To begin, here are some of Stevie's thoughts about this song, found in her notes in Timespace--her greatest hits album from 1991:
"I got married on the day I wrote this song. We were driving to Santa Barbara and a new song by Prince came on, so we pulled over somewhere and got the tape. It just gave me an incredible idea, so I spent many hours that night writing a song about some kind of crazy argument, and it has become one of the most important of my songs. I've been doing this song for years, Fleetwood Mac does it also, and I never get tired of it. "Stand Back" has always been my favorite song onstage, because ...when it starts, it has an energy that comes from somewhere unknown... and it seems to have no timespace. I've never quite understood this sound...but I have NEVER questioned it.
I become a different person, and like that, because usually I make up my OWN characters..but that lady in "Stand Back" was not my idea. By the way, Prince did come into the studio the night I called him and told him about the song, and he played incredible synthesizer on it...and then he just walked out of my life, and I didn't see him for a long time. It was extraordinary..."
"No one looked as I walked by"
This could be about the wedding--as she walks down the aisle, no one would help her see or recognize what she was doing. Perhaps it means she felt very alone.
"Just an invitation would have been just fine
Said no to him again and again
First he took my heart...then he ran"
Again, it is said this could be as she was walking down the aisle--people didn't help her out. This might also possibly be a line about Fleetwood Mac, and how she felt excluded from them. She said no to him--his proposals---Fleetwood Mac ?? He took my heart and then he ran.--KIM ?? Lindsey ??
"No one knows how I feel
What I say unless you read between my lines
One man walked away from me
First he took my hand...take me home"
This is obviously about how no one can know her unless they dig deeper to find out what she is truly about. Her words are so obscure,like her songs; you can't know her unless you read the journals--or unless you get to know her. Men come and go--she just needs to find someone to love her. Again--is it Kim?? Lindsey?? No one knows for sure.
"Stand back...stand back
In the middle of my room
I didn't not hear from you
Is alright...Its alright
To be standing in a line
(Standing in a line)
I would cry..."
This may be about the wedding, or about regretting the wedding. Stand back and think about it--what did she do??? No one was there to help her see more clearly.
"Do not turn away my friend
Like a willow I can bend"
This may be a plea to either Kim of her friends to help her--don't desert her.
"No man calls my name
No man came
So I walk on down the line away from you
Maybe your attention was more
Than you could do
One man did not call
He asked me for my love
That was all"
It could be about Kim again. She regrets marrying him--she really does. These words are so obscure--it could be about any experience. This is supposed to be a conclusion after all the ideas are posted--but all the ideas were different from each other.
According to Stevie--the writer--this song is about a 'fictional character who gets in this huge fight' and she says, "Get away--but not too far--I may need you soon". I think the wedding does play a huge part in her feelings though. She gets married to her best friend's widower on a whim to help raise their son--was it a promise she made to Robin?? Was it just a purely good deed?? It was not love. The marriage probably took place before she had a chance to really think about her reasons for doing it. Mick said in his book he saw her face and she was not happy--plus this was a religious man, and she wasn't religious--not as much as Kim's family would have liked. Lindsey didn't show up, although Mick and Chris did. (However, Chris has said she didn't buy her a wedding present, since "it didn't seem like crazy love to me.") But to write a song like this on the wedding day--obviously there was a little love. She needed to stand back and think--what in the hell did she do?? Why did Robin die?? Where are my friends--why didn't they stop me from doing this??? It is a great song--there is an energy, it perks you up--but it IS dark--one of her darkest. She says she sees the silver lining, but that silver lining must have been too hard to see then. The divorce was finalized in April 1984-- they had been married in January 1983....
(The interpretations to these lyrics were compiled through discussions on the message boards of the Penguin, The Ledge. It is entirely possible that the artists had something completely different in mind.)