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Not That Funny


Written by Lindsey Buckingham.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Jamie, Lauren, Mari, Joanne, Erik, Stephanie M, Miss Scarlett, Marlene, Silver Springs, and Janet.

"It's not that funny is it, when you don't know what it is. But you can't get enough of it, it's not that funny is it?" These lyrics are highly cryptic. What is Lindsey Buckingham talking about? What's Not That Funny? The most likely culprits are the affair between Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks, and the idea that "it " is sex!

Lindsey and Stevie Nicks reportedly broke up some time during the making of Rumours. According to Mick Fleetwood's autobiography Mick himself began an affair with Stevie some time in late 1977. The affair supposedly lasted for about a year. It is not clear as to when exactly Lindsey found out about the relationship, but it is clear he was hurt incredibly by it. It is very apparent that he turned that hurt into material for the Tusk album. "Not That Funny" is a prime example of this hurt. The music is upbeat and makes you want to get up and dance, but the lyrics haunt you. Lindsey has stated that he writes the music first, then he writes the lyrics. This seems to make sense out of the fact that so many of his really sad songs trick you into thinking they're not.

Another popular theory here is this song is directed towards Stevie, and their on again-off again relationship. When their relationship ended it was obviously not because they did not love each other, their mutual affection and aching is expressed in such songs as Dreams, Go Your Own Way, and Silver Springs. A lot of times when a relationship ends, it does not entirely end right away. Both Lindsey and Stevie have said that they did not really break up until Lindsey left the band in 1987--therefore implying they never dealt with certain aspects of their relationship, that it never really came to a close. Stevie stated in an interview, that Lindsey and herself never really said things to each other, just in case they got back together. They kept things to themselves until that fateful night in 1987, when Lindsey decided it was best for him to leave the band. This being noted, it is conceivable that Lindsey and Stevie may have continued a sexual relationship for awhile after they "broke up". Stevie said in an interview that during the making of Rumours, even though they were having problems, Lindsey would still occasionally stay the night with her.

If this song was written during the times that they were breaking up, it would make sense that they could have been fighting one day, and okay the next. Lindsey may be implying they don't get along but they sure have great sex. These two extremes could have made Stevie really angry, because she may have known her protests wouldn't be taken seriously if she ended up sleeping with Lindsey after all. Her rejection of him is undermined if that happens. But it does.

This song is about both Lindsey's sexual feelings for Stevie, and the Mick/Stevie affair.

It's not that funny is it
When you don't know what it is
But you can't get enough of it
If's not that funny is it?
Don't blame me!
Please, please, please!
I didn't wanna bleed so
I didn't wanna be this late
So don't make me wait!

These lyrics seem to hold a very sexual connotation. Both Lindsey and Stevie have stated they were great lovers, but not so great friends. Maybe when Lindsey thought about Stevie, he thought about sex. The assumption here is that he is pissed off about the affair, and wants to make a statement. The "it" here is most likely referring to sex. He may be harboring resentment from his break up with Stevie, and the idea that she would say they cannot be together, but still sleep with him. He wants to tell her "look, it's not my fault that you tell me one thing, and do another." He wanted her, very badly, so he was willing to take whatever he could get. Lindsey has said in an interview that the term "bleeding" in his songs imply that he is willing to lose blood for that person. He is upset that he let himself love her so much.

It's not that funny is it
No one to turn you on
All your hope is gone
It's not that funny is it?
Don't blame me!
Please, please, please!
You're here cause I say so
Didn't wanna be this late
So don't make me
Don't make me wait!

Now he is mad. She dumped him, and he wants to let her know that she can't have him anymore. What is she going to do now? It's not that funny to want someone and not be able to be with that person. Is he speaking of Mick? Again he is reiterating that everything is not his fault. But, what exactly does he mean when he says "You're here cause I say so"? Is he reminding her that she is only in Fleetwood Mac because he insisted she be there? Is he trying to make her feel guilty? Probably!

Here comes the night time looking for a little more
Waiting on the right time somebody outside the door.

What does that mean? Lindsey uses this exact phrase in the song "I Know I'm Not Wrong", also off the Tusk album. The consensus is now he is speaking directly of the affair. It's about Mick and Stevie sneaking around, and keeping their relationship a secret from Lindsey. The use of these same lyrics in "I Know I'm Not Wrong" makes one think this is Lindsey's way of letting Mick and Stevie know that he knows. What a powerful way to end the song. What a powerful statement this song is.

The lyrics for Tusk, another powerful song, seem to go right along with this whole theory. Tusk sends almost the exact message "Not That Funny" does. Did "Not That Funny", affect Mick and Stevie? You bet! During the Mirage video, when Lindsey is singing this song, you actually see Mick roll his eyes and make a face. In the interview portion of the Best Buy CD Stevie mentions both Not That Funny and Tusk in the same sentence. It is odd that she would choose those two songs. Maybe this song has had more of an impact then we will ever know!

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

Copyright 1995-2001, Martin and Lisa Adelson
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