Album: The Sound of White (2004)


  • 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.'"
  • This song won for Best Pop Release at the 2004 ARIA Awards, which are the Australian equivalent to the Grammy Awards. The song was also nominated for Single of the Year, while Higgins was nominated for Best Female Artist. The following year, The Sound of White album took the prize for Album of the Year and Higgins was awarded Best Female Artist.
  • The song started with the line "Doesn't it sound familiar, doesn't it sound too close to home," which Griffin brought into his songwriting session with Higgins. She turned it down, but when they got together for another session six weeks later, Griffin played it for her again, and this time she went for it. They wrote the melody and Higgins composed most of the lyrics.
  • This was Higgins' debut single. It went to #1 in Australia.
  • The video shows Higgins performing the song at an old piano that falls apart as she plays it. The clip was directed by Sean Gilligan, who also did Gin Wigmore's "Black Sheep" and "Man Like That."
  • This was used in the 2005 One Tree Hill episode, "What Could Have Been."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

Does Jimmy Page Worship The Devil? A Look at Satanism in RockSong Writing

We ring the Hell's Bells to see what songs and rockers are sincere in their Satanism, and how much of it is an act.

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.