Skin (Sarabeth)

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"Skin (Sarabeth)"
Rascal Flatts - skin.jpg
Single by Rascal Flatts
from the album Feels Like Today
ReleasedAugust 15, 2005
FormatCD single, Digital download
GenreCountry pop
LabelLyric Street
Songwriter(s)Doug Johnson
Joe Henry
Producer(s)Mark Bright
Marty Williams
Rascal Flatts singles chronology
"Fast Cars and Freedom"
"Skin (Sarabeth)"
"What Hurts the Most"

"Skin (Sarabeth)" (listed on the album, Feels Like Today, as just "Skin") is a song written by Doug Johnson and Joe Henry, and performed by American country music group Rascal Flatts. The song was originally a hidden track on the first shipment of their album, Feels Like Today, and charted in mid-2005 as an album cut (just called "Skin" at the time) while the single "Fast Cars and Freedom" was climbing the charts. "Skin" became a single in late-2005, peaking at #2 on US country charts, and #42 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was later named "Skin (Sarabeth)" on their Greatest Hits Volume 1.


The story of a girl from Kentucky named Sarabeth who falls ill, and while ill, she notices a bruise that won't go away. After being taken to a hospital, she is informed that she has leukemia ("between the red cells and white, something's not right") a form of cancer and must go under chemotherapy. She is afraid of the effects it may have on her (most notably, hair loss), and holds onto the dream of dancing with her boyfriend at her high school prom.

When she wakes the morning before the dance, she notices that she is virtually hairless, and cries while being embraced by her mother. Sarabeth thinks it would be a mistake for her boyfriend to take her to the prom in this condition.

Close to the prom, her boyfriend arrives, wearing a baseball cap. When he removes it, all are emotionally surprised to see that he shaved his head to show sympathy, and is willing to accompany Sarabeth to the dance. She realizes her dream has come true when they go to prom and they dance. As the song says, "Her very first true love is holding her close... And for a moment, she isn't scared."


Joe Henry wrote the song in 2003 with Doug Johnson.[1] He offered the song to Rascal Flatts, who expressed interest in recording it. The band placed it as a hidden track at the end of Feels Like Today because the recording contract allowed for only eleven songs on the album, and because the band did not think that "Skin" fit in thematically with the rest of the project.[1]

A radio host at WUSN in Chicago first heard the song while listening to the album in the car with his family, and soon received multiple phone calls asking him to play the song.[1] The airplay received from WUSN caused the song to chart for five months as a non-single, and Lyric Street Records later re-issued Feels Like Today with "Skin" listed as the twelfth track.[1]

Music video[edit]

The video, directed by Deaton Flaniganm was filmed in Orlando, Florida, and features a cast of Florida talent. South Florida actor Doug Williford appears as Sarabeth's father. Actress Deborah Shannon appeared as Sarabeth's mother. Child actor Johnny Maio appears in the final scene as Sarabeth's little brother. The band is seen performing the song in a room with water ballet dancers and (starting with the second chorus) a full-haired Sarabeth and her boyfriend performing around them. All the action scenes are shown in greyscale except for Sarabeth herself, a technique used to show emotion.

Critical reception[edit]

Kevin John Coyne, reviewing the song for Country Universe, gave it a negative rating. He said that "the nasal vocal is too much of a turn-off for me." [2]

Chart performance[edit]

"Skin (Sarabeth)" re-entered the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs as an official single at number 42 for the week of August 20, 2005.

Chart (2005) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 42
US Billboard Pop 100 74

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 44


  1. ^ a b c d Colson, John (24 December 2005). "'Skin' cuts to the bone". The Aspen Times. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  2. ^ Coyne, Kevin John (20056-08-29). "Rascal Flatts - "Skin (Sarabeth)"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2010-06-17. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Rascal Flatts Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  4. ^ "Rascal Flatts Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Best of 2005: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2005. Retrieved July 11, 2012.