The Penguin Lyric Interpretations


Return To
The Penguin

I Don't Want To Know

Lyrics MIDI

Written by Stevie Nicks.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Stewy, Anusha, Becky, BN, Janet, Jessica, Joanne, Juliana, Lauren, Rhiannon, Marlene, Miss Scarlet and Silver.

"I happen to really like that songÖand I love singing that song with Lindsey because that was one of our Everly Brothers singing things that was really close and tight and really fun to singÖso if [Silver Springs] was going to be replaced with anything, [I Donít Want To Know] was a good replacement."

-- Stevie Nicks, Classic Albums Rumours Video

Oddly enough, this pop-friendly, addictingly upbeat feel-good song from Rumours is probably the least well known. Ask anyone not intimately familiar with Rumours about the song and you are bound to get quizzical looks of unrecognition. Unfortunately, the fact that it is better known as "the song that replaced Silver Springs" causes many people to dismiss it as just a fill-in song without giving it more than a passing listen. What people donít get from this song is that it is a Stevie Nicks gem with a great beat, tight harmonies, and a surprisingly optimistic outlook, considering the generally negative message from most of the songs on Rumours.

Stevie Nicks once said that though she has written a lot of upbeat, fun songs, the band members of Fleetwood Mac prefer her more moody, witchy songs. I Donít Want To Know is almost the antithesis of moody and witchy, with a refreshing tempo, decidedly positive lyrics, great harmonies, and a bright-sounding guitar giving the song a cake-walk rhythm and "down-home" feel. While listening, itís hard to keep from subconsciously tapping your foot and bopping to the rhythm. Though the lyrics could be easily interpreted as a Stevie gripe session about Lindsey, the fresh sound turns this song into an optimistic statement of understanding and the hope that they find what they are looking for in a relationship whether they are together or not.

I don't want to know the reasons why
Love keeps right on walking down the line
I don't want to stand between you and love
Honey, I just want you to feel fine

This first chorus sets the tone for the song, showing Stevieís heartfelt hopes for Lindseyís happiness. Stevie obviously still has feelings for Lindsey after everything that has gone down between them and she really wants him to be happy. She may be saying that she wonít stand in the way of his happiness and that she realizes that they might be better off apart, even if they do love each other. Perhaps she is also saying that things she has done have stood between her and Lindsey and have kept their relationship from progressing. It seems that they are both still waffling about breaking up but can see that the end is coming.

Stevie could also be telling Lindsey that she is tired of him blaming her for his relationships not working out with other women and that she wants him to be happy and fall in love again, but with someone else, and not use her as an excuse for him not to move on.. " I don't want to stand between you and love" means that she doesn't want to be the excuse for him not going on with other relationships.

Finally baby
The truth has come down now
Take a listen to your spirit
It's crying out loud.

The truth of their relationship has come out. They love each other but things are getting in the way. Stevie is quickly becoming the center point for the band and Lindsey obviously is forced to take a back seat, which is not where he really wants to be. Likewise, Lindsey is basically married to his music and feels oppressed and slighted by Stevieís success. They realize what is going on, but are fighting to maintain their real feelings. Stevie sees that Lindseyís spirit needs to be free and away from her, but he wonít let go.

Try to believe
You say you love me, but you don't know
You got me rocking and a-reeling

Sheís basically encouraging him to follow his heart wherever it takes him. If it leads him back to her then fine. If he has to go then thatís fine, too. Sheís reeling and confused because he canít make up his mind. Heís trying to hold on to her while trying to deny his own feelings and misgivings about their relationship. She wants him to make up his mind either way and quit giving her mixed signals.

Finally baby
The truth has been told
Now you tell me that I'm crazy
That's nothing that I didn't know
Trying to survive
You say you love me, but you don't know
You got me rocking and a-reeling

Though itís not known exactly when these lyrics were written, they seem to be Stevieís response to Lindseyís much debated original lyrics to Go Your Own Way where he says "crackiní up, shakiní up is all you want to do". Lindsey may have said this in response to her saying that they need to move on and that she would be fine without him but he thought she was crazy for thinking that she could possible survive without him. Maybe he didnít believe that they were breaking up, or he was trying to deny that there were problems. It could also be that Lindsey actually did call Stevie crazy at some point and she is basically saying that she knows it. Sheís said there was a time where she actually went crazy, too. This is not just an admission, though. Itís an explanation of WHY and itís partly because of how they have dealt, or NOT dealt, with the pains and strains of trying to maintain an already shaky relationship while being a part of Fleetwood Mac. Sheís saying that trying to survive the turmoil of their lives has made her somewhat crazy, and it probably didnít help that she turned to drugs to help alleviate that stress.

I don't want to know the reasons why
Love keeps right on walking down the line
I don't want to stand between you and love
Honey, take a little time.

This last verse seems to sum up her thoughts - "Honey, take a little time". Sheís again saying that she is fine with whatever decisions they make about their relationship, but she wants Lindsey to take his time deciding what he really wants and to be sure. She wonít stand in his way, whatever he decides, but she wants him to take his time and be sure..for both of their sakes.

Though this was written by Stevie, the fact that itís sung as a duet with Lindsey gives it another dimension. Sometimes Stevieís lyrics are responses to lyrics of Lindseyís, but the lyrics to I Donít Want To Know seem to echo some of the same sentiments Lindsey has expressed in other songs. One of these songs that was discussed at some length is "Monday Morning" from the 1975 self-titled Fleetwood Mac album. Most notable is that fact that there was a lot of mind-changing being perceived on both sides. Their obviously tumultuous relationship is very apparent in the following lyrics from both songs:

I Donít Want To Know
Monday Morning
I donít want to know the reasons why love keeps right on walking on down the line First you love me, then you get on down the line
First you love me, but you don't know First you love me, then you say itís wrong
You got me rockin and a-reeling But you know itís true, you only want me when I get over you

Many people believe that there was an ulterior motive for replacing Silver Springs with I Donít Want To Know - namely to give the album a positive note. The lyrics to I Donít Want To Know are much less scathing that those in Silver Springs, and it could be that there was some desire (on either Lindseyís or the bandís part) to have something on Rumours which seemed a bit less scorning and hopeless. I Donít Want To Know gives more ofa feeling of mutual understanding and a positive sense of hope. Others see the logic in the much publicized explanation that there was just not enough room on the album for a purposely long-winded Silver Springs. As Stevie said on the Classic Albums Rumours Video, sheís very sensitive about people cutting down her songs, and no matter what they did to make it shorter it just wasnít enough to make it short and maintain the integrity of the song.

Either way, I Donít Want To Know is now an undisputedly integral part of the rock phenomenon known as Rumours.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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