“Alive”-Sia and Nico di Angelo (Songs and Sundays #2)

I have listened to Sia’s music for a while, ever since “Chandelier” became popular, but yesterday I listened to primarily her music. I was listening to “Alive” this morning and realized how similar the lyrics are to Nico di Angelo, a character from Rick Riordan‘s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series.

*WARNING* Spoilers might be ahead, do not read if you haven’t read any of Rick Riordan’s books.

Lyrics:

“I was born in a thunderstorm
I grew up overnight
I played alone
I’m playing on my own
I survived”

In the first verse, it is introduced that whomever the song is about is generally alone. Nico doesn’t have many friends, especially since the death of his sister Bianca, so he is generally alone.

“Hey
I wanted everything I never had
Like the love that comes with light
I wore envy and I hated that
But I survived”

Nico doesn’t want to be who he is and is in a dark place for the majority of the series.

I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go
Where the wind don’t change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you’re taught to cry into your pillow
But I survived

I’m still breathing [4x]
I’m alive [4x]”

First, Nico is the son of Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld (the “place where all the demons go”). There’s no hope in the underworld and Nico generally lives without hope.

“I found solace in the strangest place
Way in the back of my mind
I saw my life in a stranger’s face
And it was mine”

By the end of the series, Nico comes more to terms with himself, thus finding solace in who he is.

“I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go
Where the wind don’t change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you’re taught to cry into your pillow
But I survived

I’m still breathing [4x]
I’m alive [4x]

You took it all, but I’m still breathing [8x]

I have made every single mistake
That you could ever possibly make
I took and I took and I took what you gave
But you never noticed that I was in pain
I knew what I wanted; I went out and got it
Did all the things that you said that I wouldn’t
I told you that I would never be forgotten
And all in spite of you”

Throughout the series, Nico made many mistakes. If I could put this song in Nico’s perspective, I think “you” would refer to Hades, his dad. However, it can be perceived in many ways, even as Percy, his friend. “You” could even be his own demons, his mind, and everything inside of him that told him he couldn’t do what he wanted or be who he wanted.

And I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing
I’m alive (You took it out, but I’m still breathing)
(You took it out, but I’m still breathing)
I’m alive (You took it out, but I’m still breathing)
(You took it out, but I’m still breathing)
I’m alive (You took it out, but I’m still breathing)
(You took it out, but I’m still breathing)
I’m alive

I’m alive [4x]

(Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/sia/alive.html)

I’ve always considered Nico a very relatable and wonderful character. He’s really underrated, especially since he’s a secondary character, but I love him so much. I’m really glad that he got to be a POV character in Blood of Olympus.

I believe the message of “Alive” is about someone who struggled with their identity for a very long time, but finally comes to terms with who they are and ultimately surviving through all the pain. It’s a really good song and I love Sia’s voice so much.

Here’s the music video:

-Book Hugger

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