The misheard Fleetwood Mac lyric that endeared itself to Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Perhaps the best choice the band could have made was when Lindsey Buckingham stipulated that he would only join Fleetwood Mac if he could bring his songwriting and romantic partner Stevie Nicks along for the ride, too. The enchanting, witchy lead singer would go on to write some of the best songs in the soft rock repertory of Fleetwood Mac as well as the entire genre.

She drew inspiration for her lyrical style from Stephanie Meyer’s vampire-themed teen romance Twilight, as well as from stories about her turbulent romantic past and interest in witchcraft. But in terms of songwriting, Nicks was also receptive to outside input. In addition to writing future classics like “The Chain” with her Fleetwood Mac colleagues, Nicks delighted in collaborating on songs with keyboardist Sandy Stewart.

Stewart spearheaded one of the biggest hits from the soft rock group’s 14th album, Tango in the Night. The album released in 1987, featured this standout track. The album gave birth to several classic Fleetwood Mac songs, such as the ethereal “Everywhere” and the shimmering “Little Lies.” Stewart’s main contribution was the second single, “Seven Wonders.”

Surrounded by soft rock drums and shimmering synthesizers, Stevie Nicks recalls a past love. She insists that the beauty of the wonders could never compare to the love they shared, despite her desire to live long enough to witness the seven wonders and carve a path to the end of the rainbow. Stewart originally wrote the song, but Nicks might have written the spiritual and yearning lyrics as well.

Stewart wrote the song and sent a demo version to Nicks, but he didn’t give her the lyrics in writing. The Fleetwood Mac frontwoman consequently learned the song by ear, which resulted in some mispronounced lyrics. “So long ago, certain place, certain time, you touched my hand on the way, on the way down to Emmeline”. Nicks sings in the opening notes. The lyrics are lovely, but they don’t make much sense. Perhaps this is because Stewart didn’t write them exactly how he intended.

Without a lyric sheet at hand, Nicks misinterpreted Stewart’s original lyrics for the first verse. This described holding hands down the “end of the line” as “Emmeline.” Despite learning of the lyrical alteration, Nicks considered the new line endearing. Then she decided to retain it in the song.

The lyric does add to the mystical quality of the song, even though it makes much less sense to hold someone’s hand on the way down to Emmeline than it does to the end of the line. Though the name blends in perfectly with the lyrics, listeners are left wondering what “Emmeline” alludes to. A location or a person? In any case, it blends in wonderfully with the imagery of wonders, rainbows, and lost love.

Even though the line change might have resulted from an unintentional mishearing, it only enhanced the mood of the song and gave the lyrics even more uniqueness and mystery. Stewart’s lyrics were already ideal for the soft rock hit, but this small adjustment made them even better. It appears that Stevie Nicks is a lyrical genius even when not trying.

Even after all these years, Seven Wonders” is still one of Fleetwood Mac’s best-loved songs. It is a glittering testament to their enchanted hold over soft rock.

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