Virtual Gallery

Skin (Sarabeth) – Rascal Flatts


Sarabeth is scared to death

To hear what the doctor will say

She hasn’t been well, since the day that she fell

And the bruise, it just won’t go away

So she sits and she waits with her mother and dad

And flips through an old magazine

‘Till the nurse with the smile stands at the door

And says “Will you please come with me?”

Sarabeth is scared to death

‘Cause the doctor just told her the news

“Between the red cells and white, something’s not right”

“But we’re gonna take care of you”

“Six chances in ten, it won’t come back again”

“With the therapy we’re gonna try”

“It’s just been approved, it’s the strongest there is”

“And I think that we caught it in time”

And Sarabeth closes her eyes.

And she dreams she’s dancing

Around and around without any cares

And her very first love is holding her close

And a soft wind is blowing her hair

Sarabeth is scared to death

As she sits holding her mom

‘Cause it would be a mistake for someone to take

A girl with no hair to the prom

For just this morning, right here on her pillow

Was the cruelest of any surprise

And she cried when she gathered it all in her hands

The proof that she couldn’t deny

And Sarabeth closes her eyes

And she dreams she’s dancing

Around and around without any cares

And her very first love is holding her close

And a soft wind is blowing her hair

It’s quarter to seven, that boy’s at the door

And her daddy ushers him in

And when he takes off his cap

They all start to cry

‘Cause this morning where his hair had all been

Softly she touches just skin

And they go dancing, around and around

Without any cares

And her very first true love is holding her close

And for a moment she isn’t scared

Listen here on YouTube.

This song depicts a story about a young teenage girl who is battling a medical issue, but still trying to get through normal teenage milestones such as prom. As she’s going through treatment, she experiences alopecia, or hair loss. For most girls, especially at the young stages of teenagers, physical appearance is very important because it influences how your peers perceive you and your own self-image. It is clear that the girl in the story holds physical appearance highly because she believes it would be a “mistake to take a girl with no hair to the prom.” While battling a blood pathology and supposed chemotherapy that is taking undeniable tolls on her body, she is still mostly concerned with her image with the boy that she admires and her classmates’ opinions. This song represents the physical and emotional pain that accompanies many illnesses. It also shows the importance of family and social support that she gathers from her parents and date to the prom.

The representation of this story in song form makes me cry every time I hear it. It gives me hope and shows the beauty of humanity and what a single gesture can do and how it can make a difference in someone’s life. The slow pace of the music and story-telling style of the song paints a easy-to-follow narrative. The ballad makes you sway almost as if you are slow dancing yourself and are in Sarabeth’s shoes. When the music picks up in the chorus, it lifts the soul and gives a sense of happiness and calm that you can only hope also finds its way to patients who are battling fatal diseases.

I wanted to choose a song that represented pain because it is often a form of media that I choose to alleviate my darkest hours. It comforts me. Maybe it’s because someone else out there has been through what I have and put what I’m feeling into words better than I can myself. Or maybe it’s because it’s distracting and gives me something else to set my mind to. Have you ever used music to get you through a hard time? If not music, what is your most effective way of dealing with physical, emotional, or mental pain?

5 thoughts on “Virtual Gallery

  1. Hi Amanda! I really connected with your post because I do use music to get through difficult situations as well. Sometimes when you are in a bad mood, you just need to put on some sad music and cry it out to feel better. I think that music can be used as a distraction from your issue, or it can be used as a tool to connect deeper with the emotions you are feeling.

  2. I have used music in the past to help me get through tough times whether they are physical, emotional, or mental. When I first enter into the hard time, I usually find myself listening to sad songs that will match my current mood. However, as I try to get out of my bad mood, I start to listen to happier and more upbeat songs. Usually being able to sing out loud to these songs will lift my whole spirit and change my outlook on the situation. I also like to read fiction books when I am going through hard times. Reading allows me to escape the real world and my problems and to enter a completely new world. I find that by having a short escape from reality allows me to reset my emotions and perspective of the problem.

  3. I really appreciated your commentary on this, Amanda, and you’re right that this is such a powerful and beautiful song! I listen to music more often if I’m amped (whether happy or angry), but for pain, I write. There is something very comforting about having your words flow into a page that no one else has to read. That you can try to explain what you are feeling. Even if I fail completely to capture in words what I feel, sometimes just the act of writing something makes me feel that what I am going through means something and is important. Sometimes I hope that down the line, my words will be found and read by others. That idea that someone would care or understand or share a similar experience is captivating (but a stranger, because it is hard for me to put burdens on friends or family).

  4. Music is also a way that I have found relief during my lowest moments in life. Articulating my thoughts and emotions into words that others can understand has always been hard for me. Therefore, like you said, I appreciate it when someone else can put what I am feeling into a form that is easy to understand. It makes me feel less alone when artists write songs that seem to mimic what I am struggling with in that moment. Music also creates an emotional response, and at times, it gives me permission to “feel”. Other songs I have marked in a playlist because I know they will provide hope and encouragement to keep fighting. In general, music and journaling are my two “go-to” ways of dealing with physical, emotional, or mental pain.

  5. I constantly use music to get through hard times. I struggle a lot with anxiety and listening to music always calms me down and feel better. I know a lot of times people listen to sad music when they are sad or in pain, but I like to listen to uplifting music because it definitely affects my mood and I feel so much better. I think finding music or songs like the one you describe here or that you can relate to can be so beneficial in understanding our own emotions or understanding what others are going through.

Leave a Reply