At first listen, this early composition from the pen of Christine McVie might seem to be nothing more than just a light-hearted love song. Examined more closely in its full context, it becomes much more interesting. As the eighth track on Fleetwood Mac's 1972 outing Bare Trees, this song plays a key role in maintaining the whole album's exquisitely balanced high-wire walk between gloom and joy.
It also shows the early development of certain features in McVie's songwriting style, many of which serve to highlight the contrasts between her work and that of future bandmate Stevie Nicks.
Much like her later hit songs with Fleetwood Mac, such as "Over My Head" and "Songbird," Christine McVie takes a subtle, almost humble approach to the subject of romance. It's hard to imagine getting more different from the brash confidence, bordering on sheer arrogance at times, displayed in songs like "Rhiannon" or "Sisters of the Moon," in which Nicks presents tales of instant physical attraction and lust elevated to a mystical experience.
Here in "Spare Me a Little of Your Love," McVie tells a story of friendship developing gradually into something greater. Neither of the people in this story are overly confident. She spends the first stanza partly persuading her desired partner to take an interest in her, and partly offering reassurance that her interest in him is genuine. The refrain emphasizes this humble approach: she doesn't ask for everything, but "just a little bit," a line she repeats one more time at the very end of the song.
The instrumental bridge before the final stanza revisits themes from the fourth track of Bare Trees, the fully instrumental "Sunny Side of Heaven." Not only does this give an added sense of unity to this album, it weaves a thread of continuity with several other albums, because the lyrics in the last stanza also evoke a sun motif heard in many of McVie's other songs.
Spare Me a Little of Your Love
Why not lie here in my arms
And listen to the night
You must know you have certain charms
And I feel the time is right
So spare me a little
(just a little bit)
Spare me a little
(just a little bit)
Spare me a little of your love
Now I know that I feel much more
Oh in every single way
And it's not the same as before
It gets stronger everyday
Now I know how the sun must feel
Every time it shines
And now I know this is real
And I want you to be mine
Just a little bit