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Over My Head

Lyrics Tabs

Written by Christine McVie.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Jessica Morgan, Lis, Lauren, Lesley, Andre, and Erik.


Christine McVie has told interviewers many times that her songs are not really about anyone, they're just love songs. However, she has also noted that Fleetwood Mac gets up and sings songs about each other. Her best songs, she says, she writes in 30 minutes. If a song is taking a long time, she puts it down. When she comes back to it, it must come together quickly, otherwise it never gets finished.

Christine was quoted in a 1977 Rolling Stone article as stating that she wrote Over My Head after Fleetwood Mac completed the Heroes Are Hard to Find tour. It was composed on an old upright piano in the small 3-room apartment she and John shared in Malibu. Over My Head was the first single from the Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac album, also known as the "White Album." It was very well-received by the critics. Over My Head was a song that Christine never expected to be a single, and its Top 20 success surprised even her.

Some thought that Over My Head is about John. They were still married at the time it was written. John's drinking problem has been well-documented; he himself admits he is "not a very good person" when he drinks, belligerent and insensitive. The song may refer strongly to this. Others thought it could possibly refer, at least in part, to Christine's feelings about touring. She was probably tired from the Heroes Are Hard to Find tour, and she wanted to relax at home with John. She may have felt in over her head when touring, but also found parts of it enjoyable.

"You can take me to paradise,
And then again you can be cold as ice
I'm over my head,
But it sure feels nice.
"

Chris was likely talking about her relationship with John. She is saying that he can make her feel very good, but also very bad-- the extremes of the two emotions. When he is sober, she loves how he makes her feel and how happy they can be together. But when he has been drinking, he is like a completely different person. He treats her badly-he "can be cold as ice." This overwhelms her, but the good is still good enough to make the bad worthwhile. John was the most important person in her life then, and they still had good times together that made the relationship worth holding onto.

"You can take me anytime you like,
I'll be around if you think you might love me baby,
And hold me tight.
"

Christine may be saying that she is there for John whenever he wants her. The "you might love me baby" could mean that she feels like sometimes John wants her and sometimes he doesn't. Or, she may be saying that it is easy for John to make her feel great any time he pleases. There are times, though, when she doesn't think that he wants to. She just wants him to hold her.

"Your mood is like a circus wheel,
You're changing all the time,
Sometimes I can't help but feel,
That I'm wasting all of my time.
"

This is probably the most telling line about John's and Christine's relationship. John is on a constant cycle of being drunk, then sober. She never knows which it will be or what to expect. It is frustrating her that he keeps going around in circles. It could be getting to the point where she can't tolerate much more. Has she wasted all the time she invested in her relationship with John? She may feel that she loves him, but he will never give her back what she needs, so it's been a waste of time.

"Think I'm looking on the dark side,
But everyday you hurt my pride,
I'm over my head,
But it sure feels nice,
I'm over my head,
But it sure feels nice.
"

Chris might be saying here that John has a dark side (when he is drunk). When he is dark, he hurts her and makes her feel bad about herself. So, she feels like she can't handle it sometimes, but in the end, she is willing to take the bad to have the good. She could also mean that she looks too much on the dark side of John and focuses on that. Her pride gets hurt because she will have to be willing to accept John's unpleasant side if she wants to stay with him. Her pride tells her that she shouldn't have to take that; however, she realizes that it is part of John. The good part feels so nice that she is going to stay.

At the time this song was written, John hadn't broken Christine's last straw. She had love for him and loved the good times they had. She was hopeful, still, that things would work out. But, Over My Head, in a sense, documents the breakdown of their marriage. It may be one of the last of the few songs she wrote about John. Christine has never really said this song is about him the way she does about Don't Stop, but it is very easy to interpret it in that way.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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