My Skin Lyrics - Natalie Merchant

Review The Song (27)

Take a look at my body
Look at my hands
There's so much here
That I don't understand

Your face saving promises
Whispered like prayers
I don't need them
I don't need them

I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable

Contempt loves the silence
It thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils
That strangle the heart

They say that promises
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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 a slow dying flower
Frost killing hour
The sweet turning sour
And untouchable

O, I need
The darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
I need this

I need
A lullaby
A kiss goodnight
Angel sweet
Love of my life
O, I need this

Do you remember the way
That you touched me before
All the trembling sweetness
I loved and adored?

Your face saving promises
Whispered like prayers
I don't need them
No, I don't need them

O, I need
The darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
I need this

I need
A lullaby
A kiss goodnight
The angel sweet
Love of my life
I need this

Is it dark enough?
Can you see me?
Do you want me?
Can you reach me?
Or I'm leaving

You better shut your mouth
Hold your breath
Kiss me now you'll catch my death
O, I mean it

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abuse | Reviewer: dancer | 8/31/14

What I like about this song is that there are several different ways to interpret it. But if forced to choose what it was about I would say abuse of any kind whether from people at school, a parent or guardian, a sexual partner, or even animal abuse. It may have started off as a pure relationship but turned corrupt and dark. I think this because of how she sings her lyrics along with the actual lyrics themselves. The lyrics "i've been treated so wrong, i've been treated so long" give you the feeling that she's starting or has been feeling bitter at how she is treated. Then the lines "do you remember the way/you touched me before/all the trembling sweetness/I loved and adored" lets you know that the relationship wasn't always bad and she misses the way it used to be. Her voice at certain points gets small and timid as if in fear of the backlash of voicing her opinions, but at the end her voice is stronger I believe to represent her overcoming her fear to speak and finally confronting her abuser.

Tattoo | Reviewer: Lara | 4/25/13

I have I'm a slow dying flower the frost killing hour sweet turning sour and untouchable tattoo'd.

To me the lyrics represent depression that has taken hold over a person life.

reading between the lines i guess | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/7/12

I somehow think that i may be about a relationship where the woman is realizing maybe her husband is cheating, and she questions why she is done like this. She obviously love him, and questions why he doing this to me. She asked herself " am i not beautiful, am i getting old, am i getting ugly to him, why can i keep him, why wont he love me, why wont he make love to me anymore" then she tries to make herself believe that she does not need him to move on,but she realizes that she loves him, and it hurts her very badly. Like many people that get cheated on they ask what did i do wrong, or whats wrong with me. Maybe she questions if her body is wrong with her. She feels untouchable because she might feel ugly, and also because her husband might not cherish her like he once did. She is coping with the feeling of sadness and and betrayal but trying to figure out how to love him. He might even still tell her he loves her, but those are just words. He makes sweet promises but probably does not follow them up. this is such a sad song but a beautiful one.

sad | Reviewer: wendy | 7/28/11

I love this song because the meaning is not concrete, so the song is just one big unanswered question left open for interpretation. I've thought of it as a song about child abuse. animal abuse. an abusive relationship. a song about being an outsider...feeling ignored, misunderstood, or just overlooked. it could be about having cancer, anorexia, or depression... it could be about being cheated on, or lied to, or just having people judge you too soon and never bother to get to know you. it could be about the fear of being alone. or, the need to latch onto someone, and letting them use you because you're afraid to be alone. all of these things and more came to mind, it just depends what I'm thinking about when I'm listening. it's sad, but haunting, too... how someone so obviously hurt and suffering can be so soft-spoken and fragile, and her voice sounds so small at parts of the song... she sounds like one of those really quiet people that if you got to know them, they'd be very interesting, and thoughful, and many times deeply sad. it's like a whole other person.

the thing that I usually think about

Young cancer patient | Reviewer: darko714 | 7/13/11

Valky, you're right. This seems to be about a terminal cancer patient, scared of more treatments, scared of death, and bitter towards her loved ones for trying to cheer her with phony hopeful talk and for being afraid to embrace her when that's all she really needs.

hurt. have a safe flight. | Reviewer: katie | 3/10/11

this song reminds me of walking home from work where i would crawl back into bed with the boy i loved with all my heart. two months later he told me he loved me for the first time. but that he loved someone else more.

she's gone (never wanted him back) and he still loves me. but as a friend. i'm his best friend. but he's still sleeping with me. and i let him. because i can't see anyone else. (i lost them all for him.)

it's as if i'm becoming untouchable.

Brought Me Back Home | Reviewer: Jay | 1/9/11

When I first heard this track, it was playing on the animal cruelty commercial, but I was turned away and didn't see anything. I only heard the lyrics. I was caught because it reminded me of the life I left behind. I'm 17, I've been living a year on my own because I had a rough upbringing littered with verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.

I was raped by a man in my family repeatedly since I was 10. My father drank, and my mom did heroin. He was constantly enraged, and she was just not there. I've been gone a year. The only abuse free year of my life... and of course I think of my past every day- it's hard not to... But this song grabbed me and ripped my heart out. It let me weep in it's arms, accepting me with all the empathy in the world. Then it left me in the cold.

