In this song, Missy Higgins describes a series of suitors who think they know best, trying to convince her to change her ways. The first one she goes along with, and he leaves her with a metaphorical scar. The second one tries to undo what came before, pulling at her stitches and leaving more damage. Finally, she realizes that she's best off doing it her way, so she puts aside her fears and her negative thoughts and finds the confidence to proceed.
These suitors are, in fact, songwriters she collaborated with, not lovers as sometimes speculated. The sessions didn't work out and left her questioning herself - the scar that won't heal. Serendipitously, the experience provided inspiration for a song during another collaboration that went much better. Higgins teamed up with Kevin Griffin, the frontman for Better Than Ezra who had also co-written the Howie Day hit "Collide
." She felt comfortable enough with Griffin to write "Scars" about these disquieting sessions. In our interview with Griffin
, he explained: "She wanted to write about these bad experiences she had lately cowriting with other people. One woman was kind of picking at her past and trying to make her into something that she was not. And she was definitely not wanting to be all pop. That's what the song is about, but then taking that experience and that trauma or something you go through and wanting it to leave a mark on you so you don't forget it. Hence, 'Scar.'"