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Fleetwood Mac - Gold Dust Woman

Identifier

021522

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Penguin lyric interpreter

As popular a song as Stevie Nicks’ Gold Dust Woman is, it is also one of the most obscure and ambiguous.  Stevie once said that a woman should "never tell all your secrets, that you should never tell everybody all about you. I never have."  And despite a week of analysis , the meaning behind this song remains one of her secrets.

In fact, Christine McVie said in the Making of Rumours video, that:

"Stevie’s words can be pretty obscure… at best.  Sometimes I didn’t know what she was singing about, but in her mind those words made complete sense and I often used to wonder what on earth she was talking about.  But then, you didn’t care because the words just sounded so good."

Lindsey Buckingham, her bandmate and ex-lover, said "This song is very dark and somewhat acrimonious.  I’m guessing that the acrimony was directed at me at the time."

In fact, Stevie herself was unsure in an interview with Courtney Love in Spin Magazine (October, 1997):

 "You know what, Courtney?  I don't really know what 'Gold Dust Woman’ is about.  I know there was cocaine there and that I fancied it gold dust, somehow.  I'm going to have to go back to my journals and see if I can pull something out about ‘Gold Dust Woman.’  Because I don't really know.  It's weird that I'm not quite sure.  It can't be all about cocaine."

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Additional notes 

Daily Mail online September 2013

Miss Nicks became addicted to cocaine for 10 years but following her treatment at the Betty Ford clinic in America in the 1980s she then started seeing a psychiatrist.
She said: ‘When I came out of Betty Ford I was in great shape and then I went to see the psychiatrist that everybody was seeing at that point and I think he was just a groupie.
He just wanted to put me on something that would bring me into his office whenever I was in town, once a week for an hour, so he could get all the scoop on what was going on in the rock and roll world.'
But during those eight years, that was late thirties to 45, who knows what might have happened during those eight years? I might have met someone, I might have even had a baby.
‘So I will go to my grave angry at that man [the doctor] for that, because he took eight years of the prime of my life away.’

 

A description of the experience

Fleetwood Mac - Gold Dust Woman

Rock on, gold dust woman
Take your silver spoon and dig your grave

Heartless challenge
Pick your path and I'll pray

Wake up in the morning
See your sunrise loves to go down

Lousy lovers pick their prey
But they never cry out loud, cry out

Well, did she make you cry,
Make you break down,
Shatter your illusions of love?
And is it over now?
Do you know how?
Pick up the pieces and go home

Rock on, ancient queen
Follow those who pale in your shadow

Rulers make bad lovers
You better put your kingdom up for sale, up for sale

Well, did she make you cry,
Make you break down,
Shatter your illusions of love?
And is it over now?
Do you know how?
Pick up the pieces and go home

Well, did she make you cry,
Make you break down,
Shatter your illusions of love?
And now tell me is it over now?
Do you know how?
Pick up the pieces and go home
Go home
Go home

Ooh, pale shadow of a woman,
Black widow,
Pale shadow of a dragon,
Dust woman.

Ooh, pale shadow of a woman,
Black widow,
Ooh, pale shadow, she's a dragon,
Gold dust woman

The source of the experience

Fleetwood Mac

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans