Behind the Smile

By Victoria Christie

From the writer:

Hearing about abuse is not easy, but listening and talking about violence is essential for the prevention of abuse against women and men. Discussion surrounding sexual assault has become more prominent in the media, but even so, the focus is still on the predator. Further, there is not as much attention on physical and verbal violence within relationships like marriage. In my song I focused on two central elements. First, the myth that a woman can’t be raped or physically/verbally abused by her boyfriend, partner or spouse (Graham). Also, that a fear of the aggressive partner is a reason for not reporting spousal violence (Graham). “Behind The Smile” is my way of talking about violence against women: a topic that tends to be silenced. This song is hard to hear, but I hope it brings about more awareness of this issue. The lyrics are an intimate snapshot into the life of a trapped woman in a physically and verbally abusive marriage to the man of her dreams.

Works Cited

Graham, Debra. “Violence Against Women.” Women’s and Gender Studies.

Southam Hall, Ottawa. 24 Feb. 2015. Lecture.

Lyrics:

You’d never know when you looked at her,

A smiling face all her own.

But as the mask comes off,

He is waiting at home.

One beer too many for him,

“You’re fucking worthless,”

She knows.

‘Cause after all this time,

She’s learned it’s love he shows.

Like a slap in the face means “I love you,”

And a warm embrace means “I’m sorry. It’ll never happen again. I know you’ll come around.”

She said yes to the man of her dreams,

Now it’s nothing like it seems to be.

Red roses and promises they made,

She has no choice but to stay.

When she walked down the aisle,

You’d never know of her life at home,

Behind the smile.

It didn’t always used to be this way.

Now it’s bruises and constantly being afraid.

This is just the sacrifice she made.

She deserves everything he throws her way.

Like a slap in the face as in “I love you,”

And a warm embrace means “I’m sorry. I didn’t know what I was thinking. You know I love you.”

She said yes to the man of her dreams,

Now it’s nothing like it seems to be.

Red roses and promises they made,

She has no choice but to stay.

Cause when she walked down the aisle,

You’d never know of her life at home,

Behind the smile.

Entrapment and pain,

He swore he’d take her life away,

If she ever tried to escape.

So she sits there crying on the bathroom floor,

Begging for a life of so much more.

Red roses and the promises they made,

She has no choice but to walk away.

Cause when she walked down the aisle,

You never know of her life at home,

Behind the smile.

You’d never know when you looked at me,

A smiling face on my own.

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