Fleetwood Mac: Landslide Meaning
Song Released: 1975
Covered By: Glee Cast (2011), Dixie Chicks (2002), Stevie Nicks (2007), Chloe Kohanski (2017), Smashing Pumpkins (1994), Bush (2011)
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Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
’till the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
anonymous Feb 26th, 2007 2:02pm report
i like this song
the first part of the song relates to compromising love for self gain. Taking down her love is alluding to tying desire to material dreams and ambition and enslaving it as fuel for the climb up the rocky steep slope to "success". Having achieved this, in a moment of what is meant to be triumph she turns to see the view, and is confronted with the icy cold exterior that is symbolic of a frozen heart reflected back at her from snow covered hills which represent the ambition and drive of others who have achieved materially. In this moment of self realisation at what she has become, the disturbance is so great a landslide brings this mask tumbling down. The need for true love and acceptance on a personal level seemingly overpowering the escapist need for fame and fortune which proves to be cold and lonely.
This brings her to place of now asking the mirror in the sky what is love as opposed to the cold lifeless reflections of attainment in the world. Feeling newly born she recognises this inner child has led her to hide her fears in a drive for success and wonders if she can rise above this . She then questions whether she can move to a place of maturity in the world where presumably what she desires truly is.
Then comes the chorus, the fear of changing which has been precipitated by an internal collapse of the world as she knew it and the persona she had adopted "built my life around you" . But there comes the hope, almost childlike, of children getting bolder and older with the resulting strength to effect change and the reference to herself in her childlike state, getting older too. So you see, this is a very hopeful and powerful song. It references underworld awakenings and deep tribal imagery and , best of all, it is like a small boat on a deep ocean that floats beautifully on the surface, but is held aloft by the immensity of the deep:)
anonymous Oct 19th, 2006 10:20pm report
I think the song is really about confusion. It's a conflict about growing up
and doing what is right, or just going with your feeling at the moment. In the first
verse - "I took my love, I took it down" - yet on the next line she's talking about
climbing up a mountain. I think the reference in the first verse really is about
self realization, that she took love for granted.. Until at a point she realized
what she had done. She had built herself upon what she thought was right; being stubborn;
until it all crashed down..
The second verse, is after all this, what is love? Is it sacraficing what you believe
for someone else - or standing your ground? Often children are stubborn & fleeting (child
within my heart). Depending on your mood (seasons of your life) you may feel differently..
Whether to cave in to another - or stand your ground.
The chorus - it's easy to understand how this can be interpreted as a woman being afraid
to go out on her own because she's gotten so used to living with this person. But I believe
that the person she built her life around is herself. Note the references to mirrors & reflections
in the verses. She's afraid to lose control - open herself to love.. To open yourself to
love requires compromise, and often sacrafice.. "time make you bolder" - she's not getting any
younger - she realizes it's time to stop being selfish and be giving.
With the last few lines - it's aimed at whoever she's in love with. She's climbed up the mountain
of "everything is gonna be my way.." (selfishness).. Realized the error of her ways - (land slide
brought it down) - and she's ready to love and give.. So she says to him - go ahead and do what i
did if you need.. But remember what I did and what happened...
anonymous Nov 30th, 2008 11:54am report
Wow...this is my very favorite song...it feels good to be able to post my personal (and humble!) interpretation. I agree wholeheartedly with the above post; it symbolizes one's realization that "time makes you bolder; children get older". It's finally time to look in the mirror and decide who you are, and where you want to be at this stage of your life. It's about finding the courage to make changes, and leave behind a love that may not be giving you what you need. Every time I hear this song, I get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye...initially because I knew I needed to stop being complacent and move on with my life, and later with joy in my heart at having found the courage to do so.
The first time I heard Landslide I interpreted it very differently to what I've been told the song means. With the "snow covered hills" and the Landslide bringing it down, I always thought the song was about the loss of virginity. Children getting older. That the "cause I built my life around you" was about her parents. To me this was a coming of age song. In any interpretation it's delicate and flawless.
anonymous Jun 9th, 2017 6:50pm report
I listened to this song and cried as I was getting my son ready to go off to college . I was getting older and so was he, both our lives were changing. That was my landslide letting him go.
anonymous May 5th, 2017 5:16pm report
Snow covered hills? Come on people it's about cocaine addiction.
singerstargirl Sep 18th, 2016 9:50am report
I think it's easy to understand that this song is about growing older and bring worried about change. She notices that children grow up and she knows she is growing older too. This makes her miss her youth. It is a beautiful song. My sister recently left for University and I think our whole family was thinking that there was not much time left until I graduate and follow in her footsteps. This made it difficult to watch her leave.
