Sarah McLachlan: Building a Mystery

Music is one my passions. Even during my deepest depressions, I remained responsive to music, even though I shut myself off to just about everything else. This is one of those times art ties right into the dark subject of malignant narcissism.

Today AnUpturnedSoul (another survivor farther along in her journey to wellness than me) posted some songs about narcissism in her blog. In the comments, another poster suggested the 1996 song “Building A Mystery” by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan. This has always been one of my favorite songs. It’s hauntingly beautiful and I always felt on some level it applied to most of the men I’ve been involved with in my life.

This song used to make me cry and I couldn’t quite pinpoint why I had such a strong emotional reaction. It still haunts me to this day. Building a mystery is exactly what narcissists do.

“Building A Mystery”

you come out at night
that’s when the energy comes
and the dark side’s light
and the vampires roam
you strut your rasta wear
and your suicide poem
and a cross from a faith
that died before Jesus came
you’re building a mystery

you live in a church
where you sleep with voodoo dolls
and you won’t give up the search
for the ghosts in the halls
you wear sandals in the snow
and a smile that won’t wash away
can you look out the window
without your shadow getting in the way
oh you’re so beautiful
with an edge and a charm
but so careful
when I’m in your arms

’cause you’re working
building a mystery
holding on and holding it in
yeah you’re working
building a mystery
and choosing so carefully

you woke up screaming aloud
a prayer from your secret god
you feed off our fears
and hold back your tears

give us a tantrum
and a know it all grin
just when we need one
when the evening’s thin

oh you’re a beautiful
a beautiful fucked up man
you’re setting up your
razor wire shrine


[repeat chorus]

6 thoughts on “Sarah McLachlan: Building a Mystery

  1. This is beautiful. I’d heard it before, but never really paid attention to the words. I can see how it can be applied to a relationship with a man. Easily! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It;s funny, I always resonated with the song, but never could quite figure out it was about a narcissistic man. It took another blogger saying it was and then it was like an “AHA!” moment. How could I not have seen it before?

      Liked by 1 person

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