by Stevie Nicks
Welsh Witch Music, 1980
He remembered every moment they shared as if they could be placed in the immediacy of yesterday. Everything connected with their relationship walked a thin line between tragic and supernatural. Their lives had courses that were both parallel and perpedicular to each others at the same time. Nothing ever really made sense in the usual sense of things. When they met they were kids. She was 16 and he was 19. Her youth and innocence made the feelings they had for each other too overwhelming and confusing. That innocence would unfortunately not last very long.
The clouds... never expect it...
when it rains
But the sea changes colors...
but the sea...
Does not change
And so... with the slow... graceful flow of age
I went forth... with an age old... desire... to please
On the edge of... seventeen
She was to become the greatest love of his life. His unsolved riddle and unfinished symphony. Somehow they connected at the soul but never at the heart. They understood each other in ways no one else ever will. They were creatures that watched as others assumed the trappings of society with a house in the suburbs, two point something kids and a couple cars in the driveway... enjoying a beer while mowing the lawn on Sunday. They chose difficult paths in life because they had to be true to themselves. Sometimes it felt like they needed to be true to each other even before they were true to themselves.
Look in my eyes, touch my face
Baby there's no one that
Can ever replace that - heartache
Take away that heartache
He spent many years hating himself because he never felt good enough to be with the woman he loved so deeply. Never good enough to so much as admit the way he truly felt about her. Time went by, and years were hacked off the calendar.
They became very close but physically distant friends with impeccable timing. If anything went wrong in either of the other's lives, the other would appear again out of the darkness and somehow make it all seem okay. Things sometimes went very wrong. She went through two of the worst experiences a woman can have to deal with. He was merely dealing with falling apart after being brought up to be the golden boy.
Step into the velvet of the morning
Let yourself lay back within your dreams
Take on the situation but not the torment
Now you know it's not as bad as it seems
He grew more and more disenchanted with his life. A big part of that was his fear of confessing his love to her. To him it always felt like she was too good for the likes of him. Despite all her inner turmoil, she possessed great charisma. She successfully campaigned to become class president with the help of his campaign platform. Other such hollow successes would follow in her life. He failed to realize that he was the one encouraging her. When he believed in her, she felt worthy.
The college years ended and both their lives took critical turns. Years later, he took his own life and then returned with a new and enlightened vision. He tracked her down, because she had been missing from his life for too long. She embraced him. He told her what was in his heart, but although their souls understood what was between them, their hearts refused to connect. She claimed only her horses understood her. And maybe her dog, a magnificently goofy creature known as Bear. He made his confession, grabbed his leather jacket and turned to leave. She stopped him and made her own confession. She believed herself incapable of love with only a desire to hurt those who dared to care about her. The wounds of her life ran too deeply. "You," she said, "are the only man that I could never bear to hurt. You need to understand what that means."
I have my own life... ... and I am stronger
Than you know
But I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won't be walking out the door
After that, everything seemed to collapse between them. Their lives conspired against them as much as they conspired against themselves. Her life took another downward turn. Her sick horse had to be put down, an emotional trauma that was greater to her than losing a family member. There were bills that could not be paid. He prepared to violate the only rule they had between them. They could never owe anything to the other. There was a delicate balance that could not be so uncontrollably shifted. He held her tightly, knowing this would likely be for the last time. Later, he secretly returned to give her the money she needed and walked away. His life now afforded him such luxury while hers required the need. The balance was gone.
And he in all his glory
Was far ahead of her
But she was never sorry
For wishes that would burn
She chases beneath the moon
Her horse is like a dragonfly
She is just a fool
In the end, she would be the one to disappear. There would be further controversy over the money. An argument over other things out of their control that neither one could win. She would hang up the phone in anger and frustration and never call again.
The house was deserted. The occupants moved on. The phone number disconnected. A forwarding address to a post office box from which no one ever picked up the mail. She vanished into the mists, drowning in her own anger and sorrow. The greatest love of his life. The greatest love of hers. The only thing she left behind was an album. Bella Donna.
And the woman may be awestruck
And the woman may truly care
but the woman is so tired...
So the woman disappears...
Come in out of the darkness...
Bella donna... my soul...
Kind of Woman
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
Think About It
After the Glitter Fades
Edge of Seventeen
How Still My Love
Leather and Lace
Outside the Rain
Lyrics copyright 1974, 1975, 1980, Stevie Nicks/Welsh Witch Music.
"Bella Donna," "Edge of Seventeen," "Think About It," "Leather and Lace," "Outside The Rain," and "The Highwayman"
All lyrics from the album Bella Donna
Released on Modern Records July 27, 1981
Hit #1 on U.S. Billboard charts - September, 1981
Multi-Platinum 10-30-1984 (3 million copies sold)
Multi-Platinum 1-23-1990 (4 million)