Sia’s Video for Chandelier: So This Is Love

It’s getting so close to Christmas now and the days are pretty much madcap craziness. On top of trips to the Post Office and all kinds of shopping and gift-wrapping, I’ve had birthday parties, graduation parties, book club parties, and all kinds of other non-holiday-but-celebration-related activities going on.

I love all these events, but I’ll be a bit glad when December 26th arrives and I can hole up with a manuscript again like a troll.

When I don’t start my day at work on a manuscript, I always feel anxious at night. And since I didn’t work yesterday, I didn’t want to go to sleep last night, and I discovered this music video around midnight —

It took my breath away, and I can’t stop watching it —

It’s the official music video for Sia’s hit, “Chandelier” —


The first time I heard this song on the radio, my reaction was, “Mmm… not my favorite, but I won’t change the station.” I thought it was just a mindless party-girl club song, and if you take the time to figure out she’s singing an anthem to getting wasted, via rock-bottom self-esteem, with the lyrics, “1 2 3 1 2 3 drink” as the subject of the song trashes herself into oblivion — well, this wasn’t a piece of music that moved me.

Which means this wasn’t a song I listened to on my computer — so I never watched the video.

Then I found out last night that Saturday Night Live and Lena Dunham have both parodied this video — and I was like, okay, I have to watch this now.

(The SNL parody, with Jim Carrey and Kate McKinnon, completely rocks by the way — you should totally watch it if you haven’t seen it yet!!)

It’s easy for me to know why I love this music video so much — it’s a perfect work of art, with a simple perfection in lighting and filming that gives every moment a powerful beauty — but it’s so much more than that. It’s the contrast between the dancer and her setting; the pairing of the wig and the color smeared on her hands; the exquisite way she moves when spinning and tumbling, coupled with the ferociousness of her expressions and moods. She’s a violent babydoll, she’s a woman and a child, she’s lost and sad and deeply knowing, she’s lashing out and subversive and unhinged.

She’s totally gorgeous, thrilling, living art. There is wild magic here, and I can’t stop smiling.

When I watch the video, I feel this gigantic, tawny goddess with the mane of a lion rise up in my chest, and she carries a spear coated in blood and a battered shield decorated with a black ankh — and when she studies this dancer, my lion-goddess possesses me with incandescent delight. She says, “Play it again…” and I do.

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