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    Song Title »
Sable On Blond
    Authors »
Stevie Nicks

    Year Written »
1982

    This Performance »
Date Performance 1983-00-00
Running Time 4:13
Performers Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Kenny Edwards (Bass), Roy Bittan (Piano), Waddy (Robert) Wachtel (Guitar), Sandy Stewart (Synthesizer), Lori Perry-Nicks/Perry/Nicks (Ladies Vocals), Sharon Celani (Ladies Vocals), Stevie Nicks (Lead Vocals), Jimmy Iovine (Produced By), Shelly Yakus (Engineered By), Shelly Yakus (Mixed By), Greg Edward(s) (Mixed By)
CommentsRecorded at Studio 33, L.A. Mixed at Rumbo Recorders.
Appears On
The Wild Heart (1983)
Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks: The Wild Heart (1983)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
The Divine Stevie Nicks (2000)
Stevie Nicks

    Lyrics »

Learn to be a stranger
Blond on blond
In silence she says..."excalibur"
I beg of you now
What was it that fell
Was it...

One fallen leaf
Like the feather that it was
Was...freedom by choice
Or baby...was it love
Was it a thorn in your side
Something that you hide
Something you don't touch
Because it hurts too much
Ooo...

Well...have you come to see
That my face is not seen
Ooo...outside my frost covered windows
Oh and just how deep...
Do you hold that dream
In your hands each night...this time
In your hands each night...this time

Oh was it you...
I heard calling...which voice
Well I know that you are going
Which voice...
Did I force you to remember
In the sacred name of love...

To be brave save the stranger
Sable on blond...
Dark upon light...
Because it hurts too much
Just how deep
Do you hold that dream
In your hands each night
In your hands each night
In your hands each night

Ooh...I beg of you now
What was it that fell
Well this time I think it was you babe
This time
Ooo...well I think it was you babe
This time
Ooo...well I think that it was you baby
This time

    Fan Interpretation »

"Sable on Blond is my serious statement on The Wild Heart. It fits into a particular group of my songs; 'Rhiannon,' 'Beautiful Child' and 'Sara'. It reflects the mood I was in when I moved into my new house last year. It was a time when I was learning how to live with myself.

Sable on Blond meant to learn how to be a stranger, to learn to be with yourself, to learn to be one color. In the legend of Excalibur, the sword is there for protection, but you don't call upon it unless it's absolutely necessary. During that period in my life, I was learning how not to call on the sword."~Rock Magazine 1983

Looking at this song (yet another one of her most abstract compositions) from an existentialist point of view, one could say that we live as we dream...alone, and we choose and follow the nightmares and dreams of our choices (paraphrased from Conrad's Heart of Darkness...excellent novel). We are condemned to be free and to make free choices because there are no other kinds of choices, and we must not allow ourselves to ignore our own voices because they must be made audible, they must be heard because they have that essence.

Learn to be a stranger
Blond on blond
In silence she says..."excalibur"

Stevie is choosing a pathway in her life here...she seems to have been on the threshold of a decision that would affect her life, and she made the choice to learn to live with herself and to live alone. She chooses a single color perhaps in her desire to attain a level of purity, solitude, and happiness by looking inside her own soul...The irony is that it is completely impossible to live in one color...and to be static...the human soul, especially that of a creative artist like Stevie's is dynamic and changing and it can not be confined for long. She can't live with that monotony for long. Yet, she seeks shelter and protection from the troubles of the outside world, from the darkness that colors her life. She's alienating herself from society into an untouched loneliness. It's a romantic notion, a desire to be at peace, and at one with yourself, to commune with yourself and to sort of re-attain that divine, cosmic connection. She wants to begin to truly understand herself, but I believe that she is in a little denial here, because she's trying to whisk aside her shadow, the darker aspects of herself and her past, etc...she's not able to confront it just yet. In her need to take time to evaluate her circumstances and to remember how to feel...to search for her own answers, she's building a wall, a fortress around her heart, locking out everything. She's looking for a part of herself that she may have lost somewhere out in the wind along the line. In whispering "excalibur", she's refuting all external aid and assistance. She does not want to be dependent on any other force than the force of her own mind. The sword is a sacred weapon that will be with her always...and it is eternal according to the legend as it was forged in the Otherworld. It is woven of magic and no harm will ever come to the one that carries it. But she realizes that she's not immortal like the Lady of the Lake, so she calls upon her own inner strength...to test her own power against adversity, etc.

