Ah, ah, ah, ah (Ah)
Take a look at my body
Look at my hands
There's so much here that I don't understand
Your face say these promises
Whispered like prayers
I don't need them

Because I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable
Well content loves the silence
It thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils
That strangle the heart
They say that promises sweeten the blow
But I don't need them, no I don't need them

I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable
I'm the slow dying flower
In the frost killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable

Oh, oh, ooh

Oh, I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

I'm the slow dying flower
Frost killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable
Do you remember the way that you touched me before
All the trembling sweetness I loved and adored
Your face saying promised whispered like prayers
I don't need them

I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

Well is it dark enough
Can you see me
Do you want me
Can you reach me
Oh, I'm leaving

You better shut your mouth
And hold your breath
And kiss me now
And catch your death

Oh, I mean this
Oh, I mean this


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by ravius, Lainey1978

My Skin Lyrics as written by Natalie A Merchant

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

My Skin song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

55 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General Commentwhen you love with your hands and love with your body, you give it your all. your worth and your being encrested into one single instrument of life. then the promises are broken and you don't know wha to think. you look at yourself and nothing seems to make sense anymore. you're on the brink of non-existence. reality as you knew it ceases and nothing seems true anymore.. you are wilting, you are dying away.
    lz2108on January 30, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think anyone can relate to this song.
    this song means a sick person or person that has been sheltered and medicated and shut in.
    "I've been treated so wrong, I've been treated so long, as if I'm becoming untouchable".
    The speaker has a disease perhaps lerprcy,, aids, cancer. etc.. "Take a look at my body, look at my hands there's so much here that I don't understand."
    "Face saving promise" i take as a doctor explaining to the speaker "you will get better" and the speaker has heard that before and doesn't need any more empty promises. What she needs is to love, be loved, and find a love in their different forms instead of being treated in a hospital, or crazyhouse.

    "Do you remember the way that you touched me before" At one point she was received well and now she is pittied, treated, and talked to as if she was a patient instead of a living breathing human being.


    *Glad I could clear that up for ya*
    luminous1on January 05, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it means that people don't appreciate her body
    and that they should love her for the inside, too and not just the outside
    eatbrainstewon June 01, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song makes me cry.
    i think its about a woman who has some kind of disease, but its terminal. she wants her lover to love her like he used to, and she wants him to make love to her one last time (the last verse), but he cant do it.
    its haunting.
    _something_pretty_on September 25, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"They say that promises sweeten the blow. But I don't need them, no I dont need them". I think that she means that shes sick of everyone saying that its going to be ok, when she knows that it isnt going to be alright. Shes sick of them promising/praying for her when its a holpless cause.
    _Selene_on April 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEverytime I hear this song, I think of the commercial on Animal Planet.
    i can relate this song to animal abuse and how animals are so innocent. And, all they want is to love. And, mean people trick them into thinking they are going to be safe in the beginning and over time, that changes to the point the animal becomes so afraid. But, the animal still holds onto the thought of how it used to be when it was loved.
    babyduck22on December 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI can relate because I am sick too, going through this, it is all about tired of being lied to,promises are just words with no truth behind them. Having to give up everything because of sickness....its depressing but true.
    nickyjoneson January 28, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis wonderfully soft and melancholic tune struck me first as being about a someone dying of terminal illness (the cancer link has been proposed earlier in this thread). However, I think an alternate interpretation is one that suggests the narrator is a woman who has come to terms with herself and is bemoaning the feeling of alienation that is resulting from the other people in her life failing to understand her.

    She's looking at her hands and body and trying to understand her own thoughts and feelings and why people treat her as they do. Her self-realization starts with figuring out that she doesn't need to lie to herself or try to be someone else to be content. The lines about her hands and body also suggest some sort of detachment from the sense of self - she knows she's lying to herself but she still wants to whisper into the mirror "face saving" affirmations such as "you are beautiful" and "one day everything will be ok".

    She refers to being treated "wrong" as a reference to the reaction of others to her depressive disposition and low self-esteem. Her distressed mental state has been a persistent part of her life and has consistently pushed people out of her inner circle of loves and friendships. Her self-contempt has resulted in her becoming alienated and the "fine winding tendrils" of dark thoughts that "strangle the heart" and make her unlovable and incapable of loving herself. Once again, she's talking about using false affirmations (idealistic "promises") to soften the blows to her own sense of self.


    The slow dying flower is a reference to the felling that her inner beauty withering away because of the tendrils strangling her heart. As she grows more depressive and finally despondent and cold ("the frost killing hour") is again pushing her away from others and causing her to hate herself even more.

    Finally at the midpoint of the song she realizes that the depression ("the darkness) is an integral part of her and she learns to accept herself for who she is. She recognizes that she can be a sweet and likable person ("the sweetness"). She needs these things to finally feel like herself - and a coherent whole. Her newfound confidence is indicated by the much bolder voice in this section of the song and the more upbeat tempo.

    Now that she has a clear sense of self, she understands that depression (the darkness) and lovableness (the sweetness) and flaws (the weakness)are all core parts of her being. She needs all of them in combination and and different times to be a whole person. She also realizes that she's not weak to have needs and to "need" what everyone else also needs: the comfort of a caring figure and a "kiss goodnight" from a caring and sympathetic soul.

    In the next stanza she reverts back to her depressive state of low-self confidence and limited hope for change as she again speaks of the "slow dying flower" as the result of another crisis in a romantic relationship. She indicates this by writing about being "touched" emotionally by memories of her own first timid "trembling" touches to her lovers body. She is again trying to comfort herself with "face saving promises" at this point.

    In the following stanza, she seems to think that she deserves to be depressed (the darkness) and she needs to remember the sweet moments to keep herself going but that only makes the pain worse (the sadness and the weakness). She's in a state of desperately wishing for a non-judgmental parental like figure to be present and sing her a lullaby, kiss her good night, and tell her she is an "Angel", and "the sweet love of my life".

    "Well is it dark enough? Can you see me?" is a reference to the depth of her desperation and the desire to be accepted and understood despite her moodiness and sadness (nobody wants to hang out with someone whose emotional life drags others down). She's begging a friend or lover to reach out to her in her moment of dire need for love and acceptance. I think in the final lines she's expressing the self love that keeps her going and the contrasting that with her desire to die. "You'd better shut your mouth" is perhaps a comment to the critical voices in her head telling her "you're not good enough". She demands the critical vocies in her head "better shut your mouth and kiss me now and catch your death" - Leave me alone and in silence (thereby reinforcing her loneliness) "oh, I mean this".
    asortofdreamon March 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHonestly, I think this is a song the mostly only women will be able to relate to.

    When a woman goes through many emotional struggles, particularly in the area of romantic relationships, she is often seen as being irrevocably damaged, cold, and even frigid.

    I think the song explores this idea, and also the idea that the narrator wants to feel the warmth of love--physically and emotionally.
    kenzieron June 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure I read somewhere that it's about a woman who is dying of cancer. She wants her lover to touch her the way he used to, and just stop with the empty promises. She knows she's dying, she doesn't need to hear that. She just doesn't want to feel like she's untouchable.
    chocodashon February 20, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top