Salt In The Wound
Boygenius Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

You put salt in the wound
And a kiss on my cheek
You butter me up
And you sit down to eat
You add insult to injury
You say you believe in me
But you haven't decided
About taking or leaving me

But you take and you take
Like silks up my sleeve
Tied corner to corner, never ending
Trick after trick, I make the magic
And you unrelentingly ask for the secret

Neck full of mockingbirds
All calling your name
I tried to sing it all back
Like I heard it, it don't sound the same
I'm gnashing my teeth
Like a child of Cain
If this is a prison I'm willing to burn my own chain

But you take and you take
Like silks up my sleeve
Tied corner to corner, never ending
Trick after trick, I make the magic
And you unrelentingly ask for the secret

They say the hearts and minds are on your side
They say the finish line is in your sights




What they don't say is what's on the other side
They say the hearts and minds are on your side

Overall Meaning

The song "Salt in the Wound" by the indie supergroup Boygenius (consisting of songwriters Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus) explores the complicated dynamics of a toxic relationship. The lyrics describe a partner who both uplifts and brings the singer down, adding "salt in the wound." The partner "believe[s] in" the singer but "haven't decided" about whether to stay or leave, leading the singer to feel trapped and powerless.


The singer invokes the image of "silks up [their] sleeve," suggesting they are a magician trying to make their relationship work despite the constant taking and asking for more from their partner. They also describe a "neck full of mockingbirds" who are "calling" their partner's name, symbolizing the chorus of voices in their head telling them to leave the relationship behind. Despite all of this, the singer is willing to burn their own chains and escape the "prison" they feel trapped in.


Overall, the song is both heartbreaking and empowering, as it captures the feelings of being stuck in a toxic relationship but also finding the strength to break free and start anew.


Line by Line Meaning

You put salt in the wound
You intentionally hurt me


And a kiss on my cheek
You try to cover up your cruel actions with a fake display of affection


You butter me up
You flatter me to gain my trust and vulnerability


And you sit down to eat
You take advantage of me and enjoy your own selfish gain


You add insult to injury
You keep piling on hurtful actions and words despite my pain


You say you believe in me
You use false encouragement to manipulate me


But you haven't decided
You're uncertain about how to use me for your own benefit


About taking or leaving me
You're considering whether or not to continue using me


But you take and you take
You continuously exploit and use me


Like silks up my sleeve
You keep taking from me without a care, as if it's easy and endless


Tied corner to corner, never ending
Your selfishness and cruelty are all-consuming and unending


Trick after trick, I make the magic
Despite your mistreatment, I try to impress and please you


And you unrelentingly ask for the secret
You keep demanding more from me, despite my exhaustion and pain


Neck full of mockingbirds
I'm surrounded by people who doubt and ridicule me


All calling your name
They see you for who you really are, and know you're using me


I tried to sing it all back
I try to believe your lies and pretend everything is okay


Like I heard it, it don't sound the same
Despite my attempts, reality sets in and I realize the truth


I'm gnashing my teeth
I'm consumed with rage and helplessness


Like a child of Cain
I feel like an outcast, rejected and alone


If this is a prison I'm willing to burn my own chain
I'd rather face the consequences of trying to escape your control than continue to let you use and hurt me


They say the hearts and minds are on your side
Others believe in your charisma and false charm


They say the finish line is in your sights
They think you're close to achieving your goals


What they don't say is what's on the other side
They don't see the damage and pain you're causing to those around you




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Hipgnosis Songs Group
Written by: Julien Rose Baker, Lucy Elizabeth Dacus, Phoebe Lucille Bridgers

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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