Fleetwood Mac

Straight Back

What can I say this time
Which card shall I play
The dream is not over
The dream is just away
And you will fly like some little wing
Straight back to the sun

The dream was never over
The dream has just begun
The dream has just begun
The dream

Fingers find the ivory keys
And a song begins to begin
Like a wolf on the run
And you will find while in the wind
Something that you lost

The dream was never over, no
The dream was only lost

(Hours and hours of waiting for you)
(So strong and so fleeting)
The dream has just begun
(And hours of waiting for you)
(Meeting)
The dream has just begun
(This way)
Well, the dream has just begun

She remembers how good it can be
He remembers a melody
Oh, in the shadow of my shadow in a gleam
He remembers how good it can be
She remembers a melody
Well, in the shadow of my shadow in a gleam
Whoa….

(Hours and hours of waiting for you)
(So strong and so fleeting)
The dream has just begun
(Hours and hours of waiting this way)
(Meeting me)
The dream has just begun
(Meeting this way)

Straight back now

(Hours and hours of)
(So strong and so)

Straight back
Straight back
Straight back, yeah

He remembers a melody
She remembers how good it can be

Straight back
Straight back
Straight back, now

(Stevie Nicks) © 1982 ℗ Fleetwood Mac Music (BMI)/Welsh Witch Music (BMI). All rights reserved.

About the Song

Though Stevie has never revealed the meaning of the song, “Straight Back” is interpreted to be about the start of her solo career, characterized as “the dream.”

The opening lyrics suggest her complicated relationship with Fleetwood Mac, compared here to the strategy of a card game, like poker.

What can I say this time
Which card shall I play

“The dream is not over” seems to refer to Stevie feeling hopeful about her solo career after the success of Bella Donna; and “the dream is just away” and “you will fly like some little wing straight back to the sun” revealing Stevie’s intention to return to “the dream,” or her solo career, at some point.

The second verse may allude to Stevie secretly writing songs on the piano for her second solo album, The Wild Heart (1983), during the 1982 Mirage recording sessions. “Like a wolf on the run,” Stevie had to be discreet and strategic about her solo career plans, so not to jeopardize her future with Fleetwood Mac.

Fingers find the ivory keys
And a song begins to begin
Like a wolf on the run

“The dream” also seems to represent independence, perhaps artistic freedom from Fleetwood Mac. Having written so many songs only to be unused or discarded during her formative years in Fleetwood Mac, Stevie may have temporarily lost sight of her goal to be an independent, prolific songwriter.

And you will find while in the wind
Something that you lost
The dream was never over, no
The dream was only lost

Who Stevie is referring to in the bridge of the song is unclear. The implication seems to be Fleetwood Mac, and “how good it can be” when they are creating music together.

She remembers how good it can be
He remembers a melody
He remembers how good it can be
She remembers a melody

This lyric is reminiscent of “come in out of the darkness” from “Bella Donna.” It could represent the spirit of shining through the darkness, gloom, or despair.

In the shadow of my shadow in a gleam

The following lyrics could be interpreted as Fleetwood Mac waiting “hours and hours” for Stevie to return to the band so they could start recording Mirage, despite “the dream” having just begun. “So strong and fleeting” might represent how quickly “the dream” — the tremendous success of Bella Donna — came and went.

Hours and hours of waiting for you
So strong and so fleeting
The dream has just begun
Hours and hours of waiting this way
Meeting me

Two Versions

There are two commercially-available versions of “Straight Back.” The original version appears on the first edition of the Mirage, while a remixed version featuring Stevie’s vocal overdubs and extra guitar parts, appears on subsequent releases of the album. When the CD edition of Mirage was first issued in the ’90s, the album included the remixed version.

In 2016, the original version without the vocal overdubs was reissued on the special edition of Mirage.

Remixed Version (2016 Remaster)

Original Version (no overdubs)

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