In her lacy black uniform, with her tales of gypsys and angels and loving Lindsey Buckingham more than life itself, it seems, Stevie Nicks is easily one of my favorite songwriters, definitely favorite female songwriter. Her love songs are heartbreaking, her stories are fantastical, and no one needs telling that she’s got passion for what she does.

I kind of adore her, actually–though i don’t think i would ever personally refer to myself as a priestess. Either way, keep doing your thing, Stevie.

This song is a lesser-known example–lots of people know Landslide or Edge of Seventeen or Rhiannon and can recognize that they’re great songs in their own rights. I came across this song by accident when I worked in the city it’s named for.

You could be my silver spring
Blue-green colors flashing
I would be your only dream
Your shining over ocean crashing

Don’t say that she’s pretty
And did you say that she loved you
Baby I don’t want to know

So I begin not to love you
Turn ’round, see me running
I say I loved you years ago
But tell myself you never loved me no

And don’t say that she’s pretty
And did you say that she loved you
Baby I don’t want to know

And can you tell me was it worth it
Baby I don’t want to know

Time cast a spell on you
But you won’t forget me
I know I could have loved you
But you would not let me

Time cast a spell on you
But you won’t forget me
I know I could have loved you
But you would not let me

I follow you down ’till the sound
Of my voice will haunt you
You’ll never get away from the sound
Of the woman who loves you
–Fleetwood Mac, Silver Spring

Silver Spring was cut off the legendary Rumours–Fleetwood Mac’s best-selling album, I believe, which has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. It’s a powerful song, though, and I wonder how it would’ve affected the feel of Rumours.

What a meaningful line–“you’ll never get away from the sound of the woman who loves you.” People stay with you over the years. We fight, cry, swear to never speak to each other again, or–sometimes even more sadly–drift away in silence. But every now and then, those people can creep into your subconscious, and sometimes, they can still get under your skin.

I think, with time and moving on, those feelings can go away. But in a love affair like Nicks had with Buckingham, the moving on is relative. She captured her feelings so well in this song and many others, that her songwriting is often tragically romantic.

The last minute or so of the song is especially potent. This performance sends shivers down my spine every time, the way she and Lindsey are just staring at each other. I remember seeing the Rumours cassette tape in my mother’s collection as a kid, and i can still so clearly remember staring at the cover, thinking how royal and beautiful and mysterious these musicians looked. It’s easy for me to love Fleetwood Mac for having such a great balance of reality and fantasy, storytelling and personal documenting.

The story of Silver Spring, in Stevie’s own words