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The Penguin Discography: Angel

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Stevie Nicks

    Year Written »

    This Performance »
Date Performance 1979-00-00
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Stevie Nicks (Vocals)
Appears On
Live Ivory (0000)
Fleetwood Mac

    Lyrics »

The most beautiful things
The most innocent things
And many of those dreams
Pass us by
Keep passing us by

You feel good
I said it's funny that you understood
I knew you would
When you were good
You were very, very good

I still look up
When you walk in the room
I've the same wide eyes
They tell the story
Try not to reach out
When you turn 'round
And you say hello
And we both pretend
There was an end
But there was no ending

So I close my eyes softly
Til I become that part of the wind
That we all long for sometime
And to those that I love
Like a ghost through a fog
Like a charmed hour
And a haunted song
And the angel of my dreams

I still look up
I try hard not to look up
That girl was me
Track a ghost through the fog
A charmed hour -- a haunted song
Track a ghost through the fog, baby

Ooh, you try hard
But you'll never catch me -- yeah

    Fan Interpretation »

There are many interpretations of Angel, an upbeat, yet haunting song. A popular theory is that Lindsey was Stevie's Angel. They both use the word in their songs. Perhaps Lindsey's "Goodbye Angel" is somehow related to this song....he's saying goodbye to his relationship with Stevie. They often answer each other in songs. "Goodbye Angel" was from the Mirage outtakes so it was written a few years after "Angel" was written. One reason to think that the Angel is Lindsey is from watching the Tusk documentary when Lindsey and Stevie are practicing the song together and she sings "you feel good, it's funny that you understood, when you were good, you were very good" at this last line, their eyes lock and they smile. They both know. Stevie talks about that "Angel" moment in the Tusk documentary in an interview. She said that part was so personal because she and Lindsey are looking at each other. She said there's this 'thing' that goes on between us. It always has and probably always will. She said it was scary watching that because you could see everything that went down between them in the last 10 years. This interview was from 1981.

Most know of Stevie's predilection for using the word "angel" in her songs. One of the ways she uses it is as a term of endearment. (Lindsey uses it in this way, as well.) We can only speculate as to whether or not they used to call each other "angel." In that, this song is like a sweet, wistful poem to her "Angel" (Lindsey). Maybe it was written at a moment in their relationship (post-breakup, of course) when they were actually getting along. At least they weren't fighting bitterly. She talks about how "he feels good." They've shared a tender moment together--"I said it's funny that you understood, I knew you would." It makes her recall happier times with him--"When you were good, you were very, very good." She misses him--"I still look up when you walk in the room." She's tempted to make an overture to him, but her pride won't let her--"I try hard to not reach out." He's cordial to her, she's cordial to him--"When you turn around, and you say hello." It's difficult, though, because they still haven't completely resolved all their feelings for each other--"We both pretend there was an end but there was no ending." So she decides to let it go.She's going to float away (emotionally) as if she were "part of the wind." She says goodbye to "the angel of her dreams" (Lindsey) and tells him that he will "never catch her" because she is free now. Another theory is that the beginning is merely an introduction to this song, and that's basically it. If this were an essay, that would be her thesis. There is no complete thought here, merely notes in her head, random thoughts. As she writes this song, she gets the basics out first, and she embellishes later. It can be debatable whether the song is for Lindsey or Don Henley. Most lean towards Lindsey. When she first breaks up with him, she expects this catharsis, and gets, surprising to her, a decent reaction. She walks out on him, and he picks up and moves on. As we all know, he DIDN'T move on, but he may have fooled her at first. She only knew he would go on if he could immerse himself in what she knew was his first love, what he was good at, music. He ended up being very, very good.

Some never thought that Stevie had regret in breaking up with Lindsey until listening to this song. She unconsciously looks up when he walks in the room. She is surprised and wide-eyed he still says hello. She realizes that they are now both pretending to be friends--they both hide (in the original song, the lyric was "No great pretender" at the end of this verse--it makes more sense--they can't hide away from it, put it aside).The wind is comfort. She tries to escape the building turmoil surrounding her. This is the first time the "ghost through a fog" reference appears in her songs ( the second is "Sweet Girl"). Again, for some reason, she wants to desperately reach out to someone, but doesn't know why (she doesn't actually complete this phrase). She doesn't know what to wish to those that she loved and the angel of her dreams because she doesn't know them. She is confused.Stevie has grown (way before Lindsey) in this song. She still looks up, but tries to have restraint, remembering her past. She remembers the girl in Lindsey's relationship, somewhat submissive, and focuses on her new self, free and self-reliant. But she can't help but rethink her old thoughts, though.She finally realizes complete freedom from Lindsey. As she grows farther away, he has tried to grow closer. She has realized his initial reaction was a mask--he is not really over her. He will try hard, but he will never catch her again. Others consider that a very pessimistic interpretation, and say that if Lindsey's "My Little Demon" is his growing song, than this is Stevie's. She tells a huge amount of herself in this rather simplistic song. She goes from confused to unsure about her feelings to desperate to independent in the same song. The rock beat of it perfectly complements the truly dark meanings behind this song.

