Analysis: Stevie Nicks - Show Them The Way

Normally, our Monday reviews concern entire albums. Today, however, is a special case. Last Friday, immortal rock Goddess Stevie Nicks released her first new song in six years and frankly, did you just expect us to ignore it? Hell to the no. Particularly when you consider the presence of fellow legend Dave Grohl on drums as well.

The song, titled ‘Show Them The Way’, stemmed from a dream Nicks had way back in 2008, and is a hopeful song that references events of the 1960s. Speaking to Variety, Nicks said that “I did hold it back since 2008, and I just knew that right now, with the presidential election and everything else that’s going on, that this was the time.” An undoubtedly political song, it namechecks the likes of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King – and perhaps she hopes that this will serve as a reminder to some people of what is right and what is wrong.

Not that she’s written this for anyone in particular. “I hope people understand that it’s nonpartisan, that it’s not for Republicans, it’s not for Democrats. It’s meant to be a moment of peace for everyone, and… you know the silly thing where people say ‘Can’t everybody just get along?’ It’s like, can we just figure a way out of this horrific thing that we have walked into? That’s why I released this now.”

It's a beautiful song. Clocking in at 6:31, it’s not the shortest, but it absolutely flies by. It’s the quickest six minutes of your life and it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome. Grohl’s typically excellent drumming is matched by Nicks’ emotional delivery and a simple yet lovely piano. The hints of Fleetwood Mac are there, but it’s undoubtedly a Nicks song. The performances and lyrics combine to create a song that sounds strong, sounds relevant, and can remind us all of what is at stake in November.

She may be viewing her stance as non-partisan, but it’s clear she doesn’t want four more years of Donald. “I’m 72 years old. I lived through the ‘60s. I’ve seen all this. I fought for Roe vs. Wade; that was my generation’s fight. And I don’t want to live in a country that is so divisive. I go, like, well, if this starts over and there’s another four years of this, then I’m going — but we’re not welcome anywhere. So where can I go? And I’m thinking: Oh, space. Maybe I can talk Elon Musk into giving us a jet and letting me pick 50 people, and we’re like the arc, and someone can take us and let us live on another planet until the next four years are over.”

She’s also pretty pissed at anti-maskers, noting her own high-risk status. “I think that everybody is very afraid and nervous, and we’re all locked in and can’t go anywhere and can’t do anything. People aren’t paying attention with their masks, and other people are getting it. And this virus has never going to go away if the whole world doesn’t get in the game and start wearing their masks and start doing everything you have to do. It’s like a creeping fungus. And it’s going to keep us all locked in our houses and it’s not going to help the economy. Nobody’s ever going to be able to really go back to full-on work, and nothing’s ever going to be the same unless we can get a hold of this thing.”

“The whole thing has become so political.”, she continues. “It’s not political, everybody! It’s not. It’s a virus. It doesn’t care what side you’re on. It’s going to kill you. And I’ve said that if I get it it’ll kill me. I have compromised lungs. I was really sick last year. The night of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I knew before I went on stage that something was off, so I had to really like pull it together. The next day I got really sick, and I ended up going into the hospital in Philadelphia for a week in ICU with double pneumonia and asthma. And talk about your oxygen levels going down - my oxygen levels were hardly existing. My mom was on a ventilator for a month, and she was hoarse for the rest of her life. All the other side effects that come along with this virus… You may get over it and just be like, ‘Great, I’m good. It’s gone.’ It’s not gone. It comes back in little ways to attack you forever. So you don’t want to get it. It’s like I’ve built a thin shield of magical plastic around me, you know? Because I don’t want my career to be over. I don’t want to not pull on those leather boots again.”

From all these quotes, it clear that she feels strongly about the song and the message she’s trying to spread with it. The lyrics may stem from a dream, but the implications of them are very, very real. What the USA has become under Donald Trump is not the USA she wants to be a part of, and the environment he fosters is dangerous. Stevie Nicks doesn’t want four more years of it, and with this song, she’s looking to contribute to his riddance in November. And this is a non-partisan stance; even many tradtional Republican voters are at odds with his Presidency and are looking to vote him out.

It’s a fantastic song, no doubt. But more than that, it’s an important song. At 72, Nicks is still aiming to influence and leave a mark on the world. “I would never have put this song out if I didn’t hope that it might put some hope out into the world”, she said of the song. Hope is one thing, but if the song rubs off on her fans, it could also inspire action. She felt that now was the time to release it – let’s just see if it has the desired effect.

Even if you don’t care about the politics of it, however, it’s worth checking it out. It’s an outstanding track and more than worthy of a few minutes of your day. Stevie Nicks absolutely still has it, even now, at the edge of seventy.



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