Sarah McLachlan – Building a Mystery

I like the overall sound of this recording. The mix and depth are perfect. Sara’s voice is powerful and the structure of the song is great. This is a song that you turn up to 11 on your stereo, iPod, or phone with good headphones. The engineer of this song did his or her job very well.

She talked about the song and said: “basically about the fact that we all… have insecurities to hide, and we often do that by putting on a façade.” She also goes on to say that “unfortunately, if we just be who we are, that’s usually the more attractive and beautiful thing.”

Building a Mystery peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in Canada in 1997.

Dave from “A Sound Day” wrote about Sara’s early career.



 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?


You’re so beautiful

With an edge and 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, oh

Give us a tantrum

And a know it all grin

Just when we need one

When the evening’s thin


You’re a beautiful

A beautiful fucked up man

You’re setting up your

Razor wire shrine


‘Cause you’re working

Building a mystery

Holding on and holding it in

Yeah you’re working

Building a mystery

And choosing so carefully


Oh, you’re working,

Building a mystery

Holding on and holding it in

Yeah you’re working

Building a mystery

And choosing so carefully

Yeah, you’re working,

Building a mystery,

Holding on and holding it in,

Oh yeah you’re working,

Building a mystery

And choosing so carefully


You’re building a mystery.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “Sarah McLachlan – Building a Mystery”

    1. From what I read she is a beautiful person…this song is (sounding like a teenager) just so cool. I like the imagery of it….
      It sounds soooo good loud also.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A great artist and a hard worker (Clive Davis wrote extensively in his bio about her, how he wanted her on his label in US not because of her innate ability to create a hit single but for how relentless she was in touring and connecting with the crowds). thanks for the link, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem…I felt bad featuring her right after you did…I had it in my drafts and you had much more insight on her.
      As I said…I love the song but also the production of it is great.
      The more I know about her the more I like her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been a long day of reading, writing, and listening. Tomorrow someone is coming to plow out my driveway; I’ve been snowed in since Sunday! I have a baby shower to get to on Saturday and need to go shopping for a gift tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Geez… I have had a long week…came home tonight and started to watch a movie at 7…woke up at 9:30…lol…
        I wish we could get some snow…not that much though. I know you want to get out.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry it’s been a long week. Hoping you get a chance to relax this weekend? I would gladly have the 20 truckloads in my yard delivered to you if I could. Hoping the plow guy doesn’t show up too early. 11 is my usual time to get up these days lol.


  2. I was listening to her earlier today, this song included. My faves of hers are Fumbling Toward Ecstasy, and Possession, with Hold On and Answer following closely behind. 🙂

    How are you, Max?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m fine Val…how are you and Bruce? I have a little more time now. I had to organize a 60 person video conference call with closeups etc….I’ll tell you more in the email. It was nerve wracking but it came off well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yikes! 60? Eek! I’ve not even got myself a webcam yet (am looking) so haven’t tried video calls. Just hope if and when I do that my voice is up to it (it hasn’t been). We’re okayish, thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And the owner wanted it seamless…not just talking to everyone but presentations also…I’m like uh…no. He need a consultant.


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