"Races are run, some people win, some people always have to lose."These lyrics echo the trials of Stevie Nicks' life at the time from the uncertainty she felt concerning her future as a musical artist and the doubt she felt concerning her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham. This song also deals with the music industry at the time and the struggle for Stevie and Lindsey to make their own unique sound in a country where a more "familiar" sound seemed to be the only kind recognized.
More so, though, Races Are Run is about Stevie's continous battle with her partner Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie can't help but see that their relationship is more like a race than anything else. Of course, there always has to be a winner and a loser in this race and Stevie can't help but feel that she just might always lose this race with Lindsey.
So many different kinds of people
Trying to be the same
No way baby, he said
Baby there's no way
At this time there were so many other musicians out there that were trying to get a record deal. Each of them was completely different from the other, yet they were all trying to be the same. These musicians realized that their best chance to make it involved not creating a new sound, but conforming to the standards of the music industry and making music that tended to sound all the same. "No way baby, he said, baby there's no way." This is Lindsey telling Stevie that there was no way that he was going to be just another band with that familiar sound. The whole reason that Stevie and Lindsey left Fritz was so they would no longer have to answer to anybody else. This was their chance to finally shine, and there was no way they were going to lose that chance.
If we could start again
Well who knows
Have we really changed
Some say we have
Reflecting our past
Who can say
Who can say
Stevie wonders if things would be different if they started over. Would the direction their musical careers taking be different? Would the relationship between she and Lindsey be better? These are two questions that Stevie can't answer. She tells herself that they haven't really changed and that things would not be different. But then other people have told her she and Lindsey have changed. They have many more hardships and worries in their lives now than they did in the past. Now feels unsure again. We know that Stevie is afraid of changing because she sings that in her song 'Landslide'...Well I've been afraid of changing. Who can say if things would be better or worse? At this point in her life, Stevie can't make this decision. Perhaps she knows the answer deep down inside but can't make herself believe the truth, that maybe her relationship with Lindsey is coming to an end.
Races are run
Some people win
Some people always have to lose.
Stevie feels that her relationship with Lindsey is like a race. It's difficult to acknowledge, but Stevie knows that in a race there is always going to be winners and losers. Compared with the song, 'Long Distance Winner', where Stevie admits that Lindsey is the winner saying "I come running down the hill, but you're fast, you're the winner long distance winner", Races Are Run does not tell who is the winner and who is the loser.
This could be Stevie's way of telling Lindsey that he is not always going to be the winner and SHOULD NOT always strive to be the winner. We know how important winning is to Lindsey because he sings about it in his song 'Never Going Back Again'--"You don't know what it means to win." Stevie knows this too, but she sees it as something that will eventually bring about the demise of their relationship.
Tell me I'm wrong
I can't believe you
We tried a thousand times before
Rained on reasons
Kept us believing
That there might still be more
Stevie asks Lindsey to tell her she is wrong about their relationship falling apart. It seems as if she is almost pleading with him to give her any sort of justification to make her feel differently. Unfortunately, she can't believe him. She knows in her heart that they have tried so many times before to work things out. "Rained on reasons, kept us believing," could mean that they have been blaming their failing relationship on things such as being poor and struggling to get a record deal. Maybe if it weren't for these hardships then their relationship would be easier and not so tumultuous. However, Stevie knows this is not so.
Races are run
Some people win
Some people always have to lose
Stevie and Lindsey are both so strong and talented. They both have such a strong desire to succeed. This strong desire got in the way causing the two of them to act more like competitors rather than lovers. This constant race between the two of them had to end some time, which it did, resulting in the break-up of these two very dedicated people.
I think its safe to say that there never was a loser in this relationship. Both Lindsey and Stevie have proven that they are nothing but winners.
(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.)