What can I say, it hurt me and it healed me. I have nothing but gratitude for Ms. Merchant.

Song is very profound and has many different meanings | Reviewer: Randy | 4/1/10

I recently saw the video for this song to see if it would shed some light on it's meaning. It did just that and more. It is about many different things all rolled up in one. Teenage suicide and depression, Child abuse (from the eyes of the child), animal abuse and/or animal testing, clinical depression (from the view of the sufferer), Alzheimer's (and being abused for that), Autism (especially from the view of a child/adult that gets abused for it). What humans have done to the earth and or nature (as the earth and or nature talking), the people who live in a nation ruled by a ruthless dictator, the supreme being (God, Allah, etc.) looking at all the evil in the world and being sad about having to bring about the end times. I may have missed quite a few points that were presented in the video. It's one work of art that will continue to have different meanings for different people. Still the message is clear. It brings awareness to all of the issues I mentioned and more. This is a beautiful piece of art/music. I hope Natalie never lets on to the true meaning. It can serve as inspiration to change something negative before it is too late.

Broken Love | Reviewer: Lynn | 11/19/09

I broke up with my boyfriend last week...and he keeps putting his love out there...and wanting me to take it. But with the way i feel... it seems so selfish of me to not offer him anything back. He cant see that i want to move on. He promises to change and not hurt me anymore...

"Your face saving promises,
whispered like prayers
I don't need them."

Thats my heart right there.

"I'm a slow dying flower
frost killing hour
the sweet turning sour
& untouchable"

He cant see that my love in our relationship is gone.

"I need the darkness,
the sweetness,
the sadness,
the weakness,
ooh I need this."

I'm tired of fighting and I want to be alone. It feels good to be alone. I need it.

This song is about a broken relationship and it hit a home run.

I SEE YOU, I DO. | Reviewer: Natalia | 10/14/09

The first time i heard this song it broke my heart not only because of it's beauty and sadness but cause i heard it on a friends page. and i saw what i never wanted to see. i saw how Broken my friend is and how much she needed a frined and i left. how with out noticeing i've become a part of "The People" walking around this world blind and silence. and how I want to tell her that I CAN SEE HER, I CAN HEAR HER. AND HOW I'D GIVE ANYTHING TO GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ALL THAT HARMED HER.

My skin | Reviewer: Valky | 7/4/09

This song, to me, speaks of a woman/girl dying of cancer who hasn't fully been told what is going on.

"Take a look at my body,
look at my hands
there's so much here that I don't understand
Your face saving promises,
whispered like prayers
I don't need them."

They're looking at how weak she is, and she doesn't understand what is happening to her. They're promising she will recover, but in fact are actually just praying. She doesn't need them because, though they haven't told the truth about all the details, she understands now that she has no hope left.

"I've been treated so wrong,
I've been cheated so long as if I'm becoming untouchable
I'm a slow dying flower
I’m the frost killing hour
sweet turning sour
& untouchable"

She's been treated wrong by her family and friends as they haven't fully told her what is going on, maybe lying ot her. She's been treated for so long with chemo, radiotherapy, etc in the hopes she will get better but all it's doing is slowing down the inevitable - she is going to die.
She's 'untouchable' because she feels she is suffering alone, possibly as her family is keeping her away from everything, over protecting her so she doesn't find out the truth about her disease. And they may be afraid to literally touch her for the fear of causing her more pain than she is alreayd suffering from, or are afraid they will upset her more so are trying to distance themselves.

A very logn explanation, but it's my view XD

wow | Reviewer: Ace | 4/25/09

I think it has to do with the way a young girl may feel. This is exactly how I feel, because right now it feels as if no one would ever love me because of my body. I think it has to do with the way that a person may feel, like unloved in many ways. These lyrics seem like the only thing that can tell what I feel. When my freinds asked me why I had such low self esteme, I just showed them these lyrics and said "This is how I feel..." I cry everytime I hear it...

100% | Reviewer: Eloise | 3/31/09

Ms. Merchant's Ophelia has been a favorite for years. But only recently was I able to appreciate My Skin and the feelings I have as a woman, not loved wisely. So powerful and bittersweet. Thank you for your wisdom Ms. Merchant.

beautiful | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/13/09

i grew up listening to natalie's voice, when ever my mum was having a bad day my sisters and i would put on one of her CDs and my mum would instantly become a different person, this was one of the songs that effected me the most during my childhood, when ever i heard the voice and the words i could only see my mother in my mind, her fragility and also her overwhelming amount of power within herself, this song is ultumitly my mothers song in my mind, the pure pain in the voice of natalie is amazing, natalie has always been a artist that puts power to her songs,as im now older i can see the way her songs give me hope, they may be sad but somewhere inside of the song i can see hope. this is an amazing song, beautiful.

animal cruelty | Reviewer: tilly | 7/21/08

when i watched this, as always I interrupted it as animals speaking and so I typed it in and watched it with animals. It was so unbareable though, and i think if you put an animal behind this vioce, trapped, beaten, tested on in labs, squashed up together in a cattle lorry it really suits it and is encredibly sad.

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------ Performed by Natalie Merchant

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------ 10/21/2014

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