Music ‘n Musings

Carried away in a landslide


I’ve recently really gotten back into 70s music now that the Christmas season is over. One day when I absentmindedly hit the shuffle button of my Oldies playlist, a song I hadn’t heard in a while, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, came on and really struck a chord with me.

Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite bands, not only for the drama that seems to follow in its members’ wake, but for the massive impact they have had on the music industry over their 40 year tenure. “Landslide” was penned by Stevie Nicks, one of the lead singers, and seems to have been heavily influenced by her relationship with another bandmate, singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.

In the song, written before Nicks and Buckingham joined the group in 1974, Nicks highlights her doubts about the stability of her relationship and how she’s afraid of some impending change. She “takes her love, takes it down,” and describes herself going on a type of self-exploratory journey as she evaluates what to do next in this transitional waiting period.

I think we’ve all been in Nicks shoes at one point. Sometimes I think high school itself is its own form of a transitional period, where we are not quite adults but not quite kids and are still struggling to find our place in the world. And with it being almost a month into 2019, and some of us will be graduating come May, the change we spend our whole high school lives preparing for, the move to college or into the workforce, becomes terrifying. I sometimes catch myself questioning my future and if I’ll be able to handle the “real world.”

Nicks does the same thing in “Landslide.” She thinks out loud, asking “what is love? / Can the child within my heart rise above? / Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? / Can I handle the seasons of my life?” If this doesn’t describe the dilemma of high school, and our eventual transition into adulthood, I don’t know what does. We all have doubts about ourselves, our capabilities, what we want our future to look like and if we can even shape our future into what we want it to be.

It’s these exact doubts that my favorite part of the song attempts to highlight. Nicks sings, “I took my love, I took it down / Climbed a mountain and I turned around / And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills / ‘Til the landslide brought me down.” In other words, she took a step back, reevaluated where she was and where she has been, brought herself back to reality. And the reality of our situation is that we really have no say in what the future holds. 2019 could be one of the best years of our individual lives, or one of the worst. But when these doubts and fears strike, and make us scared to move ahead, we need to take a step back, breathe in and out and face head-on the things that scare us.

I won’t lie, I’m a little scared about 2019 and what it could possibly hold, good or bad. But “time makes you bolder,” and as long as I step forward confident in what I hold dear, I know it’s going to turn out A-Ok.