Sweet Sacrifice

From The Evanescence Reference

Across the Universe*
All That I'm Living For
Anything for You
Artifact/The Turn
Ascension of the Spirit
Away from Me
Before the Dawn
Better Without You
Blind Belief
Breathe No More
Bring Me to Life
Broken Pieces Shine
Call Me When You're Sober
Cloud Nine
End of the Dream
Erase This
Even in Death
Everybody's Fool
Far From Heaven
Farther Away
Feeding the Dark
Field of Innocence
Forever You
Forgive Me
Give Unto Me
Going Under
Good Enough
If You Don't Mind
Instrumental 1
Instrumental 2
Instrumental 3
Instrumental 4
Like You
Listen to the Rain
Lose Control
Lost in Paradise
Made of Stone
Me & You
My Heart Is Broken
My Immortal
My Last Breath
Never Go Back
New Way to Bleed
Part of Me
Perfect Dream
Say You Will
Secret Door
Snow White Queen
So Close
Sweet Sacrifice
Swimming Home
Take Cover
Taking Over Me
The Chain*
The Change
The End
The Game is Over
The In-Between
The Last Song I'm Wasting on You
The Only One
The Other Side
Together Again
Unknown Title
Use My Voice
Wasted on You
Weight of the World
What You Want
Where Will You Go?
Yeah Right
You Got a Lot to Learn
Your Love
Your Star
* Cover songs

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General information

Written by: A. Lee and T. Balsamo

Sweet Sacrifice is the first track from Evanescence's second studio album, The Open Door. It was released as the third single from the album on May 25, 2007. Originally, All That I'm Living For was going to be the third single, but after requests from the band and fan reactions, it prompted the label to rethink the idea.[1]

Described as a song about "a post-relationship catharsis that head-dives from an otherworldly intro into a hard-driving thrash of hard rock guitars and soaring rock vocals" by Evanescence.com.[2] In an interview with EvanescenceVille, Amy was asked: "Which was the song on The Open Door that gave more trouble to you? Which was the song that needed more adjustments to obtain 'the final cut'?"

She replied:

Vin1.jpg Sweet Sacrifice took the longest to write. Terry and I began tracking it at the beginning of 2005, got stuck on it and sort of abandoned it, half-baked, for months. Then in September we pulled it out and finally had a breakthrough with it and it became one of our favorite songs on the album. Usually when I get stuck on a song like that it dies. If I can't get the idea out when its fresh and urgent, the feeling just goes away- but Sweet Sacrifice came back to life.[3] Vin2.jpg

Additionally, Amy made known to the fans through EvThreads.com that John LeCompt didn't take part in the production of the song and he should not be given credit:

Vin1.jpg You all know that Terry suffered a stroke right after tracking the guitars for The Open Door, and how much strength he's had to have to overcome the effects its had on his performance. This is part of the reason the nomination was so touching to us. This award is for those who performed on the track, and I want to give credit where credit is due. Terry composed and performed ALL of the guitars on this song, Will played bass, Rocky played drums, and I sang vocals. Wind-up records made an error when they listed the performers on the album back in 2006, and now that error is being taken advantage of. You are the fans, you deserve to know who you're listening to, and Terry deserves full recognition for his performance.[4] Vin2.jpg

Amy's description of the song:

Vin1.jpg It's the one song on The Open Door that's about the same abusive relationship which was the source of all the songs on Fallen. It was appropriate to put this song at the beginning, but it comes from a much stronger standpoint than Fallen. It's not saying, "I'm trapped in fear and somebody save me." It's saying, "Fear is only in our minds ... I'm not afraid anymore."[5] Vin2.jpg

Amy's description of the song from a Spin interview:

Vin1.jpg "Sweet Sacrifice" talks about the same relationship I was talking about on Fallen, but it's from a stronger standpoint. It's not "I'm trapped, you're hurting me, stop it." It's "I'm not going to be your sweet sacrifice anymore." But it's also almost sarcastic to myself, because I need to stop being that sweet sacrifice. I need to stop being so dramatic.[6] Vin2.jpg

