LyricsTattoo

Released in March 2014, "Chandelier" didn't start to climb the charts until the release of its incredibly compelling dance-focused music video in May. You’ve seen the video (or even SNL parodies of it), where then-11-year-old Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler, clad in a blonde wig and nude bodysuit, dances and flings herself around a messy apartment. The song, already rising to international fame in those two months, was embraced wholeheartedly after the music video dropped, inspiring cover after cover and remix after remix, and becoming one of YouTube’s most watched videos of all time.

Artist's interpretation of the Chandelier music video (via IG—rafaellatattoo) #PlayItAgain #Sia #SiaTattoo #Chandelier #Lyrics #LyricsTattoo

Filled with electropop beats and pop ballad vocals, “Chandelier” does everything a pop song should — including make some unsuspecting song lovers think the song is empowering.

Party girls don't get hurt

Can't feel anything, when will I learn

I push it down, push it down

I'm the one "for a good time call"

Phone's blowin' up, ringin' my doorbell

I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw 'em back, till I lose count

We’re not talking “excuse me while I kiss this guy” levels of song misinterpreting, but Sia’s raspy belting and the song’s swelling chorus has led some unsuspecting fans to feel inspired by the lyrics below:

I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, 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

In reality, the song is about a party girl struggling with her addiction — yet living life like tomorrow doesn’t exist has been embraced as an empowering personal mantra by many, partially, we think, due to Sia’s vocals and the poppy catchy tune. Couple that with watching Ziegler dance off the walls, and without deep inspection, the song seems to be more about letting loose than realizing some choices might be bad choices. Regardless of whether they’re inspired by the song’s real meaning or the largely misinterpreted one, enough people have gotten variations of the music video imagery, the lyrics, Sia herself, and even Sia’s tattoos on them to prove the real sticking power of “Chandelier.”

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