Contributors to this interpretation included: Russ, Derik A. Larson, Silver Springs, Janet, Stacey, Lesley, and Nancy.
I believe that the lyrics of Beautiful Child are based on the point of view of Meggie from The ThornBirds; a novel published in 1977, 2-years prior to the release of "Tusk". The song, when viewed from this perspective, is about Meggie's love of Father Ralph.
"Beautiful Child" is a beautiful lullaby from the Tusk album. There are different ways to interpret the song. There's a strong case for it being about Stevie Nicks's relationship with Mick Fleetwood, but this interpretation will explore the song in a more general manner.
You are a beautiful child
And I am a fool once more
She fell in love with someone beautiful, but immature (like a child). She feels like a fool for having fall in love with this man. This could also indicate that she fell in love easily throughout her life.
You fell in love when I was only ten
The years disappeared
Much has gone by since then
I bite my lip, can you send me away
I have no choice
I have to stay
I had to stay
This says that she fell in love at a young age, and has loved this man for a long time. This could apply to Mick who is older than her. As far as the relationship appears, she wants to leave, but he won't send her away and she is not strong enough to leave on her own, so she "had to stay." She knows the relationship shouldn't happen, but she can't get out. This again sounds like her relationship with Mick, which was taboo and hidden from the rest of the band.
There is so little time
Your eyes say yes
But you don't say yes
I wish that you were mine
It's obvious that they both love each other, but here it seems that she is somewhat estranged from him. The line "Your eyes say yes but you don't say yes" is powerful because eyes can communicate a lot.
You say it will be harder in the morning
I wait for you to say, just go
Your hands, held mine so few hours
And I'm not a child anymore
Again, she wants him to tell her to go away but he won't, and she can't leave. It is very tough for them to part.
I'm not a child anymore
I'm tall enough
To reach for the stars
I'm old enough
To love you from afar
Too trusting... yes?
But then women usually are
This stanza is kind of a contradiction; it shows that she has grown up but is still naive. She IS able to get away from this man and old enough to do many things, but she is still naive in that she is too trusting. She wants independence but it is tough for her.
I'm not a child anymore
No, I'm not a child, oh no
Tall enough to reach for the stars
I will do
As I'm told
Even if I never hold you again
I never hold you again
She loves the man so much, that she will do whatever he says for as long as she lives, even if she is never in his arms again. The love she felt was obviously strong and she realizes that she must grow up -- she keeps telling herself that she is not a child but the lullaby playing behind her and her inability to let go of her love show that she really is struggling with still being a child.
All in all, "Beautiful Child" seems to refer to Stevie who is having a hard time growing up. She is always the young one and struggles with her maturity and the maturity of her lover. She seems to be rather dependent but wants to overcome that dependence. This song is one of the most beautiful Fleetwood Mac songs ever, and it has such a powerful, hypnotic message which is why many people love it.
(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.)