Skin o' My Teeth

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"Skin o' My Teeth"
Single by Megadeth
from the album Countdown to Extinction
B-side "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" (Mix)
Released April 12, 1993[1]
Format 7", 10", CD
Recorded Between January 6 and April 28, 1992
Genre Thrash metal
Length 3:14
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Dave Mustaine
Producer(s) Max Norman and Dave Mustaine
Megadeth singles chronology
"Sweating Bullets"
"Skin o' My Teeth"
"Angry Again"
Countdown to Extinction track listing
"Skin o' My Teeth"
"Symphony of Destruction"

"Skin o' My Teeth" is the fourth single from American thrash metal band Megadeth's multi-platinum album Countdown to Extinction.

Song Meaning[edit]

The song, written by Dave Mustaine, deals with the theme of a failed suicide attempt, similar to the origin of the phrase skin of my teeth, where the commentator narrowly escapes death. The song has often been (incorrectly, according to Mustaine) thought to promote suicide. He has talked about the meaning of "Skin o' My Teeth" several times, as shown below.

MTV flipped when they saw the lyrics to 'Skin O' My Teeth' because they thought I was promoting committing suicide. It has taken us a long enough time to get our relationship politically correct with MTV. So I don't want to go out and film a video about a song that they are going to look at and say, 'You're nuts.' and if they say, 'Hey Dave, we're going to play your song, as radical as it is, but you have to go on there and say the song is not about suicide,' I'll say it. 'Hey, this song is not about suicide'.

— Dave Mustaine, 1992[2]

This is a song about how many times I tried to kill myself and just couldn't get the fucking job done. This is 'Skin O'My Teeth!'

— Mustaine, in concert, 1992[2]

That's about people who want to end it and just can't get it together. You know, they cut their wrist; it's just not deep enough. Or they decide to get hit by a car and it just breaks their leg or something.

— Mustaine, 1992[2]

This song in no way condones suicide. Life sucks that's why people get fat and lazy; this is Skin O' My Teeth.

— Mustaine, 1992[2]

This was a fun video to make. We played live at this raging little club in Chicago called the Metro. The video crew were a bunch of maniacs running around the stage like little rodents. It was hard not to laugh as these crazy guys kept getting in our way.

— Marty Friedman, 2002[2]


This song was played in the Argentina concert that would appear on the DVD That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires, but didn't make it into the final cut for the DVD. It appears in the iTunes version of the concert. This song was later played in the San Diego concert and appears in the corresponding DVD Blood in the Water: Live in San Diego. This has been a fan favorite[citation needed] song and it has played almost every show. The song was also played on June 22, 2010, which included in the live DVD The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria.

The title is a reference to the popular Thornton Wilder play The Skin Of Our Teeth.

The song also appears in the Greatest Hits: Back to the Start compilation of 2005 and Anthology: Set the World Afire compilation of 2008. Finnish death metal band Kalmah covered it on their second studio album, They Will Return.

A drum sample from this song appears in the Pendulum track "Another Planet" on the album Hold Your Colour.

The soundtrack for the 1993 DOS game Duke Nukem II contains a midi track known as "Squeak", which samples elements of Skin o' My Teeth.[2]

This was the song used for Megadeth's oldest fan Owen Brown's funeral procession. [3]

Track listing[edit]

7" Skin o' My Teeth (UK) [with Megadeth Game Board] :-

  1. "Skin o' My Teeth"
  2. "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" (General Schwarzkopf Mix)

10" Skin o' My Teeth (UK) [with Megadeth Game Pieces] :-

  1. "Skin o' My Teeth"
  2. "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" (General Schwarzkopf Mix)
  3. "High Speed Dirt" (live)
  4. "Mustaine Remarks on Megadeth Game"

CD Skin o' My Teeth (UK) [with Megadeth Game Spin Disc] :-

  1. "Skin o' My Teeth"
  2. "Lucretia" (live)
  3. "Skin o' My Teeth" (live)

CD Skin o' My Teeth (UK) [with Megadeth Game Pass Disc] :-

  1. "Skin o' My Teeth"
  2. "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" (General Schwarzkopf Mix)
  3. "High Speed Dirt" (live)
  • (Live tracks were recorded at the Music Theatre, Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, May 23, 1992) [4]


Chart (1992) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 13


  1. ^ "Skin o' My teeth by Megadeth (Single, Thrash Metal)". Rateyourmusic. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Skin o' My Teeth Info". Retrieved 2010-03-28.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "so" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Megadeth". Irish Singles Chart.
  6. ^ "Megadeth: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]