The song was nominated for the Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy Award of 2008, but lost to the Foo Fighters' "The Pretender".[7] While talking to an Italian magazine in 2006, Amy explained the meaning of the song; she said that she is the "sweet sacrifice" in the song. She further stated that the song is about the time when Ben was still in the band, and that she hopes a similar situation won't happen again.[8]

"Sweet Sacrifice" was played regularly during the band's The Open Door Tour (2006–07).[9][10][11] It was removed from the setlist of the band's warm-up Secret Show in New York on November 4, 2009 due to guitar problems. It was played live again for the first time in five years on March 28, 2012, during the band's Evanescence Tour.[12]


Studio versions:

Sweet Sacrifice

  • Recording date: September 2005–March 2006
  • Status: Released
  • Released on:
The Open Door (track #1) - the third single off the album
All "Sweet Sacrifice" singles
  • Length: 3:03

Sweet Sacrifice [Radio mix]

Live versions:

Sweet Sacrifice [2006-2007 live]

  • Performing period: October 5, 2006–December 8, 2007
  • Example: KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas (December 10, 2006)

Sweet Sacrifice [2012 live]

  • Performing Period: March 28–March 31; August 6, 2012
  • Example: Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia (March 29)

Sweet Sacrifice [2019 live]

  • Performing Period: May 3 - 18, 2019
  • Example: Welcome to Rockville, Jacksonville, FL (May 3)[13]

Sweet Sacrifice [2024 live]

  • Performing Period: May 9 - 16, 2024
  • Example: Coliseo José Miguel Agrelot, San Juan, Puerto Rico (May 9)


It's true, we're all a little insane
But it's so clear
Now that I'm unchained

Fear is only in our minds
Taking over all the time
Fear is only in our minds
but it's taking over all the time

You poor sweet innocent thing
Dry your eyes and testify
You know you live to break me - don't deny
Sweet sacrifice

One day I'm gonna forget your name
And one sweet day,
You're gonna drown in my lost pain

Fear is only in our minds
Taking over all the time
Fear is only in our minds
But it's taking over all the time

You poor sweet innocent thing
Dry your eyes and testify
And oh, you love to hate me
Don't you, honey?
I'm your sacrifice

I dream in darkness
I sleep to die
Erase the silence
Erase my life

Do you wonder [Our burning ashes]
Why you hate? [Blacken the day]
Are you still too weak [A world of nothingness]
To survive your mistakes? [Blow me away]

You poor sweet innocent thing
Dry your eyes and testify
You know you live to break me - don't deny
Sweet sacrifice


Sweet Sacrifice video still.

The video for "Sweet Sacrifice" was filmed on March 9 and March 10, 2007 and was directed by Paul Brown. For each day of production, one lucky EvClub member was given the chance to visit the set and take pictures while they watched the video being made (see Contest Details). CNN broadcast a segment featuring some behind-the-scenes footage of the video on March 16, 2007.

Vin1.jpg "It's mostly live performance," singer Amy Lee said recently on the set of their "Sweet Sacrifice" video. "It's not so much fluff and flying and tricks and wolves and stuff. It's more really just about the song, and that is unique for us. We usually do crazy stuff." The video does have a "cool twist," which Lee refused to reveal, but it will mainly feature the band performing on a set inspired by 2000's psychotherapist thriller "The Cell." "Like we're in the walls of our minds, sort of," Lee said.

Paul Brown, who has directed videos for Audioslave and Matisyahu, helmed the project, which will feature scenes of the live footage projected onto a wall. "It's gonna be sort of like a video within the video," Lee said. "Since the song is our heaviest single, we really wanted to focus on mostly performance but still have something about it that's really unique. And I think [Paul] really hit the nail on the head."[14]


The video was officially released at launch.yahoo.com on April 5, however iTunes North America had accidentally made it briefly available for purchase the day before.

Commercial release

Exquisite-kfind.png Main article: Sweet Sacrifice Single

The physical CD single for "Sweet Sacrifice" was commercially released in Germany on May 25, 2007.

