Save Yourself

Album: Darkest Days (1998)


  • There are many songs out there about helping a loved one in need, but far fewer about letting that person know they're on their own. In "Save Yourself," Stabbing Westward lead singer Christopher Hall makes it clear he's in no position to help:

    I can not save you
    I can't even save myself

    This person may be looking for a savior-type figure, but fails to recognize that other people have problems as well.
  • In a Songfacts interview with Christopher Hall, he told the story behind this song. "It was after we had success with 'What Do I Have To Do?' and 'Shame,'" he said. "We had a song on our record [Wither Blister Burn & Peel, 1996] called 'Sleep,' which was a song about a girl who had been molested, and what she did to try and deal with it on a nightly basis. That song touched a lot of people that had similar experiences. They all reached out to me at shows, in letters, and in email, which was just starting to become a thing back then. They all had these tragic stories.

    I just felt like everyone was looking to me for some sort of answer, because not only did we have 'Sleep,' but we had songs about mental illness and depression and dealing with hard times and loss and things like that, and everyone thought that since I had written these songs that I had found the answer. I hadn't. That's what 'Save Yourself' is about. I know nothing. I'm right there with you, feeling the same things you're feeling. You have to figure it out for yourself.

    At the time, it felt like a selfish song, like, 'I can't help you, sorry.' But I was trying to help them by saying only you can help yourself."
  • Stabbing Westward had some success on Modern Rock radio in the mid-'90s, but by the end of the decade the format was fading, as were the fortunes of the band. Like many "alternative" bands of the era, they were dropped from their record label, Columbia, even though the Darkest Days album was certified Gold. Stabbing Westward leaned toward industrial, which was a particularly vulnerable format at the time. With the industrial era over, they picked up with an independent label called Koch Records, where they released a self-titled album in 2020.

Comments: 1

  • Jeff from Casa Grande, Azhow true. they were bold to say it. I respect that. modern times, what a b/tch?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Kim Thayil of SoundgardenSongwriter Interviews

Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.