The Penguin Lyric Interpretations


Return To
The Penguin

Blue Denim


Written by Stevie Nicks and Mike Campbell.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Janet Strayer, Anusha, Maia, Lauren, Ocean, Mary Liz, Joanne, Stewy, Terri, Hayley, Stephanie M., and SlvrSprgs.

"Blue Denim" was the first song and single to come out of Street Angel, Stevie's first album in five years after Other Side of the Mirror. Street Angel came after Stevie's battle with tranquilizers and her leaving Fleetwood Mac, as well as several other struggles. This is really a survival album.

"Blue Denim" is not about survival though, this is about someone, with blue-gray eyes, whom she loved, but who walked out of her life. This is a song about finding yourself again, and about regretting, to a degree, your past.

That someone she loved, on all accounts, is Lindsey Buckingham, the man who has left and re-entered her life many times.

I saw him the other day.
I saw him again, yesterday.
I wonder if I'll ever see him again,
He reminded me of blue denim.

These lines open the song in a very sad way. This is a very melancholy song, but it is thought that this could be about the Inauguration, when Stevie and the band, including Lindsey all reunited one night to sing for the President. It was said that they met that night and left that night, no promises made, barely any words exchanged. No signs of any type of reunion or amends. "Blue Denim." Those words could be defined as the simplicity and comfort of denim. The simplicity and comfort of Lindsey's blue eyes. Also, there was a demo of a song called "Watch the Devil," written in 1975. The lines are, "lovely soft faded jeans a very soft shirt in light blue." It seems ironic these lines are used again.

Blue-gray eyes, they change with the color,
Change with the sun. They run with the sight.
They change with the wind, but they're always bright.
Bright eyes, blue denim.
Bright eyes, blue denim.

The words change with the color, blue and sun are when they were happy, when they were together, or even making music. But run with the sight is a statement about Lindsey not wanting to be around Stevie anymore. He said this during the making of Tango in the Night, that Stevie seemed to be a changed woman and that she barely showed up and when she did, she wasn't the same. He stressed many times that he felt that he didn't know her. It must have been a very hard time for both of them.

I knew him another way.
I knew him another day.
In some ways he'd forgotten me.
In many ways he got to me.
I turned away so he couldn't see.
I turned away, it could never be.
I never thought he could walk away.
But I lost him again, yesterday.

These are very strong words. Each line saying something extremely intense and personal. Stevie always said she wasn't shy to share her life. If it's true and interesting, why not share it? "I knew him another way." Back when they were a couple, they were different people. Stevie catered to Lindsey - the untamed genius - but things changed. She catered to no one, and his genius, still untamed, still had more of an outlet. "In some ways he'd forgotten me." As mentioned before, Lindsey had said over and over that Stevie was a different person. He probably didn't know how to talk to her. Maybe how to even interpret her music. "I turned away so he couldn't see. I turned away, it could never be." He couldn't see the change, so he couldn't tell she was losing her mind and that she was lonely. But she still loved him and she didn't want to let him see she still had feelings, so that is why she was probably cold or hurtful and hid her true feelings for him. "I never thought he could walk away. I lost him again, yesterday." These lines grab you the most. After the Inauguration, everyone went their separate ways, including Lindsey. One interpretation is that it should read, "I never thought he WOULD walk away." By saying "could," it is saying that it's more like an ability - of course he COULD - but would he? Why Stevie choose "could" is not known, but for someone who spills out her guts, it seems out of place. The song "Wild Heart" contains the line, "just another chip of an already broken heart." "Blue Denim" seems to continue that theme. Her heart is a puzzle. A puzzle that never got finished. It seems more pieces are taken away.

Understanding me, understanding you.
Is not an easy thing to do.
Understanding me, understanding you.
Is not an easy thing to do.

She doesn't understand herself and she cannot understand him. The same with Lindsey. He didn't know who he was and how he could know her. Their relationship went from one as band members to lovers back to band members. There was no time for friendship. It has been inferred that they didn't talk much. She worked and he played right before they joined Fleetwood Mac. Stevie once compared it to a hostage situation. Stevie once said that she would beg Lindsey to do concerts, and that she even called him about the recent Dance concert. She always tried to keep the lines of communication open and not to let their relationship affect the group.

And I will never forget
The last time I saw you.
Like a photograph so rare.
Like a painting.
No I will never forget
The last time I saw you.
Never to be. Not you, not me.
No, no.

These lines really show how much their last meeting affected her. She will never forget that moment she saw him, either coming off the plane or walking on the stage. He was on his own solo tour for Out of the Cradle, at this time. He was lean and still very youthful looking. He was at the prime of his career. His album got mass acclaim. She looked at him and saw how far he came and then looked at herself and saw how far she went away. They lived in different worlds now. Hers a corrupt one, his a satisfied one. It could never work - their worlds could only collide.

So I'm going away for a little while
To remember how to feel.
And if I find the answer,
I promise you, I'll come back and get you.
I'll come back and get you.
I'll come back and get you.

This line, "to remember how to feel," could be about her use of drugs at the time. She had depended on drugs for so many years. Her life was difficult and she was lost. She didn't know how to feel or how to do anything on her own. The drugs gave her personality. Stevie went from a "tormented, productive artist (on cocaine) to a indifferent woman (on the tranquilizers). She tried, but she could not kick it until 1993. She "stood on the ledge" and told herself she had to live.

But in 1993, when the Inauguration took place, she was not at all the cute girl who'd wear chiffon and dance around carefree and wild - freckles showing, dark eyes bright. That was the woman Lindsey loved. The woman who could write down how she felt about everything in seconds. Who would let Lindsey take her songs and turn them into something wonderful. She turned into a moody, lonely woman who no longer wrote her own songs as much. Who no longer danced free. It was a sad and hard transformation for us to watch. And she regrets it. "Going away for a little while" to reevaluate her life. This song is the beginning of the album, the beginning of her transformation from a young woman to a mature adult. She is stronger now. But that man, with the blue-gray eyes - she loves him and yet he walked away. She drove everyone away. She will never forget him. She learned her lesson. He was the last to desert her, but he finally did. It is time to change.

That's what the song is saying. Part love song, part regrets, but a wonderful song at that. It shows how much she really is a true person and how much she cares for Lindsey, and hopefully, for herself. She cant go on without changing. She won't even try to change others to conform to her-just herself. Never losing the person, just the baggage. She did that eventually, even winning him back as her friend. The blue-gray eyes are now only blue. It's easier listening to the song, knowing how it turns out. Knowing the feelings then, as she wrote it, it's heartbreaking.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

Copyright 1995-2001, Martin and Lisa Adelson
All Rights Reserved.