"Christine brought a romanticism and a sensibility, just in terms of interaction of the group. She always had her feet upon the ground. Very earthy in her approach...no nonsense." Lindsey Buckingham on bandmember Christine McVie.
Christine McVie, the first lady of Fleetwood Mac, became an integral part of the band starting in 1970, and was a source of strength throughout the many trials and pitfalls that befell the band. She also was married to bass player John McVie, who seems to be the central figure in "Why." Christine once commented, "John is not the most pleasant of people when he's drunk. Very belligerent." She says that she and John were very happy for about three years, until the stress of their constant togetherness began to show; this was around the time when she probably wrote this song. "We just saw so much of each other at work, at play and at home that it became very wearing on the relationship." Mick Fleetwood has stated that years after joining the band, when the marriage was under so much strain, Chris wondered if she had really made the right decision, although he doesn't feel that she would go back and do anything differently.
There's no use in crying, it's all over
But I know there'll always be another day
Well my heart will rise up with the morning sun
And the hurt I feel will simply melt away
You make me feel, I just can't carry on
But I know I won't always be that way
'Cos my heart will rise up with the morning sun
And the hurt I feel will simply melt away
Christine seems to be dealing with acceptance of where her relationship with John stands. She loves him, but his drinking hurts her tremendously. She not only sees it tearing apart their relationship, but fears for John's health and how his drinking is controlling his behavior. She tries to forget about it each day, and tells herself that he's changing for the better, but in her heart she knows it's not true. John's problems really bother Chris, she feels reponsible for him, but taking care of him is tiring (she "can't carry on"). She at times seems optimistic as she wants to believe that everything will be better in the future. Perhaps she thinks that once the band is a huge success again, all their problems will melt away? Another thought is that she's patiently waiting for the Americans to start buying FM records and for John to stop drinking and become himself again. She misses the John she fell in love with. She remarkably is able to put her hurt feelings aside. She sounds hopeful for the future, but this could be her way of disguising a broken heart. Maybe this song is Christine's way of telling John she wants more from their relationship than he is giving her. Christine seems to be a very sensible lady and wouldn't waste time with self-pity. She wants to get on with her life. She repeats the line "my heart will rise up with the morning sun, and the hurt I feel will simply melt away," as if for emphasis. One way to interpret this phrase is that she has already decided to leave. Despite the hurt she feels now, she knows it's what's best for her, and that she will recover eventually and rise above her current emotional darkness. Her leaving him was, to use Lindsey's words, "a survival move," not because of a lack of love for John, but just something she had to do. In 1977, she told Rolling Stone, "I had to do it for my sanity. If not, I'd have ended up in a lunatic asylum."
You don't have to give up
Why is it all wrong
Why don't you love me
Wy won't you just be strong
Christine believes in commitment and wants her relationship with the man she loves to work out. She really wants to work at their relationship, but it's getting harder to relate to John. She knows "why" their relationship isn't working - John's drinking. She doesn't understand "why" he doesn't care enough for her to make an effort to stop, and that really hurts her. Perhaps she feels guilty for John's downward spiral into his alcoholism, or for the lack of communication she has with her husband, or for the lack of 'space' they have within their relationship. Certainly, it wasn't her fault completely, but this part of the song is sorrowful. She remembers what they had, but John is no longer strong. Christine has to be the adult. She wants the love back, but first she wants some answers. By the end of the song, it seems that Chris has lost her optimism. At first she was in denial, telling herself that everything would work itself out. Over time, she realizes that her relationship will never work unless both of them are willing to answer the questions she asks, but she knows that neither of them are going to face reality, Chris because she's so in denial and John because he's too busy drinking.
Is she writing her swan song of their relationship here? It seems to be a large possibility as both her and John are coming to understand the reality of their relationship - it's not healthy. She tries to accept the situation and move on but she realizes that it's not that simple and she stays with John for a few more years. However, it is also important to note the order of the verses. If they were reversed, the song might be a little more hopeful.
Christine doesn't really have the answers to her questions. She realizes that she doesn't know and may never know why her relationship with John isn't working out. She knows she must accept where her life is and move on. Why? She simply wants the pain to end.
(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.)