Skin O' My Teeth

Album: Countdown to Extinction (1992)
Charted: 13
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • On the Arsenal of Megadeth DVD, which was released in 2006, Dave Mustaine says before a live performance: "This song is about how many times I tried to kill myself and couldn't get the job done." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Toronto, Canada
  • The expression "by the skin of one's teeth" comes to us all the way from the Bible: King James Bible, Job 19:20: "My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth." Job is delivering one of his long-winded lamentations to his three friends, who are debating with him whether he deserves his problems or not. To escape by the skin of your teeth is to very, very narrowly make it; it's a way of saying you almost didn't survive.

    However, the title itself comes from the Thornton Wilder stage play The Skin of Our Teeth. It, too, is filled with biblical references, such as each of the characters being an allegory for characters from the Bible and Hebrew legend.
  • Dave Mustaine is further quoted in a 1992 interview on the unofficial Megadeth fan site, "MTV flipped when they saw the lyrics to 'Skin O' My Teeth' because they thought I was promoting committing suicide. It has taken us a long enough time to get our relationship politically correct with MTV. So I don't want to go out and film a video about a song that they are going to look at and say, 'You're nuts.' and if they say, 'Hey Dave, we're going to play your song, as radical as it is, but you have to go on there and say the song is not about suicide,' I'll say it. 'Hey, this song is not about suicide.'"
  • Countdown to Extinction is Megadeth's most successful album, selling over two million copies and going double platinum.

    If you've heard of the Live at the Cow Palace version of this album, we assure you that there really is such a place. It's in Daly City, California, formerly known as the California State Livestock Pavilion, and it's owned by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
  • Mustaine told Artist Direct that he came up with the idea for the song, "on the way home from a very anxious dental appointment."

Comments: 2

  • Me from NowhereIt wasn't for Dave to kill himself, it was someone else that he wrote about in the Song "A Tout Le Monde" if you wanted to know.
  • Sam from Durham, United KingdomDave Mustane is amazing there was no reason for him to try and kill himself anyway
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Michael Bolton

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

U2

U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?

Bill Withers

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.