Some think the line where they pretend there was an end, but their was no ending relates to how they know romantically it has ended, but they chose to work with each other musically through Fleetwood Mac. How can you possibly get over your feelings with someone you loved so much and having to see them day after day... but, they know that their love for each other will never fade away. The opening line where she says many of our dreams, pass us by, is her dream to marry Lindsey, but this innocent, beautiful thing passed her by. If anyone has seen Fleetwood Mac perform this song live, you would see that this song is definitely about Stevie and Lindsey. Many say it's possible that the song was about Mick as well- in the first stanza this is reflected. (Innocent, beautiful- everyone said their love was perverse but they went ahead for a while anyway but it ended up passing them by). The next few lines are kind of the opposite of what was really going on with Stevie and Lindsey around that time- "You feel good...I said it's funny that you understood..."If you read all her interviews right (his too), this wasn't what it was like for them at the time. Maybe what she wanted their relationship to be like. How she wanted to reach out to him, track him through the fog- but it'll just pass them by. Sad song, really- but full of hope. In the 1979 "Tusk Interview" with Jim Ladd, He asks Stevie to interpret "So I close my eyes softly 'til I become that part of the wind" and also to define a "Charmed hour". In the reply, she refers to the story of Rhiannon, becoming the part of the wind....(in short) a peaceful sleep that is void of any pain. She defines the charmed hour as the best time, best hour of your life. The haunted song (wind) "and this is the Angel of my dreams".

Most feel that a lot of Stevie's (early) writing reflects her relationship with Lindsey, there seems to be more hidden philosophies about her own spirituality. Maybe Stevie was referring to Lindsey in this song, or it even could have been Mick. She quotes in the song "sometimes the most beautiful things, the most innocent things and many of these dreams pass us by". Maybe she is saying that Lindsey is very beautiful sometimes very innocent, and yet she let all of that pass her by."When you were good you were very,very good" seems to point directly to Lindsey. She is saying that when he was good, he was just the best, but then he wasn't always good.The parts about "when you walk in the room.......but there was no ending" all the way through to this part she is talking about someone who she's saying it's funny who understands the pain she's going through. "When I close my eyes softly and become that part...long for some time.....yeah" she is referring to Lindsey saying that she could go into his world and become a part of him that only they could understand. The rest of the song is just self-explanatory, "Call me the angel..of my dreams" referring to Lindsey or Mick being an important love to her,one she will never forget. Many say that this song is one of Stevie's earlier explanations on how "true-great love" has been allowed to pass her by, in her lifetime. "Sweet Girl" is basically about the same concept as "Angel" where she explains more in depth why men have to wait on her while she"danced across the stages of the world." More than likely, when she composed "Sweet Girl" she was able to look back and reflection how important Fleetwood Mac was to her and by re-using the line "track a ghost through the fog" an instant connection is made. What song was it that Stevie MOSTLY danced to, across the stages of the world? The answer is was "Rhiannon." This was the song, that seemingly took Stevie to a higher plateau, as she really got into singing the ending and twirling and dancing."Rhiannon" is the "charmed hour and a haunted song." It was in performing "Rhiannon" where she could "close her eyes softly and become that part of the wind that we all long for sometime." She did that not only to please herself, but to be "eye" pleasing to us. The myth of Rhiannon is something we can not see. "And to those that I a ghost through the a charmed hour and a haunted song...and the angel of my dreams."

Again to many, this song has "Mick" written all over it. This relationship was kept quiet for quite awhile, "I try not to reach out...when you turn around and you say hello and we both PRETEND...No great pretender." In the recent Rolling Stone article, we now know a more definite time line for this was during the end of the Rumours tour. You can look at Mick in the Mirage video and see his reaction to Stevie on stage when she performs "Sister Of The Moon". He becomes as entranced as any one of us. All her songs from Tusk are a part of the overall scenario from those *very trying...and stormy days* within the life(style) of Fleetwood Mac and that the songs "Twisted" and "Sweet Girl" are truly of a healing nature for these mega-legends. Again the other view is that the song is about Lindsey and its mostly about how hard it is to adjust to the end of an intimate relationship because there are all these new boundaries and rules. She trying to be at peace with it, but she "still look[s] up, when you walk in the room." "We both pretend..." is saying that she feels as though they've never fully resolved the reasons for their breakup. Another interpretation might be that she feels as though they can pretend that their breakup is the end of their relationship, but they both know that their bond really transcends their fighting and discomfort with one another. Also, in one of Stevie's songs on "the other side of the mirror" she sings, "yes, it was a strain on her/watching her castles fall down/ooh well there was time when/he called her angel/where in the world did you come from..." This could be interpreted to be about Lindsey leaving Fleetwood Mac in '87. (the castle walls....well you all can figure it out). Maybe "Angel" was their term of endearment for each other. All in all, the song is about how hard it was to let go of a passionate and unique love. Their love became the ghost, while he remained her angel, and she his. The final question will always be "Mick or Lindsey?"

(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.)

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    Other Performances »
Performance #1:
Running Time 4:52
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass), Christine McVie (Electric Piano), Lindsey Buckingham (Electric Guitar), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Richard Dashut (Produced By), Ken Caillat (Produced By), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By)
Comments(Alternate Mix)
Appears On
25 Years: The Chain (1992)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #2:
Running Time 4:53
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
Performance #3:
Running Time 5:02
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums)
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac Documentary And Live Concert (0000)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #4:
Running Time 4:53
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 (Rhino Remastered Edition) (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac: Tusk (0000)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Fleetwood Mac: Deluxe Anthology (0000)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Fleetwood Mac: Anthology Of Classics (1989)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.

    Comments »

(C) 1979 Fleetwood Mac Music/Welsh Witch Music (BMI). All rights on behalf of Welsh Witch Music administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, 8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. Copyright Renewed. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

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    Discography Credits »
Lyrics contributed by Jeff Kenney and Marty Adelson. Interpretation prepared by Maria, Lauren, Amy, Arik, Silversprings, Keith, Lesley, Lisa, CC, and Paul.