May 26 marks the 75th birthday of the icon, the legend, the star — the one and only Stevie Nicks.
Since she wrote her very first song on the guitar she got for her 16th birthday, Nicks has blessed us with countless certified bangers. Rolling Stone aptly named her the “Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll” after the release of her first solo album, and she remains the reigning queen of our hearts to this day!
She’s the first woman to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — first with Fleetwood Mac in 1998, and then again as a solo artist in 2019. With eight GRAMMY nominations and two American Music Award nominations as a solo artist on top of the numerous awards she won with Fleetwood Mac, her colossal impact on the music industry is undeniable.
Nicks has penned many beautiful lyrics over the decades, so we’ve decided to compile just a handful of some of her most beloved lines. Join us in celebrating the genius lyricism of this “Gold Dust Woman.”
Tune in to Classic Rewind (Ch. 25) to hear hits from Fleetwood Mac and more
“Edge of Seventeen” (1981)
Well I hear you in the morningAnd I hear you at nightfall Sometimes to be near you Is to be unable to feel you, my love
This captivating track from Nicks’s solo career never fails to send shivers down our spines. The haunting lyrics and unrelenting beat convey the grief she felt following both the murder of John Lennon and the death of her uncle John after a long battle with cancer in the same week in 1980 This particular verse really captures the sense of loss she was feeling at the time though. As is common with Nicks, all of the song’s lyrics are highly symbolic, with the phrase “white-winged dove” in the chorus referring to the soul leaving the body. Collectively, they make the song even more heartfelt and a must-have on any ’80s playlist.
Rhiannon rings like a bell through the nightAnd wouldn’t you love to love her? Takes to the sky like a bird in flight And who will be her lover?
Stevie Nicks carries a mystical aura with her that has, for many years, left people wondering if she’s a witch. While the witchiness is untrue, the magic of seeing her perform live is very much real. This is best exemplified by this Fleetwood Mac number. Nicks was inspired to write the song after reading a novel about a witch named Rhiannon who possessed another woman. Thus the beautifully haunting “Rhiannon” was born, and the rest is history. The song’s opening refrain immediately captures the magic of that original story and just adds to the allure that surrounds Nicks as a performer.
The breathtaking performance below will leave you with no doubts about Nicks’s incredible musical energy. Tune in to Classic Vinyl (Ch. 26) for more of these unbeatable old-school vibes!
“Bella Donna” (1981)
And the woman may be awestruckAnd the woman may truly care But the woman is so tired So the woman disappears
Nicks has said that she wrote this track as a warning to herself and a question to others. After a tumultuous few years, the song is about slowing down and gaining strength. In an interview with High Times in 1982, Nicks said: “I was talking about a beautiful woman becoming old and not beautiful. And skinny and too tired, the woman disappears.” Here, we see a new side to Nicks: it’s the first song on her debut solo album, and on the cover she stands in a white dress, a marked change from the usual black attire of her previous style with Fleetwood Mac.
Get your fix of ’80s energy on ’80s on 8 (Ch. 8).
Thunder only happens when it’s rainingPlayers only love you when they’re playing
“Dreams” was a hit when it was first released, and it exploded back into the hearts and minds of the masses more recently following a TikTok trend in 2020. The meaning of the heart-wrenching lyrics is central to the message of Rumours — break-ups, dishonesty, and heartbreak. Nicks split up with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham during the recording of the album, and this song is about just that. If you listen closely, it’s almost as if Buckingham’s guitar is responding to Nicks’s lyrics after every line!
When you write songs this good, there’s no doubt that they’ll be covered by artists for many generations to come. Check out CAAMP’s beautiful rendition of the track for SiriusXM below, and listen to ‘70s on 7 (Ch. 7) for more hits from the decade.
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
This beautiful song ages like a fine wine. The older you get, the more the lyrics resonate with you. It really takes on a whole new meaning with each new season of your life. Here, Nicks ruminates on the passage of time, aging, and all the difficult changes that life brings. She questions whether she can stay the course during these tumultuous moments. The soothing melody and delicate guitar reassure the listener that everything is going to turn out just fine.
Hear The Chicks’s version of “Landslide” live on the Howard Stern Show below, where they describe how supportive Nicks has been to them and other women in the music industry. We’re definitely here for women supporting women!
We know not every day is Stevie Nicks’s birthday, but we’re always in the mood for her music. You can hear from both her solo career, her time with Fleetwood Mac, and more on The Bridge (Ch. 17). Be sure to also check out our full list of channels to find the perfect soundtrack for all your musical moods!