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    Song Title »
I'm So Afraid
    Authors »
Lindsey Buckingham

    Year Written »
1975

    This Performance »
Date Performance 1975-00-00
Running Time 4:30
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Synthesizer), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Mick Fleetwood (Percussion), Stevie Nicks (Background Vocals), Keith Olsen (Produced By), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By)
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac (1975)
Fleetwood Mac
In The Studio (1989)
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac: Music From 2 Hit Albums (1976)
Columbia Pictures Publications
Fleetwood Mac: Deluxe Anthology (0000)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Over My Head/I'm So Afraid (1975)
Fleetwood Mac

    Lyrics »

I been alone
All the years
So many ways to count the tears
I never change
I never will
I'm so afraid the way I feel

Days when the rain and the sun are gone
Black as night
Agony's torn at my heart too long
So afraid
Slip and I fall and I die

I been alone
Always down
No one cared to stay around
I never change
I never will
I'm so afraid the way I feel

Days when the rain and the sun are gone
Black as night
Agony's torn at my heart too long
So afraid
Slip and I fall and I die

    Fan Interpretation »

Contributors to this interpretation included: Sarah G., Ann, BN, Hayley, Janet, Joanne, Lauren (double thanks), Leah Kindsey, Leigh, Ryan Brown, and Villavic.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The only way to remotely understand Lindsey Buckingham is through his music and actually being at one with it. From the opening drum beats, to the last high pitched wails, "I'm So Afraid" is a very powerful song. Is it depressing? Is it not depressing? Read the lyrics without the music. It is sheer poetry. Read the words with the music. It is sheer perfection. But what makes this song? Could it be what was happening to Lindsey at the time? Maybe. Could it be what had happened earlier in his life? Maybe again. Lindsey sounds depressed. He sounds alone and he sounds afraid. Yes, we target that, especially the "slip and I fall and I die" line. I guess only Lindsey knows what he was feeling at the time. He's had such a long journey since 1971, around the time the song was actually written.

Within that year he had mono and had more than ample time to do whatever he wanted. But really he didn't. Confined to the comforts of your own home, when you are away from home, you want to be home. When you're home you want to be gone. Lindsey was trapped. With his sickness, he couldn't just stand up and say, "Hey, I'm going to the mall, see ya later!" It doesn't really work this way. So he lays on the floor and practices his guitar and writes some songs. One of the outcomes: "I'm So Afraid."

I been alone
All the years
So many ways to count the tears
I never change
I never will
I'm so afraid the way I feel

Obviously, he's not at peace with himself. He's searching for something, but do we know what? Did he know what? More than likely, he was trying to reach the musical height he wanted. Lindsey is a perfectionist. He's said so himself. But let's look at this from a different angle. "I've been alone all the years." If you have brothers and sisters or step-brothers and step-sisters, you can understand that you're not always getting the attention you deserve, you get used to that. But when you're in a band, like Lindsey had just finished a stint with, (Fritz) you want attention. You don't want to be that guy playing the guitar. Stevie got the attention with that band, and that made the other guys feel left out or alone. But Lindsey doesn't think he will ever get the attention he knows he deserves, hence "I never change, I never will."

Days when the rain and the sun are gone
Black as night
Agony's torn at my heart too long
So afraid
Slip and I fall and I die

Of course the rain and sun aren't physically gone. They will never be gone. But to Lindsey, they are. If you've ever been depressed, you know that you're completely numb. You don't feel anything but sorrow, pain, and self-pity. He feels alone, as we know already, but to the point where he thinks he's the only one in the universe. "Agony's torn at my heart too long," explains that he's beyond the snapping point. He's scared. "Slip and I fall and I die," is his way of telling us that he in fact did reach a breaking point. Maybe with mono, maybe with Stevie, maybe with his music. If he were to slip, fall, and die, since he feels alone in the world, would anyone know? Would anyone care?

I been alone
Always down
No one cared to stay around
I never change
I never will
I'm so afraid the way I feel.

