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Sweet Girl

Lyrics Guitar Tabs

Written by Stevie Nicks.

Contributors to this interpretation included: Melissa, Erik, AJ, Leigh, Villavic, Keith, Lauren, andHayley.

Throughout a child's life there always seems to be someone who will ask them, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some of them answer that they want to be firefighters or doctors or the President of the United States. Many others will respond that they want to be famous. No doubt, Miss Stephanie "Stevie" Nicks felt the same way. And, after many struggles with near poverty, those dreams became reality. What she probably didn't foresee was a life in which she would have to battle between her super stardom and having a normal, everyday life. But shortly after her quick climb to fame with Fleetwood Mac, she realized the brutal truth that likely faces many people in the music business--in order to be truly successful in this world of fame, they need to succumb to it and put their personal lives on the back burner. This usually means for as long as the need to be in the spotlight is there in their hearts. Stevie has nearly thirty years of making music under her belt. Although these years have been her dream and she would not give them up for anything, there are bound to be some regrets for not being able to enjoy a somewhat "down to earth" life.

And he says, "What do you love to do?
Outside your world,
Who spends time with you?
Whom do you love when you're not working,
Sweet Girl..."

Most agree that the man who is speaking to Stevie is not one particular person. She could be referring to any man from her past, present, or future. It is likely that she is speaking to all of them. He is asking Stevie what she likes to do besides writing her music and performing. To her, this is her "world". She feels that as long as the music is there then she is happy. However, someone looking at her from outside of this "world" wonders how she has the time to have hobbies or a deeply meaningful relationship. On the Best Buy CD, Stevie is quoted as saying this about "Sweet Girl": "This song sort of came to me out of me thinking it might be time for me to figure out what is it that I like to do outside of music. That's really what Sweet Girl is all about."

"Where would you go,
If you had the time?
Crossing some crazy state-line somewhere
To whom do you cry?
People are unkind
Sweet Girl."

Once again, the man asks her how she would spend her time if she was away from the music. While she is crossing the state-lines on her tours, does she have anyone who she can really talk to? Someone who will let her cry on their shoulder? The line, "People are unkind," refers to her critics who have put her down in the past. He wonders if there is someone there who can comfort her from the emotional pain--or does she hold it deep within herself?

But I chose to dance across the stages of the world
Everyone said that I'd never learn
And I still hear your words, "Well, I waited all my life for you....
Sweet Girl."

Stevie was quoted as saying, "All of my friends that are famous are all sorry. For me, the price was that I never married and never had children because there was never time. And if I had ever decided to do any of that it would have taken Fleetwood Mac off for two years and the band would have broken up. So that wasn't even acceptable. That wasn't even a choice." Fleetwood Mac and her solo career have been a priority for her, and it was something that she had chosen to do. She sacrificed the events in life that are considered the "norm" for most people. Instead, she opted to put this all aside for touring. In the line "Everyone said that I'd never learn", this could be referring to her family and friends outside of the business who did not agree with her choices. In the line "And I still hear your words...", Stevie makes a point here to remember what these men have told her. They wanted a life with her and yet she still chose to put the music first.

I did try to come back and listen.
You never knew it.
I didn't wish it.
And I did hear every answer to every question...
It's all about protection.

This is where Stevie reveals that she is not ignorant to the options she could have chosen. The people in her life did not realize this because she never wanted to make it known to them. She wanted to appear strong. However, she really does think about what her life could have been without music, but the music offers her the protection. It is the only world she knows and feels safe in. She knows if she learns to fall in love again that she has the risk of getting hurt once more, and she does not wish to face that.

Still through the sunlighted days I wait
Track a ghost through the fog
The sun is burning me
And you come running out
In the wind with me
The ocean is your blanket

The previous stanza before this one showed some hint of breaking down the barriers as she admits that she has considered choosing love but was afraid. This stanza, however, is now the turning point of the song. She is realizing how important love really is to her. "Still through the sunlighted days I wait" is revealing that she is still secretly waiting for love. She may be scared but she has the longing for a lasting relationship. "Track a ghost through the fog" was a line that was also featured in her song "Angel", which is believed to be about Lindsey Buckingham. Thus, it is very possible that this whole verse is referring to him. The ghost could be representative of herself and how difficult it is for Lindsey (or any man) to reach her. The fog could represent the element that has kept her and Lindsey apart through the years. They were blinded by many things (anger, hurt, drugs, revenge, love) and could not see through to each other any if in a fog. "The sun is burning me" The sun could represent her realization of what she has lost from the termination of the relationship with Lindsey. She lost the benefits of marriage and children that she could have had with him. But she remembers the destructive path that their relationship went through and she doesn't want to go back. Stevie was quoted in Rolling Stone as saying, "I don't want to be a part of that darkness." However, there is a conflicting idea here because in this song the light of the sun could mean she is seeing him as a different man now. These strong, conflicting thoughts in her mind are burning her because they are pulling her in different directions. She is being pulled away from the safety of being alone. "And you come running out in the wind with me" The wind here is a cooling element to the sun that was once burning her. Once he comes to her, the effect of the burn is gone and there is only happiness. "The ocean is your blanket" Oceans have been used to symbolize the enormity of things. In this case, it could mean the enormity of her feelings for Lindsey. It serves as a blanket of protection for both of them--the protection that she was seeking earlier in the song and could only find in her music. She could be realizing that his love is the only other protection she has felt besides what she got from her career. The fact that Stevie wrote this song only a week before the band's reunion is somewhat significant. Old emotions about her former bandmates were bound to come up in her thoughts so close to their coming back together again. So it is very possible that she was thinking through her relationship with Lindsey.

But I chose to dance across the stages of the world
Everyone said that I'd never learn
And I still hear your words, "Well, I waited all my life for you....
Sweet Girl."

Here the song goes back to Stevie's feelings of choosing music over love. This change back could mean she is still unsure. She is wavering between the two choices as if she doesn't know which form of protection is better for her.

I want to fly through the world
In a golden ball
Many are the cities that I never saw at all
Sometimes I feel like I was always on call
Sometimes even I am allowed to fall
He says, "Come down here for a minute...Well, come down here for a minute."
He says, "Come down here for a minute...Sweet Girl. Sweet Girl."

The golden ball represents something that will shield and protect her. She comes to the realization that she would enjoy the ability to see the world without being rushed through it like she was when out on tour. She feels like she was always working and could not experience the world around her. In an interview talking about the days of Rumours, Stevie compares being in Fleetwood Mac as being on-call, "like a doctor". She also is known to have said that being in Fleetwood Mac was "like being in the Army." Despite all of this, Stevie never regretted any of it. This was her life. Now she sees that even Stevie Nicks can "fall" and come back down to the way her life was before her fame. She can enjoy the things she missed out on. The song ends with the coaxing of the mystery man once again. He wants her to come down from her level of stardom and experience life. Her description of herself as "Sweet Girl" could refer to the fact that, despite her immense drive for success and popularity, she still maintains a warm and friendly presence to the people she meets. Although she may not live this type of down to earth lifestyle any longer, the core of her personality is still the same as it used to be before her fame.

In summary, this song takes us through Stevie's thought process. She tries to make a decision on what is most important to her. In the beginning of the song, she is faced with questions she does not want to openly answer. As the song progresses, she begins to analyze what is most important to her--the benefits of having love in her life or the benefits of music. It doesn't end with a definite answer. It's possible that Stevie hadn't really decided yet. It's possible that she wishes for the best of both worlds and hopes that someday that could be possible.

Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.

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