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Blue Lamp


Written by Stevie Nicks.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Lauren Leichter, Shadow, Rhiannon, Becky and George. (Note from Lauren to interpreters: "Without you, this final interpretation would not have been possible. This was the hardest song I have ever worked on and I owe it to the four of you for all the help! I dedicate this interpretation to you.", January 24, 1999)

"And the stars still laugh and cry and shine
And the stars still laugh and cry and shine
And the stars still laugh and shine and shine"

These lyrics make up the chorus of the song "Blue Lamp," by Stevie Nicks, and symbolize the turning point in the song. As we delve into this lyrical interpretation, we will see how the extreme repetitiveness in these lines represent the true meaning behind the light that shines from a simple, yet important blue lamp.

"Blue Lamp" appears on Stevie Nicks' 1997 three CD boxed set titled Enchanted. Originally, the song could only be found on the soundtrack for the movie, Heavy Metal, released in 1981. It is not a very well known song of Stevie's, but the meaning, as in all her songs, remains just as important.

Although Stevie has not offered any definitive meaning behind the song "Blue Lamp," we may assume the song encompasses Stevie's biggest challenge at the time. A challenge to move forward in the face of immense changes. Changes in love, in her career and in her feelings about herself.

In a recent 1998 edition of VH1's "Behind the Music" chronicling Stevie's career, she talks about the actual blue lamp that this song is most likely about. According to Stevie, her mom gave her a beautiful ornate Tiffany blue lamp when she was first starting out with her career with Fleetwood Mac. The lamp was something precious to Stevie and she took it with her wherever she went, even on tour. Stevie went on to say it was the first thing of real material value that she ever owned.

Interestingly enough, this beautiful blue lamp represents much more than that of material value. It is the light that reflects the life of Stevie. The lamp is real and so is Stevie's story.

"There was no message to be found anywhere in sight,
Inside or out I had looked everywhere,
but the only lamp left on in the house was a blue light."

This first verse displays feelings of loneliness and emptiness. Stevie is coming home to her "house" - her place of comfort - yet she find's nothing of comfort but the familiar blue light. The message that was to be found, but was not, represents emptiness. The message may be a phone call, a letter, anything that represents some sort of communication. Stevie's search leads to the hope and comfort the blue lamp brings her. When all else is dark, the lamp remains. Additionally, the lamp is also a symbol of her family's love and faith in her since it was her mother that gave it to her as a gift. The blue lamp is not just a lamp, but it is Stevie's lamp and it is still burning. She is not alone in her house after all.

"I was not ready,
I'm no enchantress and I was too proud,
Go find some Christmas angel then give that to her,
If that's what she wants guardian angel... guardian,
If you were wiser you would get out."

This verse discusses Stevie's feelings of the expectations of those around her. She realizes she is not an enchantress, not a goddess. She can only be true to herself and nothing more. Expectations of what people want from her, in her career and in her relationships, are all around her. 1981 was a time when Stevie was exploring her solo career for the first time and with the release of Bella Donna, her first solo album, she found that she was being pulled in many different directions - her solo career and her career with Fleetwood Mac - which she often says she has tried to keep separate. Here she states she is not ready for change.

The Christmas angel seems to be both a symbol of innocence and of flight. An angel represents something pure and beautiful. They love and protect. Christmas angels are especially beautiful, draped in white with gold halos. They are everywhere during the Yuletide season, but a Christmas angel is only a seasonal angel, and is there for only a short time and then is disappears. It's presence is as magical as Christmas snow.

Stevie says what she needs is a guardian angel, a real, dependable angel to guide her and be there for her, to make sure all is right and that she is happy. Your soul is like your guardian angel, you need one to tell you all the things that you muse only on an afterthought.

"If you were wiser you would get out."

Often in Stevie's songs she refers to herself as the main character of the story, without saying "I" or "Me". It's as if she is watching down upon herself and writing the story about herself as a spectator. We definitely see that here. As previously mentioned, 1981 was a time where Stevie went through a lot of changes in her life that greatly affected her. She was warning herself she has to get out in order to move on.

"Downstairs the big old house is mine
Upstairs where the stars still laugh and they shine
Downstairs where the big old house is mine
Outside where the stars still laugh and
Stars still laugh and shine
And the stars still laugh and cry and shine
And the stars still laugh and cry and shine
And the stars still laugh and shine and shine"

This is the turning point in the song. In the big old house where Stevie most likely lives or spends most of her time, Stevie feels alone and likens this aloneness to the bottom half of the house. The house may be real and refer to Stevie's house and the "15" people that lived with her at the time where Stevie most likely lived downstairs, and was possibly lonely, while upstairs, those all around her were laughing. She says that downstairs, in reality and the everyday world, she still owns the house, and is in control of her life and her feelings. Upstairs, the more personal part of the house, where she sleeps and dreams, the stars still look beautiful and hold promise. She repeats this again, affirming it, and then changes "upstairs" to "outside" as if to say that this house isn't permanent and in the bigger picture, in the world around her, things still hold their promise.

The verse may also refer to the downstairs being Stevie on earth while the upstairs is the sky with all the stars. When Stevie looks up, she sees the stars laughing - yet crying and shining. She sees a reflection of herself. The timeless stars may tell her destiny and her future, they are eternal and always there - a constant in this universe - like magic.

"Don't listen to her, listen through her,
Some Christmas angel,
Freedom well give that to her,
Oh, if that's what she wants, guardian,
If you were wiser you would get out."

Although this verse repeats some of what Stevie wrote in the earlier verse, we also see movement from Stevie not being ready to make a change, to Stevie moving on in the face of freedom. Freedom is the only thing of value she feels remains. Additionally, Stevie says not to just listen to what she says, but really hear her. Read between her lines. This is a lot like "Stand Back" where she says you can only understand her if you "read between 'her' lines"

Does Stevie become the Christmas angel in her mind or was she always the Christmas angel in her heart? She repeats the last line from the earlier verse. However, again, Stevie needs a guardian angel. She hopes this guardian angel will help bring her the freedom she desires.

"And the light that shines through the shining night
Is a lamp that I carried from my mother's home
And the light that burns through the window pane
And the love remains."

Stevie will always return to the blue lamp, stating that it is still shining, it is a part of her. To carry something can also mean to keep it inside you. It is the blue lamp that Stevie carries with her everywhere. It burns strong when she is at home and also when she is away. The window is the opening to the outside world and to her freedom. When all else seems dismal, the light still burns and the love it carries with it is still there and will always remain. The light is like the light of the stars. It is a reflection of Stevie.

"And the guardian of your "Challenge" does not cry... "

Stevie realizes she can depend on herself to be her own guardian angel. Often, Stevie has referred to her life as a challenge and she is saying that the "guardian of her challenge" is herself. This song was written about the same time as Stevie's "Sleeping Angel," and may be in many ways it's precursor. Stevie finds that her own soul is her angel in this song. Stevie will continue to see her reflection through the light of the blue lamp, the same reflection that she sees in the stars. And it will still laugh and shine.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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