These lines hit you like a brick. Short and to the point. Again, this leads me to believe he's been alone in his own little world. "Always down," signifies that he's not feeling very sunshiny. "No one cared to stay around." That's the one that really gets you. People come into your life, people leave your life. This is what has happened to Lindsey. Maybe siblings, maybe band-mates, maybe girlfriends. "God knows what," as Christine has said before. "I never change, I never will." He's telling himself, again, that he's not going to change, he can't. "I'm so afraid the way I feel." Would you not feel afraid if, 1) the doctors didn't know what was going on with you, yet you still felt awful. 2) You're not getting the musical credit you deserve, and 3) If you were depressed and couldn't snap out of it. I know I would feel afraid. No doubt Lindsey did too, that's what this means to me.

Days when the rain and the sun are gone
Black as night
Agony's torn at my heart too long
So afraid
Slip and I fall and I die.

The rain and sun are still there, just not to Lindsey. It is "black as night," in his soul. "Agony's torn at my heart too long," tells us he is finally admitting this not only to himself, but to us. "So afraid." Of himself? Of his music? Of what? Mr. Buckingham knows. "Slip and I fall and I die." Maybe he doesn't die physically, but his spirit does. His spirit in his music, his spirit in his social life, his spirit and belief in himself.

This song has always been one of my favorites. Maybe it's not the most uplifting and most beautiful songs in the world, but it gets Lindsey's point across. And it does it quite well. When we're sitting in the car listening to it or watching it on video, we just sing along. But do we really think about the words. I don't. I'm just singing them. But actually sitting down and ripping the song up bit by bit and deciphering it, that really makes you think. So deep, so profound. Wow. It is my understanding also, that a lot of people have never heard this song. People that don't have the Fleetwood Mac album, Fleetwood Mac Live, and The Dance haven't heard it before they had these albums. They don't understand. How can they if we don't?

(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 »
This version is from The Dance.



F5=  133xxx
Cm5= 533xxx
Bb5= x133xx
C5=  x355xx
Db5= x466xx

Verse 1

F5
I've been alone, all the years
Cm5           F5
So many ways, to count the tears
F5
I never change, I never will.
Cm5             F5
I'm so afraid , the way I feel.

Chorus


  Db5   Bb5           C5           F5
	Days when the rain and the sun are gone.
                  Db5     Db5        C5          F5
	Black as night, making this hurt in my heart to long.
            Db5       Bb5            C5           F5
	So afraid, to live and I'll fall and I'll die

1st solo:
(I Don't know if Lindsey plays it this way exactly, but it plays
somewhat easily and it sounds perfect.)

E-------------*------8s9s8--8-------*------------*
B-------------*-9s11----------11-9--*-9----------*
G-10----------*---------------------*------------*
D-------------*---------------------*------------*
A-------------*---------------------*------------*
E-------------*---------------------*------------*

E-------------------*------------*----------------------*
B-9-8-9-11-9--9s8---*------------*--------8-------------*
G-----------------8-*10----------*10-8-10---10--10-8----*
D-------------------*------------*-------------------10-*
A-------------------*------------*----------------------*
E-------------------*------------*----------------------*

E-------------*-----------------*------------*
B---------13--*13---13----------*------------*
G-------------*----------15--13-*------------*
D-10----------*-----------------*15----------*
A-------------*-----------------*------------*
E-------------*-----------------*------------*

E--------------------------*-------------*------------------------*
B------13h14-13---13-------*-------------*------------------------*
G13h15---------------15-13-*13-----------*13-12-13-15-13--13s12---*
D--------------------------*----15-13-11-*----------------------13*
A--------------------------*-------------*------------------------*
E--------------------------*-------------*------------------------*



E----------------*-----------------------------*------------*
B----------------*-----------------------------*------------*
G-----13---------*---------12------------------*-----13---15*
D-15-----13-15---*15-13-15----15-15-13-------13*15------13--*
A----------------*---------------------16s15---*------------*
E----------------*-----------------------------*------------*

Verse 2:

I've been alone, always down.
No one cares to stay around
I never change, I never will
I'm so afraid, the way I feel

Chorus

2nd Solo:
Repeat the first solo and then he goes off into a bigger solo in which
i haven't tabbed out yet.