I beg of you now
What was it that fell
Was it...
One fallen leaf
Like the feather that it was
Was it...freedom by choice
Or baby...was it love
Was it a thorn in your side
Something that you hide
Something you don't touch
Because it hurts too much

I have two ideas as to what she's talking about here....the obvious...she's thinking back to a relationship to one of her lovers and questioning what really happened...what caused the downfall, etc. Was the fall of their love inevitable right from the very start? If you shake the tree, will all the gold foil leaves of autumn fall delicately to the ground, but the fall brings such an impact...such a change in the seasons of life. She emphasizes the fragility of the situation with her simile and metaphor. Or perhaps she maybe talking about her Shadow and asking if that was what is falling upon her now...what is in the way of her reaching that clear cut, transcendental, almost pure spirituality she yearns for. In asking if it was "freedom by choice," it seems that she knows that her decisions affect her life for everything is linked together in the chain. It seems almost as if she is doubting even the existence of the love that they had at one moment, and the next that she set herself free from the relationship because of the love that was really in fact destroying them more than bringing them anything positive. She was the thorn, that haunting presence that he wants to deny...she could in fact have written this entire song about her relationship with Lindsey, because she does often use this metaphor in describing it. There is a slight tone of mockery and vengeance in the way she sings these last lines, but the truth is that they are both sable shadows over each other lives.

Ooo...
Well...have you come to see
That my face is not seen
Ooo...outside my frost covered windows
Oh and just how deep...
Do you hold that dream
In your hands each night...this time
In your hands each night...this time

These lines are really obscure, so let me see if I can make sense out a few differing theories. Her lover comes back to her to the fortress that she has imprisoned herself...perhaps just to see if any possibility for love remains, but he can't see her through the windows. Why is she not visible to him if she is most certainly there? Is she purposely alluding him, floating like a whisper from room to room, like a phantom of the night...where all the windows of the rooms are veiled with mist. She's protected by that spectral curtain, but at the same time she's clouding her own vision, locking her emotions in, refusing to set the battlements on fire. She's living in a state of semi delusion and self torment, longing to obtain an unattainable sense of peace and protection...I think she is suffering anguish from making the wrong choice...perhaps being alone wasn't such a wise idea after all...I'm really not sure about this. Or is it that he can not see her anymore because he's lost a connection with her, the bridge to her soul. Is the dream that she sings of a dream to reconcile and to be lovers once more? A tale of unremitting love...or is it her dream to live alone with herself? She's escaping from it all, hiding in seclusion...perhaps she is trying to reaffirm her faith in her original beliefs and desires.

Oh was it you...
I heard calling...which voice
Well I know that you are going
Which voice...

They both have a "voice" and opinions that must be heard by each other...is he making a decision to leave her now once and for all, b/c he can not see her nor understand her. It seems that she wants him to stay and wants him to go at the same time...that mixed feeling of love and hatred...Perhaps she is asking him how he feels about her.

Did I force you to remember
In the sacred name of love...
To be brave save the stranger
Sable on blond...
Dark upon light...
Because it hurts too much
Just how deep
Do you hold that dream
In your hands each night
In your hands each night
In your hands each night

Her presence forces him to remember all their good and bad moments and maybe it was just too much for him to take...I'm still not certain whether he has really left her or even if he was really there at all....perhaps just simply in her heart and in her imagination....then "to be brave...." Becomes a personal challenge...if the white knight she dreams of won't burn down the fortress and save her from her situation of loneliness than she will overcome it herself...using her own innate strength and ability. And at the same time, she will realize that she has to confront her shadow in order to live with herself...she has to integrate the darker aspects of her personality into her soul to live in harmony...the sable and blond must co-exist in some kind of harmony...with some kind of restoring force upon each other. And that endeavor will bring pain and sorrow and it will hurt but it must be done in order to accomplish her dream to live in peace. If the dream means anything at all to her, then the challenge must be accepted.

Ooh...I beg of you now
What was it that fell
Well this time I think it was you babe
This time
Ooo...well I think it was you babe
This time
Ooo...well I think that it was you baby
This time...

Perhaps she's telling him that since he couldn't find the strength nor the courage to help her through this difficult time that he's failed the challenge that she sort of set up for him..their love seems to end as always on a very unsteady note...not with a bang but with a whimper (as T.S. Eliot would say)...and this time, it's not her that fell, nor the love that she feels, but her lover...she begins now to finally lose faith in him...and that's really sad, but it seems to be the idea, and she moves on...she looks into herself and realizes that she has to move on...she has met her challenge and she has overcome it, and that puts her back out onto the threshold of something new...something better...something filled with hope...but of course never something completely perfect...for it will always be (as for all of us, pretty much), Sable on Blond.

(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.)

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(C) 1982 Welsh Witch Music, BMI

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    Last Modified »
2009-06-17

    Discography Credits »
Interpretation prepared by Rhiannon, Becky, Regina, AJ, Tracy G, and Janet. (March 03, 1999).