Greta

1993 Version

1994 Album Version

Stevie has long been fascinated by screen legend Greta Garbo’s usual life and has drawn parallels to her own life. This is the second of two songs about Greta Garbo that she has recorded, the other being “Garbo” (1983), originally released as the b-side of the “Stand Back” single.

“I have often thought, maybe I’ll just go paint, or maybe I’ll go and write that book that everybody wants me to write about my life, or maybe I’ll just go do something else really creative for a while, and I have never been able to quite do that. So I’ve always been fascinated to know why. What drove her away?” (Associated Press, 1994)

“Greta” also describes Stevie’s decision to move back to Phoenix, after experiencing the Northridge earthquake in 1994.

“Greta” is about a restless wanderer who “packs her bags and she goes back to the Valley of the Sun” — which is what Nicks did after the Northridge Earthquake. “There was no possible way I was going to wait around for another earthquake,” Nicks said. (Boston Globe, 1994)

“After the earthquake, I went to Phoenix, and I’ve been there ever since until I went back for [the Street Angel tour] rehearsal. And I’m giving up my house in Los Angeles. Yeah, I’m gonna move all my breakable objects back to Phoenix because it’s really, you know, it’s kind of a war zone there. Even though it didn’t scare me that bad, the earthquake, I have lots of friends, Liza [Jane Edwards] for one, who literally just moved out of town the next couple of months.” (WMMR, 1994)

Lyrics

Rhinestone collections all the time
I wonder what Greta would say

Another lady, another time
Another heartbroken state of mind
Alone in her chambers
She dreams of her home
Outside, she’s got a movie star view
Outcries, well where will the kings go
Where will the kings go now

She’s got her eyes wide open
And she’s ready to stare you down
She says in words unspoken
She’s from out of town
Well, some cry
Well, I really don’t dance down
Stormy weather
It cuts like a knife

She’s got her bags packed
And she’s off to the valley where the
Sun meets the sea
You understand that
She wants to live by the ocean
And no one is pleased
She gets a house in the mountains
The next day the next day she leaves the station

Do you really want to change her
(Do you really want to change her)
Or is it your right

Ooh, alone in her chambers she dreams of her home
In a very real way she’s the purist art form
I bet she said just how many art lovers can one get to know
She doesn’t have an hour
She doesn’t have five minutes
She’s got to go

She’s got her bags packed
And she’s off to the valley where the
Sun meets the sea
You understand that
She wants to live by the ocean
And no one is pleased
She gets a house in the mountains
The next day
The next day she leaves the station

I wonder what Greta would say
Well, I wonder what Greta would say
I wonder what Greta would say

Ooh, she’s got a movie star view
Oh, well, where will the kings go
Where will the kings go now
Say Greta
Say Greta

(Stevie Nicks/Michael Campbell) ©1993 Welsh Witch Music (BMI) admin. by Sony Music, Inc. (ASCAP)/Wild Gator Music (BMI)/ W.B. Music Corp. (ASCAP).

Musicians

Kenny Aronoff Drums
Michael Campbell Electric Guitar
Joel Derouin Electric Violin
Pat Donaldson Bass
Bernie Leadon Guitars
Peter Michael Percussion
Chris Nicks Harmonica
Stevie Nicks Vocal Harmonies
Waddy Wachtel Electric & Acoustic Guitars

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