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Leather And Lace

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Written by Stevie Nicks.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Jessica Morgan, Angie, Eliza, Rhiannon, Justine, corilyn, Lauren, Les, and Calamity.

" became one of the most special love songs I would ever write...and reminds that today, after all these years."

--- Stevie Nicks on "Leather and Lace" from the liner notes of Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks has an uncanny way of incorporating her life into her music. "Leather and Lace" was intended to be a song for Waylon Jennings to sing with his wife, Jessi Colter, but Stevie used her own relationships with Lindsey Buckingham and Don Henley as the basis for her lyrics, as they were the men she had been involved with who were also in the music business. Jennings wanted the song to be called "Leather and Lace", and Stevie decided it would be about two people who were in love with each other and also in the same business. Don Henley was very involved with the writing of the song, as well. Stevie has said that he told her when she was on the right track or the wrong one, and also encouraged her to finish the song when she wanted to give up on it, and finally recorded the demo with her. After all of Stevie's hard work on the philosophy of the duet, Jennings and Colter broke up. Jennings planned to sing the song alone. But, the song was most definitely a song for a man and a woman to sing together, and Stevie informed him that, if he and Colter were not going to sing the song, she and Henley would. They were the only four people that could sing the song, in her mind. As Stevie said, that was fate intervening.

Is love so fragile...
And the heart so hollow
Shatter with words...
Impossible to follow

This seems to be almost a conversation between the two people. Stevie is talking first. They are having some problems. It is a struggle to maintain both their musical stardom and their relationship. Their egos get in the way. They can't help a little jealousy of the other's success, while also being torn by being proud of them. Stevie wants to point out that love is strong enough to endure. The angry words they say to each other can't shatter it. The heart (not really the actual heart, but the symbolic place where love lives) should be full, not hollow enough to let unkind things said break it. She is asking it like a question, probably wanting him to realize it. Is it impossible to follow your heart for love?

You're saying I'm fragile... I try not to be
I search only... for something I can't see
I have my own life... and I am stronger than you know

She wants him to know that she does not need him to survive. He likes to think of her as a fragile little thing that needs to be protected. Many men look(ed) at women that way. However, she is a force to be reckoned with in the music business, and she can take care of herself. It is often hard for a man to be in a relationship with an independent woman who can make it on her own. He tells her she is fragile because he wants her to depend on him, but she tries not to do that. That untangible thing called that she has been looking for called success is her weakness, as is the love that will last and not collapse when times get rough.

But I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won't be walking out the door
Still I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won't be walking out the door

Although she is her own person, when she met this man (Buckingham or Henley), she knew he was the one for her and that they would be together forever. They had an immediate connection. Although she is no longer with either man romantically, they have remained part of her world. So, when they walked through the door of her life, they did not go back out. Both are still special to her.

Lovers forever... face to face
My city or mountain
Stay with me stay
I need you to love me
I need you today

Again, she expresses her feeling that they will be together forever. They will be open and honest with one another and put their all into the relationship. She wants him to be with her no matter what happens or where they go individually, even if there is craziness in their lives or obstacles they must overcome. Although she expressed her strength and independence in earlier lines, she does admit that she needs him and needs his love, each and every day.

Give to me your leather...
Take from me... my lace

Men are supposed to be strong, and women more delicate, according to the world. She will take a little bit of his toughness, and give him some of her softness. Taking a little bit of one another will improve them as people. A good pair should complement each other. But, Stevie is telling the man (Lindsey or Don) to let her be the strong one for a while, and he can be weak at times, if he needs to be.

You in the moonlight
With your sleepy eyes
Could you ever love a man like man like me

This is the point at which Don Henley begins to sing his part (the part intended for Jennings to sing, obviously). The man (a Lindsey/Don composite) is responding to Stevie's thoughts now. There are two sides to the story and, in this song, we get to hear both of them. The first time he met Stevie, he thought she was such a beautiful and special woman that she could never love him, because he thought he was not good enough for someone like her.

And you were right
When I walked into your house
I knew I'd never want to leave

He is answering what Stevie said in earlier lines. She knew when he came into her life that he would always be a part of it. And she was right, he is telling her, he had that same feeling. He wouldn't WANT to leave. So, if he ever did end up leaving, it would not be because he wanted to. They have a special connection that happened right away for both of them.

Sometimes I'm a strong man
Sometimes cold and scared
And sometimes I cry

He admits that he is not always strong. Because he is a man, he probably feels like he should be the strong one all the time. But, sometimes he does not feel that way. He even cries. So, maybe he will allow her to be the strong one at times. She wanted him to let her do that. It is good that he is opening up to her and telling her that, because she had wanted him to know that she was strong.

But that time I saw you
I knew with you to light my nights
Somehow I'd get by
First time I saw you
I knew with you to light my nights
Somehow I would get by

When he met Stevie, he realized that she was the one who would make the bad times better for him. When he is down or doesn't feel strong, she will help him get through. He's telling her that his world was emptier and bleaker before she entered it, but now that he has her, he can survive anything with her help.

Lovers forever... face to face
My city or mountains
Stay with me stay
I need you to love me
I need you to stay
Give to me your leather
Take from me... my lace
Take from me... my lace
Take from me... my lace

Now they sing this together. They realized that they both feel the same way. They will be together forever. They will take care of each other. Whatever roadblocks come up, they will get through them because they have one another. Stevie needs him and he needs her. Instead of saying she needs him today, as she did earlier, Stevie looks into the future and says that she needs him to stay. It's not just the here and now, but a permanent thing. She repeats for him to take her lace, she wants to reinforce that she is there for him.

In spite of their marital problems, and the fact that Stevie Nicks decided to record the song herself, with Don Henley, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter also recorded the song. It was one of Stevie's biggest hits as a solo artist, and it was performed by her in concert. It can often be heard on the radio, a testimony to its staying power and popularity, and Stevie continues to sing the song with Don Henley whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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