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Album: SurfacingReleased: 1997Charted:
  • Sarah describes this as being about "My problems in dealing with feeling responsible for everyone else." In a radio interview, she stated that it was inspired by the way her father always felt responsible for making sure everyone was happy. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alan - Wappingers, NY
  • Generally vague about the specific meaning, McLachlan did admit in an interview that one of several inspirations behind this song is her relationship with her best friend. Their relationship was rocky for a period of time after Sarah started seeing her current husband, who her best friend had dated in the past.
  • Adia is a female name meaning "God's Gift." Sarah chose it simply because she liked the sound of it.
  • This was nominated for the 1999 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Celine Dion won it for "My Heart Will Go On."
  • In a 1999 interview on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, McLachlan explained that this song was originally called "Emily," but she picked another name because of the Simon & Garfunkel song "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her." McLachlan added that the Kenny Rogers song "You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Lucille" was an inspiration.
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Comments: 36

My birth name is actually "Adia", but I say it uh-hee-yah. All the people with my name I've met say it that way. I wonder why Sarah went with something different.Nonya - California
... as for the question regarding "matter" ... but of course it "matters", fundamentally yes, theoretically, 50/50 ... statistically that would be a yes.
(an overall consensus of intelligence, not reality per say)

an opposing perspective ... leaning towards optimism, is disproved by a favorable outcome & or (moment).
Drew - College Pt., Ny
To perceive the vertas ... many and no-one inception ... thought it was short for a death.Drew - College Pt., Ny
If an angle sang it would sound like Sarah. It's hard to get through her songs without shedding some tears.Langx - Philadelphia, Pa
The person Sarah is making reference to has been thought to be a old friend/boyfriend that was in her band and best friends with her now ex husband called David Kershaw. The songs letters stand for Another David I Abandoned since she had gone out with a prior guy with a first name David.Jeff - Shohola, Pa
Shame on you Steve from Palmer AK ;-) "No one left to finger" means no one left to blame. Like to point your finger at someone to blame them.Lori - Concord, Nc
my name is Adia but when i was in 5th grade i thought it was an ugly name but really it is beautiful and unique so i have come to love it but with all these people loving this word or name it puzzles me because people would tease me about it but i know now it isn't anything to be teased about, thank you sarahAdia - High Point, Nc
but my name's pronounced uh-dee-uh like that.:) sorry,Adia - High Point, Nc
Actually i really do love this song because my grandmother loved it and when she was sick i would sing it to her until she passed and my name is Adia which kinda flatters me that many people like that word and this song just makes me feel so special.Adia - High Point, Nc
when i hear the song, the sound of piano and guitar it's like..it OPENS my mind, my point of view is being refreshed... and i mean it...
love this song so much...
the first time i heard this song, i wonder what is the meaning of the lyrics, but i think
"My problems in dealing with feeling responsible for everyone else." represents the meaning of this song...-DONY,JAKARTA-
Dony - Jakarta, Indonesia
I came across these lyrics from a person named "Adia", wounder if she is the same??

"Sarah!" She would often cry
She cried for you, she cried your pain
She felt feeling that hurt your soul

"Adia" died the day you left
Your flesh took away her breath
Left her gasping upon the floor
And she suffered all alone

Friends left soon thereafter,
One by one, they all were gone
Friends of money, friends of fame
Nothing was left with her to gain

Finally she managed to gather some strength
As she sat and spun the wheel of time
Spinning in the rays of sun
Twining them into a rope of hope
Hanging this rope from the roof of her years
Wearing this colourful noose around her neck
She hung herself everyday
Yet! She dies not

Finally, the day she left for home
Taking a few scratched LP's along
Through that door leads to the porch
Wooden stairs you once shared

Mother is calling, she said
Father is worried for me too
All my friends are anxiously waiting
For me to come home and play

No remorse she felt for you
Life is harsh, as she often said
Loneliness haunts the ones forlorn
Some fail yet others succeed
Survival is the "God" of life

She truly wished for you, Sarah!
To find your piece and forget her tears
The only wish she ever had
Was for you to save that song for last

It came with the wind that swept you away
Stains of black on the paper so white
Words departed humming and yearning
To become a song they were never destined

