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    Song Title »
Beautiful Child
    Authors »
Stevie Nicks

    Year Written »
1979

    This Performance »
Date Performance 1979-00-00
Running Time 5:18
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Piano), Lindsey Buckingham (Electric Guitar), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Background Vocals), Christine McVie (Background Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Richard Dashut (Produced By), Ken Caillat (Produced By), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By)
Comments(Alternate Mix)
Appears On
25 Years: The Chain (1992)
Fleetwood Mac
Selections From 25 Years: The Chain (1992)
Fleetwood Mac

    Lyrics »

Beautiful child
Beautiful child
You are a beautiful child
And I am a fool once more

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
You touch
I have no choice
I have to stay
I had to stay

Sleepless child
There is so little time
Your eyes say yes
But you don't say yes
I wish that you were mine

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

I'm not a child anymore
I'm tall enough
To reach for the stars
I'm old enough
To love you from afar
To trusting... yes?
But then women usually are

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

    Fan Interpretation »

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.

Beautiful child
Beautiful child
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
You touch
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.

Sleepless child
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.)

    Tabs »
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    Other Performances »
Performance #1:
Date Performance 1979-00-00
Running Time 5:19
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Synthesizers), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Mick Fleetwood (Percussion), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By), Richard Dashut (Produced With), Ken Caillat (Produced With)
Appears On
Tusk (1979)
Fleetwood Mac
Tusk (Rhino Remastered Edition) (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #2:
Date Performance 2004-09-00
Running Time 5:28
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Jana Anderson (Background Vocals), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Taku(ya) Hirano (Percussion), Steve Rinkoff/Rinkov (Drums), Carlos Rios (Guitar), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Mike Dean (Keyboard), Ed Cherney/Chernay (Music Mixed By)
Appears On
Live In Boston (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #3:
Date Performance 1979-00-00
Running Time 5:19
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Synthesizers), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Mick Fleetwood (Percussion), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By), Richard Dashut (Produced With), Ken Caillat (Produced With)
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac: Tusk (1979)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Fleetwood Mac: Deluxe Anthology (0000)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.

    Comments »

(C) 1979 Music For Unicef (admin by Unichappell Music Inc.) (BMI) Welsh Witch Music BMI. Copyright Renewed. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

    Reviews »
Add your review of Beautiful Child here.

5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0
A Song For the Ages
Review written by Anonymous, April 7th, 2009

This exquisite Fleetwood Mac lullabye is uncharacteristic of their work and represents Stevie Nicks in her finest hour. The gentle arrangement builds the simple main melody into a castle in the air, and Nicks uses contrapuntal harmonies, dyadic chord structure and melodic counterpoint to underscore the longing in her lyrics. Compositionally, it's beautiful. And in some respects, Nicks' voice has never sounded better. Her slight rasp is under control and when she sings counterpoint with herself, it's simply lovely. "Beautiful Child" remains THE undiscovered gem in Fleetwood Mac's canon and underscores Nicks' abilities as a vocalist and a premier songwriter.

    Last Modified »
2011-10-25

    Discography Credits »
Lyrics contributed by Jeff Kenney and Marty Adelson.