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"Bird Set Free" is the lead track from Sia's seventh studio album, This Is Acting. Released on November 3, 2015, the song serves as the album's second single.

Background Edit

"Bird Set Free" was initially written for the musical comedy, Pitch Perfect 2, but was rejected in favor of "Flashlight" — another song co-written by Sia. The song was later sent to Rihanna, who rejected it.[1]

In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Sia told that "Bird Set Free," along with "Alive," were originally written for Adele's then-upcoming third studio album, 25. The song made it to the final cut, and a demo was recorded by Adele, who also planned to record it for her album. However, after having been told that the track was more of a "Sia song," she returned it back to Sia.[2] After pitching it to Adele, Sia felt "seller's remorse," as she felt connected to the song. She describes it as "a big, anthemic, fun, sing-along-in-the-car song."[1]

Lyrics Edit

Clipped wings, I was a broken thing
Had a voice, had a voice but I could not sing
You'd worn me down
I struggled on the ground
So lost, the line had been crossed
Had a voice, had a voice but I could not talk
You held me down
I struggle to fly now

But there's a scream inside that we all try to hide
We hold on so tight, we cannot deny
Eats us alive, oh it eats us alive
Yes, there's a scream inside that we all try to hide
We hold on so tight, but I don't wanna die, no
I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die

And I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I shout it out like a bird set free
No I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free

Now I fly, hit the high notes
I have a voice, have a voice, hear me roar tonight
You held me down
But I fought back loud

But there's a scream inside that we all try to hide
We hold on so tight, we cannot deny
Eats us alive, oh it eats us alive
Yes, there's a scream inside that we all try to hide
We hold on so tight, but I don't wanna die, no
I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die yeah

And I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I shout it out like a bird set free
No I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free

Composition Edit

The song "Bird Set Free" is written in the key of F minor.

Critical Reception Edit

Rolling Stone said the song is "liberating". In a review of the song's parent album This Is Acting, Kathy Iandolf of Idolator wrote "This album is dark, indicated by the lead single 'Alive,' but also by the opener 'Bird Set Free,' where Sia takes a solemn vow to emotional liberation amidst strong piano keys." Alex McCown of The A.V. Club called it the "best female empowerment sing-along Katy Perry never wrote." Calling the song a "ginormo self-empowerment anthem", Hugh Montgomory of The Independent wrote "Sia produces something more complex, battle-cries from a volatile soul.

Promotion Edit

Sia performed "Bird Set Free" and "Alive" on the November 7, 2015 episode of Saturday Night Live.

Usage in Media Edit

"Bird Set Free" was featured over the end credits of the horror film The Shallows. It was also featured in the opening credits of the 2017 film Unforgettable.

Charts Edit

Charts Peak Position
Australia (ARIA)9 36
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 98
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100) 69
France (SNEP) 4
New Zealand Heatseekers (Recorded Music NZ) 9
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100) 65
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 69
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 92

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Spanos, Brittany (3 December 2015). "Sia on Reclaiming Adele, Rihanna's Unwanted Hits". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  2. "Sia Talks New Album, Rejection | On Air with Ryan Seacrest". "Ryan Seacrest Presents" on YouTube. Accessed on 2016-01-25.

See also: This is Acting Edit