This story of that helpless girl
"Aida" was her name in your song
Nick Kler - Los Angeles, Ca
I heard that Sarah wrote this for her grandmother who she didn't get along with. Her grandmother was supposedly a very disapproving person. That's why she's saying we are born innocent but faltered.Shirl - Bay Area, Ca
I wonder if she really had to put in the line "there's no one left to finger" I don't even know what it means, but it puts images in my head.Steven - Palmer, Ak
I named my first child Adia because I loved it so much, and I knew it was Swahili for "Gift from God" at the time. No matter what, it's powerful.Detra - Wichita, Ks
Bernard- I always thought it was a lesbian song too. It is obvious that Adia is someone that she knew for quite awhile. I believe now that I was wrong. There are so many metaphores in this song. It is kind of difficult to interpert. I read this: http://en.allexperts.com/q/McLachlan-Sarah-519/whats-meaning-song-adia.htm
Makes more sense now. abc- you need to leave Rizza alone. Different songs envoke different feelings in people, that's why we are all different. I can listen to Disturbed or Rob Zombie and be relaxed. Why can't she listen to Reggee' and be relaxed? You're just a meanie.
Ellebelle - Bay Area, Ca
This is a very well written and beautiful song. Sarah's vocals make it all the more beautiful to listen to. I love Sarah and her music!Amber - San Francisco, Ca
I love this song so much it inspiers me so much.
- Madison, Calgary, AB
Madison - Calgary , Ab
I agree the meaning of a song, or any work, is in the eye of the beholder. That's part of the beauty of it. As a writer, i know i unconsciously weave in things I don't intend, and am fascinated by surprises others will see, insights I didn't have. It's the difference between art and simple communication.Andrew - Virginia, Va
Once the artist tells you what it means, which she has, how can you say it can have different meanings? Maybe to you, but the artist had a concept in mind and if you don't understand that concept, then you're missing the true meaning. And....Rizza? You feel "very relax" when you hear it. It's a very sad and regretful song. That makes you relax? Reggae makes you relax. Geez. Get a clue.Abc - Daytona, Fl
It can mean different things to different people--nobody's really right. To me, it has a special meaning because I have let somebody down before and felt awful. But to Ed, it reminds him of hope in a time of fear. But I do agree: It is a beautiful song.Ananya - Berkeley, Ca
Hayie!!! Actually im from Philippines, hehehe ?. This is my favorite song; in fact I used this word ?adia? as my email account. Every time I feel so alone, I?ll just listen to it, and in a couple of minutes I feel very relax?.

rizza_adia30, phil.
Rizza - California, Ca
I was told in an interview she did on the radio she said the song is about her getting together with her best friends boyfriend at the time and her trying to explain to her friend that it was never there intention to hurt her but they couldnt help how they feel for one another and they couldnt stop from loving someone you don't chose who you fall in love with it just happens and the friendship was ended over it. Great song.classic.Tiffany - Calgary, Canada
Melodically and the way it's arranged, this is one of the sweetest songs that's ever been recorded - and I don't mean in a maudlin way. It's just a beautiful tune. Can't imagine anyone else singing it than Sarah.Paul - Longwood, Fl
To the idiot known only as D, unprotected sex is not the only way of contracting HIV/AIDS. Go to http://www.worldaidsday.org/default.asp to educate your stupid self.Leah - Cairo, Egypt
hey edward, stop sleeping around and you won't have to worry about HIV test!D - None, Wa
persinally, i only the fisrt part when she says «adia i do beleive i failed you» for me, thats all the song in a sentence!...but anyway, i love you sarah!!Alex - Montreal
This is a gorgeous song. i know i'll be repeating everyone else, but it is one of the deep, intoxicating songs that you can listen to over and over again.Bethany - Carrier Mills, Il
Sarah McLachlan's Adia is a one of a kind song. It deep and meaningful, one that can be listened to over again. Personally, one of my favourites.Eric - Brantford, Canada
To me it sounds like a lesbian love songBernard - Caracas, South America
I always thought this song was about letting yourself down..after leaving it on repeat for like a year{during a bit of a rough patch},I could have sworn I heard her confirm this on a Canadian radio interview...i'm an unknown songwrtiter (happy to stay that way) and hearing that that just reaffirmed my belief in the power of music :)

thanks Sarah...
John - Buffalo, Ny
Its quite a depressing, meaningful song. It's one of those songs you can leave on "repeat"Lola - Street, Md
It is hard when you inadvertently hurt someone you love by your actions, even thought those actions were not directly related to that person.Nani - Ashland, Or
it's a beautiful song...Sam - Dublin, Ireland
you must be thinking of hold on by sarah, this was about a couple whose husband was dying of aidsJulie - New Orleans, La
Good for you EdMarie - Nyc, Ny
I once heard this song was about HIV. This song became my personal anthem when I had to wait for my blood test results to come back, I would always hear this song on the radio and t.v. during that wait...I'm negative:)Edward - Miami, Fl
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