Landslide (Fleetwood Mac) Meaning: Decoding The Story

Did you know that Stevie Nicks wrote ‘Landslide’ during a pivotal moment in her life? Faced with the decision of whether to continue her music career with Lindsey Buckingham or go back to school, Nicks found herself in Aspen, Colorado, looking out at the Rocky Mountains and feeling overwhelmed by the challenges she was facing after their album had been dropped by their record label.

Despite the song’s origins in a difficult time, “Landslide” has become one of Fleetwood Mac’s most beloved and frequently performed tracks. Nicks has sung it on every Fleetwood Mac tour since she joined the band, with only one exception. In addition, she has included it in all of her solo tours from 2005 onwards.

This beautiful ballad has stood the test of time and continues to captivate audiences with its haunting melody and heartfelt lyrics. But what is the true meaning behind this song? Let’s explore in this article!

Lyrics Interpretation

The lyrics of “Landslide” are simple but deeply personal. The song opens with the narrator reflecting on a journey she has taken, climbing a mountain and seeing her reflection in the snow-covered hills. This metaphorical climb represents a personal journey of growth and introspection, one that has led her to question the nature of love and the ability to rise above her fears.

The chorus asks the question, “Can the child within my heart rise above?” This line speaks to the idea that even as we grow older, we still carry with us the innocent and vulnerable parts of ourselves. The narrator is questioning whether she can tap into that inner child and find the strength to overcome her fears.

The second verse delves deeper into the narrator’s fears and insecurities. She admits to being afraid of change because she has built her life around someone else, presumably a lover or partner. The line “But time makes you bolder, even children get older, and I’m getting older too” suggests that she is recognizing the inevitability of change and the passing of time. Despite her fears, she knows that she must find the courage to face the changes in her life.

The final chorus repeats the earlier questions about rising above fear and handling the seasons of life. The final lines, “Well the landslide will bring it down” refer back to the opening metaphor of the song. Just as a landslide can bring down a mountain, the narrator is acknowledging that she too is vulnerable to the forces of life and must find a way to weather the storms.

True Meaning Behind “Landslide”

“Landslide” was written by Stevie Nicks during a time when her music career seemed to be falling apart. After being dropped by Polydor Records and the failure of their debut album, Buckingham Nicks, Nicks was at a crossroads in her life.

Her father suggested that she take a break from music and consider doing something different. This advice inspired her to write the song “Landslide” during a trip to Aspen, Colorado.

The Metaphor of the Avalanche

The opening line of “Landslide” sets the tone for the song’s metaphorical significance. The line “I took my love, I took it down” implies that Nicks’ career had taken a downturn. The metaphor of the landslide represents the upheaval in her life and the possibility that everything she had built could be destroyed in an instant.

Reflection and Self-Discovery

In the line “I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills,” Nicks portrays a reflection of herself in the fragile mountains. This image suggests that her identity as a musician was at risk of collapsing in a way that was devastating and irreversible.

This feeling of self-discovery is further reinforced by the line “Can the child within my heart rise above?” This line speaks to the idea that Nicks needed to find the strength to tap into her inner child and overcome her fears.

Fear of Change

The line “Well, I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘cause I’ve built my life around you” suggests that Nicks had built her music career around someone else.

This line can be interpreted in various ways, including uncertainty about her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham or her future in the music industry. The fear of change is a common theme that resonates with many listeners, making the song relatable and touching.

The Significance of Age

The line “Even children get older, and I’m getting older too” has often been questioned since Nicks was only 27 years old when the song was composed. However, Nicks clarified the meaning of this line, saying that she had spent years working menial jobs before her success as a musician. After a long period of poverty and hard work, she felt deeply weary and much older than she was.

The Relationship Between Nicks and Buckingham

Nicks and Buckingham’s romantic relationship had a significant influence on the creation of “Landslide.” They had been in a relationship since high school and formed the duo Buckingham Nicks with the dream of becoming successful musicians.

However, the years of poverty and uncertainty were challenging for their relationship, and by the mid-1970s, they were struggling. The song’s lyrics, “Well, I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘cause I’ve built my life around you,” suggest uncertainty about the future of their relationship.


Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” is a timeless classic that has touched the hearts of millions of listeners. The song’s lyrics are personal and emotional, reflecting the ups and downs of Stevie Nicks’ life and career. Its metaphors and themes of self-discovery, fear of change, and uncertainty about the future make it relatable to many people.

In summary, the song is a powerful reminder of the universal struggles that we all face in life. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the song’s ability to connect with people on a personal level, making it a classic that will continue to resonate for generations to come.

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