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If Anyone Falls


Written by Stevie Nicks and Sandy Stewart.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Scott Boucher, Lauren Leichter, Janet, Rhiannon, and Hayley.

If Anyone Falls is a love song. Not the usual kind of love song because this one doesn’t have a happy ending. It is all about unrequited love which for Stevie was the case for two relationships in a row. The story that this song tells goes in a circle from a questioning beginning to an emotional ending. This songs lyrics are intricate in their simplicity and at times can be very ambiguous, but it is perhaps best described by Stevie in the Timespace liner notes:

"There was a time when I was falling out of one love and into another, when nothing else seemed to matter except this person. I adored him...he was everything I wanted to be: a real rock and roller ... and a lover of the Stones...small and frail sometimes, but in many ways the strongest person I had ever known. His word was law. I became him ... he became me, and no one dared intrude upon this union. He is no longer with me, but his spirit twin never leaves him. I think sometimes I liked being on stage just to watch him. It was music combined with love, combined with the fact that when Waddy was beside me, I felt completely safe. It is to my great sorrow that we are no longer on stage together, but it is to my great joy that he always seems to be with me, even after all this time."

"Love is a word that some entertain...If you find it, then you have won the game..."

-Stevie Nicks, Timespace, 1991.

I hear a voice in the room next to mine
Feels good sounds good
Closes the door from behind
And another voice comes thru the door

This first stanza uses some very vivid imagery to paint for us a picture of Stevie in a room, with her ear pressed against the wall listening to this man’s voice. This man is in the next room and the sound of his voice is very comforting to her. It makes her feel very comfortable and completely safe. Then all of a sudden another voice is heard through the closed door to this room she is in. This voice is not as comforting as the other one and maybe even has startled her from listening so intently to the other man in the next room. Her attention turns from the voice in the next room to the voice at the door.

The voices are two men. The one at the door is most likely Joe Walsh and the voice in the next room is probably Waddy Wachtel. Stevie stated in the Timespace booklet that this song was written at a time when she was falling out of one love and into another. The room next to hers probably represents the distance she is from Waddy. Not very far, close enough to hear his voice or feel his presence, but still far enough not to be able to be completely close to him. The reason she listens to this voice is because she is attracted to this man. He makes her feel really good, and she wants to be able to always feel that. Feeling this presence or hearing the voice is probably what caused the door to be closed. The man behind the door is being shut out while she listens in on the man she is falling in love with. "Closes the door from behind" probably means that she is falling for this man, Waddy, without him even realizing it. Without his knowledge she is drawn to him more and more with every gesture, word, and smile. Without his knowledge she is also drawn further and further away from the other man. The other man outside the door doesn’t realize any of this either. Stevie is keeping this secret for the moment and she is torn between the voice in the next room and the voice at the door. While she keeps her distance from the man at the door, she observes Waddy without being involved and keeps safely away from both. The closing of the door symbolizes her falling out of love. Perhaps at this point even Stevie is unaware of her feelings towards both men. The voice at the door reminds her of her current relationship while the other voice, the one inside the next room, shows her a new relationship, new feelings, and both men are unaware because neither can see this, she is alone in this room.

I am dealing with a man
When away from me stays deep inside my heart
And he says if anyone falls in love
It will be one of us

Now she is thinking about the man who is leaving her life. He is outside the door. She knows that she loves him and misses him when he is away. She cares deeply for this man but he has failed to realize that her feelings for him are very strong and this is why she is falling out of love with him. That is also one of the reasons he says what he says.

This man outside the door also shows a lack of willingness to commit or have a serious relationship by saying "it will be one of us" instead of saying "it will be both of us". He kind of hints that he thinks Stevie might have feelings for him which says to her that she will continue to be the only one in this relationship who is in love. She is the one who has fallen and in this man's relationships there seems to be only enough room for one to fall in love. He says with this that he will never fall in love with her and this is what she realizes when he says this to her. She has fallen and with him it will always be unrequited, and one-sided.

If anyone falls in love
Somewhere in the twilight dreamtime
Somewhere in the back of your mind
If anyone falls

Now feeling hurt, she is asking him to look inside himself and find a way to love her. She begs him to be able to tell her that in some way, somehow (dreamtime, twilight etc.) he is in love with her, but it is useless. This love is something she can only dream of.

And I heard someone say
As my eyes turned away
He said I have loved many women
I have many times run away

She again hears the voice in the next room and her attention turns from the voice at the door to the voice in the next room. She hears him say "I have loved many women, I have many times run away", but she doesn’t care, this is the one she is in love with and she knows it probably won’t work out, but love is blind and she is acting on feeling. The end of this stanza also shows that he has had many bad relationships and is not really very interested in having more.

Ooh I have never known the words
Well I have tried to be true
Well I have never known what to say
How to say seen anything today
Never seen anything like you

Now she is talking to both voices. She has tried to be honest and truthful to the one at the door, but up to now she has been at a complete loss for words to convey her feelings to both men. She now has realized who she loves and wants to be with and in this sense she is being honest and true to both of them. She chooses the man in the next room and tells him that she loves and admires him in a moment of pure truth, and her feelings of love and admiration are so strong at this point that she doesn’t care that it won’t work. She wants to live just for the moment. At the same time she acknowledges the fact that this new love is one she has trouble understanding and they are both protected still by the ‘walls’ and so still they remain apart.

If anyone falls in love
Somewhere in the twilight dreamtime
Somewhere in the back of your mind
If anyone falls

The distance is still there, and she longs to be close to this new love, but knows it is just a fantasy. The distance will remain and he will stay protected and not let her in. Now if anyone falls in love, she wants it to be him. Still, all of her longing is wasted again. This love is something she can only dream of.

So I'm never gonna see you
Never gonna see you deep inside my heart
Oh I see your shadow against
Shadow against shadow against the wall
Baby I see your shadow against the wall

Now sadly she realizes for the first time as reality sets in, what his words meant. She realizes he will never let his guard down and let her in. She decides to let it go and tells herself that ‘if anyone falls in love it will be one of us’. And she knows that she is that one, and that it is a fact, so sadly she goes back to hearing the voice in the next room. It may not be as close as she wants, but it is the best that can be done. All she can do is feel his presence and be around him. That is not him loving her fully, but it is part of him. His shadow. A lasting impression.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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