"Brown Eyes" is one of those songs that really made Tusk stand out from every other album of the day--itís a unique song, in the music, the words, the sound, and the ideas that Christine McVie is trying to get across. The song is beautiful and seductive, considered by many to be one of the most sexual Fleetwood Mac songs. Some compared it to "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me," both off of the 1975 White Album. The feeling was that in those songs, as in others of Christineís, she was feeling dumped on, but still had hope that things were going to be okay in the end. In "Brown Eyes" though, she is looking for assurance that the other person is as into the relationship as she is. The simplicity of the words is beautified by the effect of Christineís smooth, husky voice and the beautiful sounds of the instruments.
When you look at me with those brown eyes
What do you want to do
Do you have to have me
The way that I want you
I want you
Christine is in love with someone in this song. Unlike her songs on Rumours, which are written about a specific person, most of her songs on Tusk are the result of her life experiences--a failed marriage, major success, etc. etc. At the same time, she could have been writing about Dennis Wilson. Whoever the person is exactly, he thrills her and has a very strong hold on her. She wants his love in return, but she isnít sure what to expect, what he wants from her. She hopes that he wants her as much as she wants him. She is not hiding anything from him--she freely admits that she wants him. Will this be another one-way relationship, or will her love and passion be returned this time. These feelings are almost universal when starting out in a relationship--does the other love you, want you, as much as you do them? Chris had been treated poorly in the past, and she did not want to go through all that again.
When you look at me with those brown eyes
What do you want to say
And are you just another liar
Will you take me all the way
All the way.
She is having trouble "reading" him, so to speak--she canít quite figure out what he means when he looks at her with that particular look. She is wondering what is going through his mind. Lust was probably a big part of the relationship, but Chris is asking if that is what the entire relationship is from his point of view. She wants more than just a physical thing here, more than a one night stand; Christine is looking for true love. "Another liar"...this is almost harsh. Lies must have been a big part of her life. It brings to mind her song from Tango in the Night, "Little Lies." She is questioning his motives. Maybe she was warned against him. She might feel manipulated by him, and again is asking herself what exactly he wants from her. The general opinion was that she does love him, and wants to know if he loves her back as much. The line "Will you take me all the way" could also be referring to something sexual too, of course. The relationship was very much based on sex, but again, Christine is hoping that that is not all it is...she wants him to make a real commitment to her. Christine seemed to spend a good deal of her time watching after everyone else, and taking care of them, but what she really needs is someone who will take care of her (the song "Think About Me" comes to mind.)
Another part of the song that adds to the overall feeling are the "Shalala, shalalala, shalalas" repeated throughout this song. They add to the hypnotic, dream-like feeling the song possesses. The song is sometimes biting, sometimes soothing, fading just as it came...very smoothly and hypnotically. The harmony and the instrumental aspect of "Brown Eyes" create an atmosphere of both love and lust, drawing the listener in.
Who is the "Brown-Eyed" man? There were so many in her life that it was hard to narrow it down...and in the long run, thatís not the main point of this song. The emotions that run through the music, the wonder, the doubt, the love, the passion--they are what make the song stand out--and make it a favorite of many Fleetwood Mac fans. She is drawn to the person with those "Brown Eyes"-- as we are drawn into the song itself. She is looking for love here, and she thinks that she sees it in that personís eyes. Sheís not completely sure about his motives or his feelings, but in a way she doesnít care--sheís ready for love. She is drawn to the person with those "Brown Eyes"--as we are drawn into the song itself. This song is a beautiful display of her songwriting and singing talent, and a mystical journey into the heart and mind of Christine McVie, as she brings to light what she is looking for, what she wants, and what she needs.
(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.)