Red Hot Chili Peppers: Scar Tissue Meaning
Song Released: 1999
Scar Tissue Lyrics
Sarcastic mister know it all
Close your eyes and I'll kiss you 'cause
With the birds I'll share
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view
Push me up...
anonymous Jul 18th, 2011 7:44pm report
It's almost all about addiction, y'all. The one part that's not is the line "sarcastic Mr. Know it all." That's about Dave Navarro (who annoyed Kiedis, and has had his own drug problemT). the scar tissue that he is referring to represents not only the pain from his childhood, but also the literal scar tissue from mainlining H. The southern ladies which he references both refer to heroin (when you're a junkie, you will literally lick or eat tar heroin--which tastes disgusting--to avoid withdrawal. When you're going through withdrawal, it's called "being sick,"--like you have a terrible flu. And you will do anything to get some H to "get well." So yes, you will literally "fall all over yourself" to get well. And the "scarlet drawl" is referencing when you hit a vein to shoot up...blood turns the H in the syringe red, that's how you know you've got a vein and aren't just skin-popping H or injecting it intra-muscularly (not as quick of a rush). "Say goodbye to ma and pa..." that's easy: when you are a junkie (i.e., H addict), you might as well just say goodbye to everyone and everything you love. "With the birds..." yeah, it's one hell of a lonely view, but when you're on H, you literally feel like you are flying as high as you could ever imagine. "Soft spoken with a broken jaw, step outside but not to brawl": you totally speak softly and slurred when on smack...and it's pretty easy to get any of your bones broken...people on H fall a lot. And he's stepping outside to score and shoot (up), not to brawl. "Autumn's sweet, we call it Fall": ever hear of "the winter of your life?" It's a century-old idiom referring to your time nearing death. The Fall of your life comes just before intractable decline and inevitable death. Do H long enough and, yes, you absolutely will die.
anonymous Jun 27th, 2006 6:21pm report
All people are slightly correct in thier interpretations. The girl could also be heroine, since addictions can be as consuming as love, a person could feasibly view it as either being addicted to drugs shooting up etc, or the intensity of losing someone or that f-ed up love that people have. Blood loss in a bathroom stall could be refering to either depending on the situation. along with the rest. My meaning of it is just simply something that controlls/consumes you to a point that you feel isolated without it and completely hopeless with it.
anonymous Jul 27th, 2006 7:02pm report
I think the song just uses metaphors to express the pain and suffering people go through in life and the things they try to do to make up for it. They do things to try to get people to notice that they were hurt in some way, like hurt themselves, which often does nothing and nobody notices. This is expressed in the first line of the song, "scar tissue that I wish you saw."
when the people around them don't realize or pay attention to the person's pain, they just kind of wallow in their self-pity, or "share it with the birds".
anonymous Jun 8th, 6:32am report
Yall missing the big picture. This song, like the album, paints a dystopian vision of California. An image of drug addiction, apathy, and overdoses in bathroom stalls. It's a strong contrast to the image of abeautiful paradise where movie stars live. "make it to the moon if i have to crawl' comes off to me as a way of scoffing at the americas achievements in space flight in the 70s by pointing out the decay, apathy, and suffering that was going on at the same time
anonymous Feb 8th, 2020 2:14am report
Scarlet, blood loss, they're all young, lick your heart and taste your health...I'm going with Red Wings as the theme
anonymous Dec 14th, 2019 12:10pm report
Its about scar tissue. Everybody has it. I dont think its primarily about addiction. I think if you hear the lyrics it has deeper meanings or multiple meanings...
For one, the scar tissue is basically the pain that he is maybe hiding from the world but for some reason wants this one girl to see what he is actually going through.
"with the birds -sharing this lonely view" is maybe feeling like an outcast and not really connecting with the world around him. He may also be a drifter and flying away from his deep rooted issues, but it does not really help him because the scar is still there and he basically feels lonely...
This is the best song they ever wrote... I love this Band so much and wished they still came out with new stuff....
