repetitive slices
fresh wounds over old cuts
increasing receptors severed
with each pass
of cold knife

now

a feather light touch
elicits no response



Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know it all
Close your eyes and I’ll kiss youand make everything better’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



Red Hot Chili Peppers vaulted themselves back to their familiar seats of music stardome with the long awaited and much anticipated June 1999 release of Californication. Produced by Rick Rubin of Warner Brothers Records Inc. the cd was the band's first full length studio release of original content in 4 years. Collaboratively written, as all songs on the cd were, by the quartet of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, John Frusciante, and Chad Smith, Scar Tissue is the superlative track of the album. It is the sweetest sounding, with the most intricate guitar solos, and the deepest meaning lyrics. With Kiedis' garbled lyrics backlit by the dueling mastery of Flea on bass guitar and Frusciante on guitar the song proceeds like a lazy happy memory, floating back to the surface of someone's memory.

Push me up against the wall
Young Kentucky girl in a push-up bra
Fallin’ all over myself
To lick your heart and taste your health ’cause
With the birds I’ll share
This lonely view...


The protagonist of the piece is a young man experiencing a period of flux in his life. We find references to lusting after a young woman, walking away from fights, and leaving home to support the claim that we are in fact hearing from a younger version of some combination of the songwriters' former lives. Examining the stanzas shows that there are several visuals employed in the piece, but the main thread is the repetitivity of the lines "scar tissue that I wish you saw" and "with the birds I'll share this lonely view." It is in these two lines that the most meaning can be extracted from the song.

Blood loss in a bathroom stall
Southern girl with a scarlet drawl
Wave good-bye to ma and pa ’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


"Scar tissue," throughout the song, seems to be a reference to past events more than any actual physical scarring of the protagonist. Just as falling off a bike while racing down the biggest hill in town can cut up a young boy's knees and elbows, there are events in a young man's life that can hurt on the emotional or metaphysical level; there are events that may require time to heal, and then again some which forever change that person. When the protagonist expresses his desire that the serenaded knew of these events he is wishing that the object of his affections could understand what in his past has shaped his current outlook on his life. He is wishing that he could be understood. Something has affected his life in a way he is not entirely content with, but in a way which is preventing him from elocuting its effect to others thus making a "you should have been there" scenario preferable in terms of explanation.

Soft spoken with a broken jaw
Step outside but not to brawl
Autumn’s sweet we call it fall
I’ll make it to the moon if I have to crawl and
With the birds I’ll share
This lonely view...


This lack of explanation is rehashed as the protagonist claims that he is sharing a birds' eye view of things. An interesting parallel on multiple levels, the metaphor serves as the clearest example the protagonist can mumble in his excuses to his love. Just as the birds of the sky are the only creatures to look down upon the earth (ignoring man-flight) the protagonist is the only person, he feels, who knows the whole story of himself. On another level, this metaphor defends the protagonist's lack of further explanation in that birds are incapable of sharing their viewscapes with any other creature, thus making them no longer unique, but ostracized and limited with their "lonely" view. A song about desire, perhaps more for understanding than for love, Scar Tissue is a rock ballad with memorable guitar solos, cutting lyrics, and a memorable message which stays with you long after hearing the song.

Scar tissue that I wish you saw
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...




Small type: Scar Tissue by RHCP

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