Sarah McLachlan's Sweet Surrender

Sarah's song Sweet Surrender is a stunning masterpiece. The erie guitar riffs, calling out like a beacon, instantly catch your attention and draw you in, like a warning. Officially, Sarah has said that this song was inspired by Leaving Los Vegas. But it is interesting when a song's true meaning can be seen, by those in the know, and completely be obscured by those who aren't in the know.

Ask any 'vanilla' person what this song, and the music video are about, and chances are they will say it is about someone dying and maybe being given a second chance, or their journey up to heaven. The theories are often vague and unsure.

Ask anyone who has actually been a submissive, about this song, and you will get instant recognition and agreement on many tells in the song and video. Sarah couldn't of written this song, without having experienced being a submissive. You can also tell by her body language when preforming this song. Several of the live performances, she will be seen spanking herself, or using the mic cord like a whip through this song. Sweet Surrender Live from Mirrorball.

Let us watch this, and see what we can notice. I will draw your attention to some of the video cues, as well as try to work out the meaning of the lyrics.

The video starts out with a very sexy and confident Sarah singing, and driving a car. She is wearing what is essentially a very classy 'day collar'. Another version of her is seen laying on the ground, ALMOST lifeless, in drab, tattered clothing. Not wearing anything around her neck.

"It doesn't mean much... It doesn't mean anything at all. The life i've left behind me, is a cold room."

This would be referring to her prior life being unimportant, and as enticing as a cold, uninviting dark room. It is likely also a reference to a vanilla lifestyle, which has no heat, intensity or emotion compared to what is felt in the D/s lifestyle. You will note that her old / former self lips the lyrics 'The Life I've left behind me'. Then the new / current self, says 'Cold room'.

"I've crossed the last line, from where I can return. Where every step I took in faith, betrayed me, and led me from my home."

The last line she has crossed, being the passage into the realm of D/s, specifically complete submission. Finding the pleasure and emotions involved, to be far greater than that from her past vanilla life. Her past life being filled with poor choices of her own, which were made under the assumption that the (vanilla) men she was seeing were honest, and true to their word. They were not, and were in fact dishonorable in their word, tricking her into a false sense of security. Some of these men led her away from the direction in life she wished to head. Instead of nurturing her to grow, they tried to use her for selfish pursuits.

This is a huge misconception about D/s. A proper Dom will try to guide and nurture his sub to grow into something that is healthy and positive and vibrant and confident. (A 'Dom' who trys to change his sub for their own selfish reasons without regard to what the sub wants, isn't a Dom at all, but an abuser).

You will also note that when she sings 'Betrayed me' her old / former self lips that lyric.

"Sweet Surrender, is all that I have to give." Being a fairly obvious reference to a submissive and her biggest gift to her Dom.

"Take me in, no questions asked. You strip away the ugliness that surrounds me. Are You an angel? Am i already that gone?"

Her Dom accepts her in, and, with loving hands, molds her into something beautiful. Helping her out of her old, broken self, so she can transform and blossom. The care and attention she receives is so uplifting, that she feels she is in heaven. A subs Dom will be the most important and influential person in their lives. With almost a magical quality about them.

"i only hope that i won't disappoint You."

She hopes she lives up to his expectations. A loyal sub would never want to disappoint their Dom.

"Well, i am down here on my knees."

I see this more that she is worshiping Him and awaiting His next instruction with baited breath. Not as a sexual reference, in combination with the previous line. She needs his attention and guidance and patiently waits for it.

"And i don't understand how the touch of your hand.... i would be the one to fall..."

A typical Dom knows how to use the slightest touch to trigger deep feelings. In combination with other aspects, such a simple caress can have a profound emotional response. Notice in the official video that she caresses her collar in this scene. Of note in the live version she says "By the touch of your hand. How I would be the one to fall.".

"i miss the little things... i miss everything, about You..."

This refers to the time when her Dom is not around. The pleasure and emotion that a trained hand can carefully provide to a willing submissive partner, is well beyond any traditional pleasure. Going just a day or even a few hours without exposure to this, can feel like days. In the live version she says "I'll miss the little things, I'll miss the simple things, I'll miss everything, everything about you. So it doesn't mean much...". Note that, as some may suggest, "it doesn't mean much" refers to either the current state of the song, or something else, like her current relationship / Dom. If that was the case, this line wouldn't exist. If she will miss everything about someone, that can't be the same thing as saying it doesn't mean much. She knows she is going to miss him. She knows this is deeper than anything she's felt.

The video shows her present self, looking very healthy and beautiful, wearing a lovely hinged sterling silver discrete day collar. It shows her former self, a complete mess. Used and abused, dumped aside. With no collar.

The video also features a masculine looking character, which is portrayed by herself maybe? However without makeup and/or with the color saturation very low. Not quite as bright and showy. She wears the same outfit, however the camera shows show more lower body, allowing you to see the more masculine trench style coat, and slacks. This character however also wears the same collar. This may be a depiction of her Dom. Sometimes Doms and subs will share similar collars, as a form of bond.

Towards the end of the video, the masculine figure is seen merging with her former self. Her former self, seemingly wandering aimlessly, without purpose. Together they transform into her very feminine present self. Her present self, very powerful, and strong. Sensual and confident.