Although the idea of the song being about drug addiction is more likely, I like to think the song is about death. The line, "Scar tissue that I wish you saw" makes me think of someone who self harms, and wishes someone would notice it and help them. "With the birds I'll share this lonely view" makes me feel like the song is about someone who has killed themselves, and is watching from above as other people suffer, wishing they could help and refusing to move on. The part about pushing the girl with a push up bra against a wall reminds me of rape. "Blood loss in the bathroom stall" makes me think of another suicide victim, as it is followed by "wave goodbye to Maw and Paw". "Soft spoken with a broken jaw, step outside but not to brawl" makes me think of a a bully victim being determined to stay civil, but losing their life. I like to believe that the chorus at the end symbolizes the main person saying goodbye to their loved ones, and finally letting go to move on to a better place.
anonymous Feb 23rd, 2018 2:12am report
I believe it's about being on the outside looking in and feeling helpless to help, and watching abuse of various kinds such as domestic abuse, drug abuse, etc. Scar tissue is emotional rather than literal.
anonymous Sep 6th, 2017 9:31pm report
The song is about Heroin use. Addicts build up scar tissue from using the same vein (in the same area) consistently. "Blood loss in a barthroom stall" is the blood that leaks out of needle's entry point.
"Lick your heart and taste your health" refers to his putting his mouth over the where the blood leaks out and tasting it. I'm sure he means the girl.
As far as sharing his lonely view with the bird I think he's talking about angels after he dies? I've thought a lot about that part but it could mean a lot of things.
anonymous Apr 14th, 2017 4:47pm report
Birds are angels and what they no is secret and mysterious. They like angels see the earth from an outside perspective and therefore see a much bigger, more complete, picture. Knowing so much more than those who prefer ignorance to understanding can be a lonely place to be for those who choose ignorance are many.
anonymous Mar 30th, 2016 3:34pm report
The band do write songs about other subjects apart from drugs. In fact it's probably a subject they least write about. It cool fi ding out the real interpretation but to me my own is much more important. I was in a long term relationship and me and my partner were huge chili fans and this sort of was our song. I know that's a huge cliché but after we split the song took on a whole new meaning."Scar tissue that I wish you saw" wish u could have seen how hurt I was. "with the birds I share this lonely view" After I had nothing and no one to share life with. This rest has nothing to do with it what di ever but those lines eat my heart every time.
anonymous Jun 17th, 2014 6:03pm report
i always thought of the song as being about drug use and a girl. scar tissue meaning a dark past that he wishes a girl knew about. sharing the view with birds being about being high on drugs. like high in the air with birds but the drugs also making him lonely. the sarcastic mr. know it all i believe he references in the book as his and flea's sense of humor as very sarcastic. someone mentioned dave navarro and i think that's right that navarro didn't really mesh well with the band and their sense of humor.
anonymous Apr 18th, 2014 4:25pm report
This song is about him just as much as the girl. She is his savior, pushing him to see who he has become, but she is also a victim of hurt. He can not help. He can only watch the helpless downward spiral of his savior. Girls can save guys from themselves without sexual love. he knows enough about her to know she isnt right, that she going away. He just isnt close enough for her to let him in to save her. She cuts and he knows this. He feels alone in the knowledge as she slowly but most certainly dies inside. People dont see it. They either refuse to or they enjoy. Shes getting beat. He cant convince her to leave and he cant convince her to let him in. He is alone in the knowledge until the end. he wants to comfort her. She just wont let him. She wont let him in.
anonymous Jan 3rd, 2014 1:31am report
All you fucking buttfuckers are wrong, it's about all the things that have happened to the band (slovaks death, john's departure, heroin addiction, etc.) and they're still together, after all the bruises and bumps made on the band. When anthony says "scar tissue that I wish you saw" is inferring the band is very scarred, but still alive. Anthony even said in an interview.
anonymous May 22nd, 2013 5:54pm report
If you are a woman listening to this song it can have a really deep meaning (scar tissue that i wish you saw, sarcastic Mr Know it all)...and the meaning of "With the birds i'll share this lonely view"...well that could be about many different things...I see it as lovers sharing love with a good friend...If that makes any since...Like in all reality we are all animals...some people just don't get that.
anonymous Aug 15th, 2012 8:59pm report
You guys may be looking too muh into it.
I see it as this: anthony kiedis wrote the book scartissue which is an autobiography. One can infer the song too is about him. He's not a very talkative person when it comes to talking about emotions and feelings. He doesnt even like revealing what his songs are about. He says they mean whatever the listener wants them to mean.
anonymous May 16th, 2012 5:38pm report
I think the line "blood loss in a bathroom stall" could relate to a miscarriage, which also relates to the overall theme of loneliness.
anonymous Apr 22nd, 2012 4:29pm report
This song is not about drugs.
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