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Landslide

Lyrics Guitar Tabs MIDI Real Audio

Written by Stevie Nicks.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Lauren Leichter, Silver Springs, AJ, Carlene and Jamie.


"Landslide," written by Stevie Nicks in Aspen, Colorado, after an argument with former lover and fellow band member, Lindsey Buckingham, is a reflection of her bittersweet relations with him at that time, as well as a reflection of the changes she was experiencing in her life.

As the story goes, Stevie and Lindsey were in Colorado and had a disagreement in which Lindsey left her in Aspen and drove the old "beat-up" car down the "snow-covered hill." Stevie never thought she would be stranded - she didn't care if Lindsey left her there. She had a lifetime bus pass on Greyhound since her father worked for the company and knew she could get out of Aspen on her own. However, Greyhound went on strike and Stevie was stranded and all alone, realizing she had no one to rely on but herself.

The song is touching, displaying how Stevie's simple poetry, while accompanied by the familiar, comfortable acoustics from Buckingham's guitar, can exhibit an overwhelming feeling of emotion that comes from within the heart.

"I took my love, I took it down, climbed a mountain and I turned around." We are the most peaceful when we are with nature and this peacefulness inspired Stevie to put her feelings into poetry. Here she reflects on the realization she's reached about the relationships in her life, especially the one with Lindsey, which was at times difficult. Neither of them were prepared for the changes that surrounded them. They would find out through the years how these changes, which would at times become obstacles, helped to shape their lives. The mountain that she sees in front of her is symbolic of the enormity of these obstacles. However, once she "climbs" this mountain, her visions become clearer and she realizes she is able to conquer these obstacles, thus beginning to come to terms with the relationships with those around her.

"I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills, 'till the landslide brought me down." As Lindsey drove down the mountain, and away from the conflict, she takes a deep look at herself. She sees the woman she was before and does not completely recognize that person now. It is ironic that she got stranded in the middle of winter, with snow all around her. The snow represents purity and innocence, which will always be a part of her inner self, and was something she brought to her relationship with Lindsey. However, she is changing and growing and is not the same woman she once was. This change may not have been easily seen or accepted by Lindsey. The landslide brings her back to reality, it's an unraveling. Once Lindsey accepts her love and looks to her (in the "snow covered hills") for comfort and companionship, then the landslide will bring him down too.

"Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love." The mirror is the sun. She is standing outside with snow glistening all around her and she can see her reflection in the snow. "Can the child within my heart rise above?" Can she remain true to the the innocence inside her, while continuing to give her love to Lindsey? She realizes that they are both changing and she cannot control that. She is looking for answers. "Can I sail through the changing ocean tides, can I handle the seasons of my life?" She doesn't know. She is asking if she can handle change while remaining true to herself. It is something that obviously stays with her for a long time, continually challenging her choices in life.

Stevie emphasizes her fear of changing in many of her songs, leading us to conclude that through all her fears and searches for answers, she finds she has only herself to rely on. (Stevie again refers to a similar point in the song "Sara" on Tusk, "poet in my heart, never change, never stop.") See also lyric interpretation for "Sisters of the Moon."

"Well, I've been afraid of changing, 'cause I've built my life around you." When you give up a part of yourself for someone else, you let go of something personal. When things start to change all around you, you can become fearful of what you have lost. Not only is Stevie's relationship with Lindsey changing, but so is her relationship with those around her - her friends and her family. She is growing up. Her security is gone. She wants to be accepted and loved, but because she is changing, she is worried that possibly she or they won't like the person she is becoming.

"But time makes you bolder, even children get older, And I'm getting older too." She realizes this and also knows that as she does grow up, she will be stronger. She is growing away from the innocent child she once was and developing her independence.

"Oh, take my love, take it down, climb a mountain and turn around, if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills, well the landslide will bring it down, if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills, well the landslide will bring it down." Stevie changes the "I" to "you" in this last stanza. Now that she has seen her own reflection, she is asking that Lindsey see it too. She hopes he will look behind him as he travels down the "snow covered hill" and embrace the love she has for him. Then the landslide will bring him down.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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