Sia’s “Breathe Me” and oh God we’re all gonna die

Getting the morning started with a little writing about whatever’s next in my random queue. This is A.M. Shuffle, and today, we’re talking Sia’s “Breathe Me.”

I know absolutely nothing about the singer Sia. Seriously, I just spent 30 seconds scanning her Wikipedia page (last name: Furler) and that’s more than I’ve learned about her at any other point ever. Which means I come to this song with absolutely no baggage or preconceptions.

And that’s good, because this song’s a damn sledgehammer. It was the final song played in the TV series “Six Feet Under,” which adds a level of context that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Briefly: Six Feet Under was a mostly-now-forgotten HBO show about a family of undertakers, and each show began with a death of some sort in a way that thematically tied into the rest of the episode. (The one where the guy is climbing out of a stuck elevator that comes un-stuck just as he’s halfway through … nggggh. That one sticks with me.)

Anyway, as shows do, it lost its way, and I gave up on it after a couple seasons. But I tuned back in for the series finale, and holy crap, was it worth it. The series closed on the most appropriate note possible, and stands as one of the best finales ever: a flash-forward montage of all the main characters’ own deaths, set to this song. The final character to die was the woman who’d been a teenager in the series itself, in 2081 or something, and she was surrounded by pictures of all those who’d gone before her, and with all this swooping, arching, epic piano from Sia’s song, it just HAMMERS you. This is how your series finale ends, my friend.

Here’s the segment, if you’ve never seen it. You don’t even need to know any of these characters, but yes, that’s the dude that plays Dexter in there:

Would this song hit as hard without the “death is coming” context? Nah. It’d be just another beautiful piano ballad. But with that added layer of meaning? Yeah, I just want to curl up in a fetal position every time I hear those opening notes.

Damn! We gotta get something more uplifting tomorrow. Come on, shuffle!

Jay

One Response to “Sia’s “Breathe Me” and oh God we’re all gonna die

  • Matt T.
    ago4 years

    Were her last name Furnier and not Furler, this song — in the context presented — would fit nicely on side two of Billion Dollar Babies.

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