    Other Performances »
Performance #1:
Date Performance 1980-00-00
Running Time 7:27
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Background Vocals), Richard Dashut (Produced By), Ken Caillat (Produced By), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By)
Comments(Edited) Version best known in full from 1980 "Live" album
Appears On
25 Years: The Chain (1992)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #2:
Date Performance 1997-06-00
Running Time 7:45
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Brett Tuggle (Guitars), Brett Tuggle (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Neale Heywood (Background Vocals), Lenny Castro (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Mindy Stein (Background Vocals)
Appears On
The Dance (1997)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #3:
Date Performance 1982-10-22
Running Time 6:17
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Vocals)
CommentsRecorded at the Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles
Appears On
In Concert Mirage Tour '82 (1984)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #4:
Date Performance 1997-06-00
Running Time 6:00
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Brett Tuggle (Guitars), Brett Tuggle (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Neale Heywood (Background Vocals), Lenny Castro (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Mindy Stein (Background Vocals)
Comments (Edited live version best known in a longer form from the "The Dance" video/audio packages)
Appears On
The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac (2002)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #5:
Date Performance 1997-06-00
Running Time 7:45
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Brett Tuggle (Guitars), Brett Tuggle (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Neale Heywood (Background Vocals), Lenny Castro (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Mindy Stein (Background Vocals)
Appears On
The Dance (1997)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #6:
Date Performance 1980-05-00
Running Time 8:28
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Jeffery Sova (Additional Live Keyboards), Tony Todaro (Additional Live Percussion)
CommentsRecorded in Richfield (Cleveland)
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac Live (1980)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #7:
Date Performance 1975-00-00
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Stevie Nicks (Background Vocals)
Appears On
The Rockhoppers Live '76 (1978)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #8:
Date Performance 1977-08-25
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Christine McVie (Keyboards), John McVie (Bass)
CommentsRecorded at the Aladdin Theatre Performing Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada
Appears On
Sin City (1977)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #9:
Date Performance 2003-09-00
Running Time 9:39
Sound Clip Listen.
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), Mark Needham (Music Mixed By)
Appears On
Live In Boston (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Live In Boston (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #10:
Date Performance 1997-10-00
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Stevie Nicks (Background Vocals)
CommentsRecorded live in Irvine, California.
Appears On
Dancing Again (1998)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #11:
Date Performance 1975-00-00
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Stevie Nicks (Background Vocals)
Appears On
King Biscuit Flower Hour (1993)
Fleetwood Mac
New Jersey 1975 (1991)
Fleetwood Mac
Live In Passaic 1975 (1990)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #12:
Date Performance 1982-10-22
Running Time 6:17
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Vocals)
CommentsRecorded at the Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles
Appears On
Westwood One Radio Networks Show: 6/16/84 (1984)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #13:
Date Performance 1975-00-00
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar)
Appears On
Almanac (1979)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #14:
Date Performance 1975-00-00
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Stevie Nicks (Background Vocals)
Appears On
Albatross - But Not Around My Neck Please (1978)
Fleetwood Mac
Don't You Let Me Down Again (1975)
Fleetwood Mac
Hollywood (0000)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #15:
Date Performance 1997-06-00
Running Time 7:45
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Brett Tuggle (Guitars), Brett Tuggle (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Neale Heywood (Background Vocals), Lenny Castro (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Mindy Stein (Background Vocals)
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac: The Dance (Piano/Vocal/Chords) (1998)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.

    Comments »

(C) 1975 Now Sounds Music (ASCAP)/Fleetwood Mac Music - BMI Copyright Renewed. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

    Reviews »
Add your review of I'm So Afraid here.

    Last Modified »
2010-10-06

    Discography Credits »
Lyrics contributed by Jeff Kenney and Marty Adelson. Interpretation prepared by Sarah G.. Tabs prepared by Josh Shank.