"Chandelier" (CD single) Music Poster Image

"Chandelier" (CD single)

(i)

 

Dark alt-pop song about drinking to escape has edgy video.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The tone and mood of Sia's "Chandelier" is dark and disturbing, but listeners can infer that drinking doesn't erase problems.

Positive role models

The character in "Chandelier" drinks heavily to escape, staying up all night to throw back drinks and act wild -- until the sun comes up, at which time she becomes filled with shame and self-loathing. The video stars Maddie Ziegler, an 11-year-old dancer who appears on the reality TV show Dance Moms, dressed in a nude-colored leotard and dancing the part of a disturbed woman. Rather than modeling exemplary behavior, the character in this song and video provide a cautionary tale.

Violence

The character in the song doesn't really mean she will sing from a chandelier -- it's a metaphor for letting loose.
 

Sex

There's no explicit sex in the song or video, but the character in the song is promiscuous and describes herself this way: "I'm the one 'for a good time call' / Phone's blowin' up, they're ringin' my doorbell / I feel the love, I feel the love." The video for the song features an 11-year-old dancer in a blond wig and nude-colored leotard, and at the beginning of the video it could appear as though she's not wearing clothes.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The Dance Moms association with the music video is hard to ignore.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The character in the song drinks to avoid pain and shame, and the lyrics repeat the line, "One, two, three, one, two, three, drink." The singer says she will "keep my glass full until morning light" and "throw them back 'til I lose count." In the video, an 11-year-old dancer mimes holding something and throwing her head back. When the "sun comes up" after a night of drinking, the shame also comes. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sia's song "Chandelier" is the first single from her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. The lyrics describe a girl trying to avoid feelings of sadness, pain, and shame through sex and alcohol. She drinks and parties all night to shield herself from emotions: "Party girls don't get hurt / Can't feel anything, when will I learn / I push it down, push it down." The video for "Chandelier" stars Maddie Ziegler, one of the young dancers from the reality TV show Dance Moms. In the video, Ziegler wears a blond wig and dances in a nude-colored leotard. At the beginning of the video, she is shown in a doorway, from a distance, giving the impression she might be naked, and during one part of her interpretive dance she mimes holding something and throwing her head back as if she were drinking.

Parents say

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What's the story?

CHANDELIER is the first single from Sia's album 1000 Forms of Fear. The lyrics of this alt-pop/dance song are from the point of view of a girl who uses sex and alcohol to avoid pain -- but when the sun comes up after a long night of partying, she's filled with shame and self-loathing. The lyrics portray her sexual activity this way: "I'm the one 'for a good time call' / phone's blowin' up, they're ringin' my doorbell / I feel the love, I feel the love." Her drinking dominates much of the song: "One, two, three, one, two three, drink / Throw them back 'til I lose count." The singer says she's going to swing from the chandelier, a metaphor for letting loose to mask feelings she tries to "push...down." The official video for "Chandelier" features Maddie Ziegler, an 11-year-old dancer from the reality TV show Dance Moms; her performance illustrates the disturbed and reckless state of the girl in the song.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

On its own, "Chandelier" is an effectively dark alt-pop song about a young woman's disturbing behavior. The dynamics of the song are created in part by Sia's vocal range and by the way her powerful voice is overly processed in some places and used more naturally in others. The song has strong rhythms and an edgy techno arrangement that Sia fans are sure to enjoy. However, the disturbing video and its association of mental illness and destructive behavior with a young girl may distract listeners from hearing the song's message and its underlying potency.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Maddie Ziegler's performance in the video for "Chandelier." Do you think it's OK for a young girl to act out the behavior of the person in this song? How does her dancing reflect the lyrical content?

  • Do you think the song "Chandelier" glorifies drinking or casts it in a negative light?

  • If you like Maddie Ziegler's dancing, check out her performances on Dance Moms.

Music details

Artist:Sia
Release date:March 17, 2014
Type:Single
Label:Monkey Puzzle Records
Genre:Dance/pop
Topics:Arts and dance, Friendship
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Teen, 17 years old Written byrebma97 September 16, 2014

Pretty dark, but good

It's a pretty dark song when you listen to the lyrics; it's about using drugs, sex, etc. to wash away your pain. While that's not a positive message to be teaching, it's not glamorized; rather, it's a cautionary tale, as Sia admits to later regretting her actions. This song is better for mature teens.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byreesiecup22 September 13, 2014

Fun Song that has Deeper Meanings

This song is catchy, fast-paced, and all the iffy lyrics zoom by so fast most kids won't even have time to comprehend them. It's about letting go of all the stress in your life. There is no bad language, no violence, and no adult content in the song. There is a bit about drinking, but if you weren't listening for it, you would never know it was there.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old August 19, 2014

You Don't Understand

Whoever hates the song/music video doesn't know anything about the singer and the dance. The song is about Sia's drinking problem (Lyrics: "1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink"/"Keep my glass full until morning light"). The music video has a dancer, and the dancer is doing an interpretive dance, the dancer is imitating drug abuse. The music video has many symbols. Also, I LOVE THE DANCER AND SINGER.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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