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The Penguin Discography: If You Ever Did Believe

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If You Ever Did Believe
    Authors »
Stevie Nicks

    Lyrics »

You've left me now and it's seasoned my soul
And with every step you take
I watch another part of you go

I continue to build a wall
You were so strong I fell to my knees
And I don't think I can handle this at all

One more night I'd like to lie and hold you
Yes, and feel-
To make you sigh I'd like to be there for you
Have you forgotten me?

And the days go by
Doing nothing about them
How much time
Will I have to spend

My mind won't rest and I can't sleep
Not even in my dreams
If you ever did believe for my sake
If you ever did believe

And the days go by
Doing nothing much about them
How much time
Will I have to spend?

Oooh . . .
Baby don't leave me
I'm down on my knees
Baby don't leave me . . .

    Fan Interpretation »

'If You Ever Did Believe' appears on the soundtrack to the 1998 film Practical Magic. Although it was written before or during the recording of Rumours, this is the first time Stevie has sang and recorded this song herself. Before it was covered by Louise Goffin and appeared on her self titled album in 1981. It is not quite clear why Stevie chose to record 'If You Ever Did Believe' so many years after she wrote it. The best possible explanation could be because Stevie can now look back on the experiences that led to this song with a great deal more maturity and wisdom than she ever had before.

You've left me now
And it's seasoned my soul
And with every step you take
I watch another part of you go
I continue to build the wall
You were so strong
I fell to my knees
And I don't think I can handle this at all
We know that this song is about Stevie's breakup with Mick Fleetwood because Sheryl Crow, who helped produce this song for Practical Magic, said so in a recent interview.

Mick has left Stevie now and their affair was over. Stevie doesn't see this affair as something that has hindered her spirit, but rather as something that has seasoned it. This experience was difficult-- she does not deny that in its lyrics, but there was something about it that left her feeling richer in body and soul than ever before.

When someone we love leaves us, whether in a relationship as Stevie sings about, or even in death, we never wish we didn't know that person. We are always glad that we were able to share what precious time we had with that person before he or she was gone from our lives forever. Stevie wants Mick to know that this affair was not something that she regretted, but rather something she will cherish in her heart. That is why just that simple verse, "seasoned my soul" is so powerful.

Stevie watches Mick leave her and she is hurting so much inside. She builds a wall to protect herself from more pain. Mick was so strong and she felt so weak that she believes she can't handle this breakup at all. Mick has such a strong personality and presence that she feels herself breaking down in front of him. This breakup doesn't seem to be affecting him the way that is affecting Stevie. But she knows she can't give up if she wants to survive in the world Fleetwood Mac has created for her. If she doesn't do something to protect herself (her heart) she just may lose what part of her soul she has left.

Well one more night I'd like to lie and hold you
(Yes and to feel)
To make you smile
I'd like to be there for you
(Have you forgotten me)
If only she had one more night to lie and hold him. If only she knew this relationship was going to end, she could have used that last night with him to prepare herself for their breakup. She wishes for one more chance to see him smile and be there for him. She wonders if he has forgotten her and the special moments they shared with each other. She wants him to remember her because, now, the memories are all they really have. In a way this verse is similar to the verse in 'Beautiful Child', "I'm old enough to love you from afar, even if I never hold you again." This is the end, but she will never forget what she had with Mick.

And the days go by
Doing nothing about them
How much time will I have to spend
The first lyrics are the same as her song 'Edge of Seventeen' which probably has significance at this point in her life. Time is passing by so quickly, slipping away, that she feels she may be losing control of her life and her feelings. She can't do anything about the time, but she can do something with her life. She can pick herself up and move on. But at this point in time she can't stop the pain or the way she feels. That is something that can only be healed with each passing day.

My mind won't rest and I don't sleep
Not even in my dreams
If you ever did believe for my sake
If you did believe
She can't stop thinking about Mick and the pain she feels won't let her be, not even in her dreams. The hurt is always there. If he ever did believe in their relationship, in the love they felt for each other, and in the moments they shared together, then he shouldn't be leaving her. If he ever did believe in any of it, then she knows they can work it out. She feels he shouldn't give up on her or her love for him so easily.

And the days go by
Doing nothing about them
How much time will I have to spend
Again the days are flying by and Stevie is helpless to do anything about it. She wonders if she is wasting her time hoping that he will change his mind and return to her. Deep down, though, she has accepted that their relationship was not meant to be.

Baby don't leave me (fade out)
I'm down on my knees
I'm begging you to please
With a final plea, she begs him to stay with her. This song is rare for Stevie because she usually doesn't show herself as being a vulnerable woman. With all her relationships and the songs she wrote about them, such as 'Silver Springs' for Lindsey, she confesses her love but she never ever comes right out and begs for him (or any man) to stay with her.

Although Stevie and Mick's relationship was never as much of a focus as hers and Lindseys', this song proves how important Mick was to Stevie and how much she cared for him. More than twenty years later, Stevie now can look back on this relationship and feel that this was something that made her a stronger person and truly seasoned her soul forever.

(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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    Performances »
Performance #1:
Running Time 3:10
Performers Mark T. Williams (Drums), Kenny Edwards (Bass), Danny (Kootch) Kortchmar (Acoustic Guitar), Dennis Herring (Electric Guitars), Mike/Michael Landau (Electric Guitars), William/Willie (Daniel) Smith (Smitty) (Organ), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Stevie Nicks (Background Vocals), Louise Goffin (Vocals)
Appears On
Louise Goffin (0000)
Louise Goffin
Performance #2:
Running Time 4:11
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Sheryl Crow (Guest Vocal), Sheryl Crow (Acoustic Guitar), Jeff Trott (Guitars), Jeff Trott (Mandolin), Tim Smith (Bass Guitar), Ben(mont) (M.) Tench(, III) (Piano), Ben(mont) (M.) Tench(, III) (Organ), Jerry Marotta (Drums), Jerry Marotta (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Lori Perry-Nicks/Perry/Nicks (Background Vocals), Sheryl Crow (Produced By), Jeff Trott (Produced With), Brian S(c)heuble (Engineer), Troy Halderson (Additional Engineering), Chris Lord-Alge (Mixed By)
Commentsby Stevie Nicks (P) 1998 Reprise Records Sheryl Crow appears courtesy of A&M Records, Inc. a PolyGram company
Appears On
Practical Magic (1998)
Various Artists
Performance #3:
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals)
Appears On
More Uncirculated Rumours (0000)
Stevie Nicks

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    Discography Credits »
Lyrics contributed by Blackcat. Interpretation prepared by Alexa, Farrah, Drew, Tracy G, and Becky.