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Freedom

Lyrics

Written by Stevie Nicks and Mike Campbell.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Janet Strayer, S., Tracy G., Samantha and Spartan Splasher. (June 10, 1999)


Dim and wavering
On a wind-blown night
Whose honour, whose anger
Cold and quivering
As was the wind-blown night
Into which she'd fallen, fallen

It is not clear who exactly this song is about. She is speaking of some event that occurred that really affected her. Some think that Stevie is speaking of when Lindsey left the band. Others say that this song is about Mick and his tell-all biography.

Stevie is speaking about herself and how she had fallen after something very harsh had happened to her. I believe that this event made Stevie rethink her position in Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey had left three years before and after two new members had joined, Stevie said she felt as if she had even less control over what happened with Fleetwood Mac than before and it was very frustrating, which was one of many reasons she left the band a year later.

Freedom, well it's a thing that is fleeting
Freedom is standing next to you
My intentions were clear
I was with him
Everyone knew
Poor little fool

It was said that this song was Stevie's "Go Your Own Way"; her own "kiss off" song. She is speaking directly at someone first, saying that freedom was fleeting but how its always easy to grab. Freedom is always standing next to you, you are never stuck in any kind of position. You always have the option to get out of anything. For most, freedom is not only scary, but also burdened with guilt and hard feelings.

"I was with him...everyone knew...poor little fool..." ... now it is not clear if she is speaking to herself or still directly at someone. She was with him...meaning Lindsey or Mick. Poor little fool could be herself for being with that person...or that person she was with. Everyone knew about Lindsey and her. She joined Fleetwood Mac with him, only because Lindsey had demanded that they were a "package deal". After a few months, Stevie proved her own merits, but it took awhile. She almost quit the band because of the fact she wasn't getting any good reviews. After Stevie had attained solo success, she still stayed with Fleetwood Mac. She never really says she stayed because of Lindsey, but she does say that she should have left the band when he did. Either way, Stevie was very hurt and angered when Lindsey did leave. So she is the "poor little fool" for staying with Fleetwood Mac after Lindsey had left or he is the fool for leaving without her.

Beautiful as you are
With that high spirit
Morning star of evil hit me
Cut me like a knife
Cool and collected
She became that with time
Totally rejected.

Stevie will always say that Lindsey is a beautiful man...in songs like "Long Distance Winner" and "Fireflies" she describes his beauty and talent. The high spirit could mean Mick, for he is known for his wit and sense of humour.

"Morning star of evil hit me...cut me like a knife", Stevie is talking about the morning after this event occurred. Waking up and thinking back, she was now angered. Too upset or shocked as this event occurred, only time could bring out the true feelings. Evolving feelings that eventually turned into a cool and collected feeling, but also knowledge of the fact she was rejected. Rejected in the sense that she was alone in some way.

Freedom, well it's a thing that is fleeting
Freedom is standing next to you
Well my intentions were clear
I was with him
Everyone knew
Poor little fool.

"Well my intentions were clear", it isn't very clear what that line means. Maybe her intentions for the anger she is feeling, or for why she joined Fleetwood Mac in the first place.

It's all in the eyes
It's all in the way that you look
It's all in the way
That you say very little
It's all in the way that you talk
Look at me with daggers
It won't do you any good
All in the looks that you've used on me
Don't work now that you've fallen, fallen, fallen

"Blue grey eyes", Stevie talks about eyes in many of her songs...blue-grey, describing Lindsey's eyes. When Behind the Mask was being made, Lindsey made an appearance though he had quit the group three years before. Playing acoustic guitar on the title track, he had to have come into the studio. In the early 90's, Stevie speaks very harshly about Lindsey, how he was never nice to her, how she would enter the room and he would change and act very angrily towards her. These lines can not help but remind me of this. Maybe it's a reverse psychology. Lindsey took a big step and left the group. Stevie is feeling that her time is coming soon but she doesn't have either the nerve or the power to do so. So, she is feeling inadequate compared to Lindsey, who was working on a solo album and had the "freedom". Maybe Stevie is telling him that he isn't free, he never will be. "You'll never get away from the woman who loves you". He got away from the band but not from her, not from the past they shared. He cannot just erase 25 years of them being together just because he left the band they started in together. And he cannot say he is a better person for leaving the band because she feels at least she had dedication enough to stay when she could have left when Bella Donna came out in 1981, ten years before.

Freedom, well it's a thing that is fleeting
Freedom is standing next to you
My intentions were clear
I was with him
Everyone knew
Poor little fool

Again the chorus is very strong and biting. I feel more that this song is about Lindsey, but again it also could be about Mick, or maybe even about both men. The fact was she was with both of them and it was known throughout the world of both relationships. Both relationships had ended and left indelible marks in her life.

Look at me with daggers
It won't do you any good
All the looks that you've used on me
Don't work now that you've fallen
all the looks that you've used on me
Don't work now that you've fallen
Freedom
Freedom
Everyone knew
Poor little fool
Poor little fool
Poor little fool
Freedom
Come with me
Poor little fool
Freedom

These last lines repeat over and over, as if she is casting some kind of spell. "Freedom" and "poor little fool" seem to be used the most. Perhaps it all comes down to this: Lindsey left Fleetwood Mac and maybe he had asked her to leave with him. Maybe Stevie rejected his offer because of her loyalty to the band and her inability to see any good in what was left of their relationship. "Everyone knew" could refer to the fact everyone knew that he had asked her to go with him just as he asked her to join with him and he's a "poor little fool" for thinking that no one knew..for asking her to leave in the first place and to even think he had more freedom than her.

The Lindsey/ Stevie saga is full of ups and downs. Their love never denied; it was often tested. When Lindsey left the band it seemed to be a slammed door on the two of them ever becoming friends again. Stevie stuck with Fleetwood Mac, toured for Tango in the Night and did the new album even though she still had her own "Other Side of the Mirror" out and relatively new. It was taking its toll on her and she didn't know how to deal with it. Seeing Lindsey again and having him say to her that he was free, or that she wasn't free, triggered an emotion so deep she wrote this song.

This song is potent with anger and it shows the status of Stevie's frame of mind in the early 90's....in time she mellowed and came to terms with even more of her life. Now we can be thankful she does not carry this anger anymore, but its still very powerful to hear this song and to know it only contributes to the history of a great band and all its drama.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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