Tracks released with the single include:

Chart performance

"Sweet Sacrifice" only charted in three countries: Turkey, Germany, and the United States. In Turkey, the song peaked at number 11. In Germany, it peaked at number 75, and stayed on the chart for four weeks. On the Mainstream Rock Songs chart in the United States, "Sweet Sacrifice" peaked at number 24, and stayed on the chart for 15 weeks. On the song's last week on this chart, it was at number 38.

Chart (2007)
Turkey (Türkiye Top 20)[15] 11
Germany (Media Control AG)[16] 75
US Mainstream Rock Songs (Billboard)[17] 24

Guitar tabs & sheet music

not available


  1. Lee, Amy (January 29, 2007). "Change of heart". EvThreads. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. http://web.archive.org/web/20120206010232/http://www.evthreads.com/showpost.php?p=136272&postcount=204. Retrieved January 29, 2007.
  2. "Evanescence - Bio". Evanescence.com. Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061116191801/http://www.evanescence.com/bio.asp. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  3. "An Interview With Amy Lee". EvanescenceVille. Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071025031050/http://www.evanescencewebsite.com/AmyLeeInterview.php. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
  4. Lee, Amy (February 6, 2008). "Making sweet sacrifice". EvThreads.com. http://evthreads.com/showthread.php?t=10625. Retrieved February 6, 2008.[dead link]
  5. Bottomley, C. (September 18, 2006). "Evanescence: Amy Lee Explains the New Songs". VH1. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061016104811/http://www.vh1.com/news/articles/1540914/story.jhtml. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
  6. Maerz, Melissa (October 2006). "She sold more than 15 million albums with Evanescence, only to find herself in abusive relationships". Spin: 70. ISSN 0886-3032. http://books.google.mk/books?id=iemUgvxmQcYC&pg=PA67&dq=evanescence+the+open+door&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CUB_T-TVEo7KtAbxuN2nBA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=evanescence%20the%20open%20door&f=false.
  7. "Grammy 2008 Winners List". MTV News. February 10, 2008. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1581272/grammy-2008-winners.jhtml. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  8. Mora, Angelo (September 2006). "Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo" (in Italian). Rock Sound 100 (60): 37. ISSN 1127-1337. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160304192753/http://www.evanescencewebsite.com/TheOpenDoor/displayimage.php?album=517&pos=6. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  9. "Evanescence Live In NYC: Amy Lee Headbangs, Serenades Her 'New Hometown'". MTV News. October 10, 2006. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20121107103906/http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1542773/evanescence-live-amy-lee-rocks-new-hometown.jhtml. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  10. Massimo, Rick (April 5, 2007). "Amy Lee cements her status as the core of Evanescence". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080514012353/http://www.projo.com/music/content/QEVANREV_04-05-07_64548TM.3846ec9.html. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  11. "Evanescence: Rock Am Ring Concert Footage Posted Online". Blabbermouth.net. June 4, 2007. http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/evanescence-rock-am-ring-concert-footage-posted-online/. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  12. Reid, Poppy (March 30, 2012). "Live Review: Evanescence". The Music Network. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. http://web.archive.org/web/20120403114608/http://www.themusicnetwork.com/reviews/live/2012/03/30/live-review-evanescence/. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  13. Terry Balsamo joined the stage and played the song after his departure in 2015. The song wasn't played live since 2012.
  14. Moss, Corey (March 26, 2007). "Evanescence's Lee Laughs At 'Idol,' Promises Less Fluff In 'Sweet' Clip". MTV News. Archived from the original on May 30, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070530132929/http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1555450/20070323/id_0.jhtml. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  15. "Yabanci Sarki". Billboard Türkiye (9): p. 90. July 2007. ISSN 1307-0959.
  16. "Evanescence" (in German). Media Control Charts (PhonoNet GmbH). http://www.musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/EVANESCENCE/?type=single. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  17. "Evanescence – Chart History". Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Evanescence. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. http://web.archive.org/web/20140407153205/http://www.billboard.com/artist/301942/Evanescence/chart?f=376. Retrieved April 13, 2014.