anonymous May 13th, 2016 5:49pm report
You can go to you tube and hear Stevie Nicks tell you what Landslide means in her own words, but to sum up, it was 1974, and she was a waitress and absolutely sick of doing it, and she had no money, "only enough to eat and put gas in the car," and the anxiety of constantly being on the brink like that was destroying her relationship. "The fear was destroying it" And what she really feared was that if her relationship failed, it would bring down all that they had worked for, all the music and what they were trying to achieve that way. So the landslide, is her way of describing the life altering effect of a relationship ending, especially when you've built so much together. It really makes sense now that I've heard her explain it. She also said that she was thinking about going back to school to get a better job if the album they were doing didn't pan out. So that might be where she's talking about getting bolder and children growing older. That might be self-reflective, the child might be herself. The rest of it, the landslide, is obviously the wreckage that occurs when a relationship ends.
anonymous Jun 11th, 2015 6:04pm report
Stevie Nicks Confesses the Real Meaning...In 1974, before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood...
youtube.com2:052 years ago
Stevie Nicks - Landslide
In 1974, before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, the now-legendary singer says, she was at the end of her rope. Money was tight, doubts about making a successful record lingered, and, as a result, the couple's relationship was strained. In this clip, Stevie reveals how these fears and relationship struggles influenced her hit song "Landslide" and how everything came down to one simple question: Is it worth staying in the relationship to keep the music together?
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-master-class/Stevie-Nicks-Landside-The-Story-Behind-The-Song-Video#ixzz3cnVdgSOS
anonymous Oct 14th, 2014 10:58pm report
That a person was ready for a change but was afraid to get out of a routine. A routine of being with a certain someone who wasn't ready for a change. The person wanted to grow up and explore.
The reason no one has sent in an interpretation is probably because it's so obvious. It is a self-reflective look at her life, of getting older. The landslide is her youth, her ego, her love affair, anything that goes away as she gets older and realizes it's all part of life. She wonders if she will be able to handle future challenges to come, and specifically references her dependence on a significant figure, whom I would guess was either Buckingham and /or her father. A recent live version released here in Phoenix (her hometown) has her introduce and dedicate the song thus, "This is for you, Daddy." I didn't do research for this, so anyone is welcome to correct me if she is quoted somewhere describing it differently.
anonymous Mar 20th, 2014 3:21pm report
I think the author of the comment is confused. Stevie Nicks did have a cocaine addiction problem for which she was treated, professionally, in a treatment center. The interviews with her that can be found on You-Tube explain much on this subject. "Gold Dust Woman" is a song that the response would have been wholly appropriate for. This is my reasoning behind deciding that the author of the comment did not take the time to read the lyrics provided, made an assumption, and simply went with her opinion about another song. It would make sense to call this one poor for "Landslide," but oddly, perfect for a different Stevie Nicks song. Thank you for the forum, this is my first visit.
anonymous Jun 10th, 2013 6:08am report
the song was really about the almost break up of the band stevie kicks was in
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Feb 21st, 2013 2:30am report
This song is about being in a relationship with someone and realizing that maybe it's time to move on but afraid to cuz your already comfortable with that person
anonymous Feb 4th, 2013 2:38pm report
I'm not sure what this song is about but I have been a single mom to my son who is about to graduate and leave for college. He is my best friend. I will be moving to another town-"I've been afraid of changes cuz I've built my life around you-but time makes you bolder, children get older, and I'm getting older, too" about kills me every time I hear it. And lately it seems like I hear it all the time. During the Super Bowl last night I'm sure many people were wondering why I was so upset about a horse commercial...
anonymous Dec 12th, 2012 12:29pm report
I think this song is about how we grow up being sheltered so much by our parents, that when we finally go out into the real world, we are not equipped and ready for what challenges are thrown at us, so we come crashing down (landslide). We go out there thinking we are perfect in every way (living according to our parents' guidance) and we climb a mountain ( our own arrogance) when actually our parents could be unsophisticated, make bad decisions, or be ineffective or unknowledgable in certain areas since they themselves were sheltered and didn't learn much through life's challenges. Time makes you bolder - you have to change with the ages, can't do things the way your grandparents did and be successful at life.
anonymous Jun 23rd, 2012 6:47am report
I took my love and I took it down
I climbed as mountain and I turned around.
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hill
'Til the landslide brought me down
She and her lover were building a life together, but then there came a point when she had to take a look at herself and at her life... She became aware that she needed to move in a different direction, one without her lover. This new awareness came crashing down on her... the "landslide".
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tide?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
I don't know.
When she was at that point in her life of self reflection and awareness, she had to take a deep look at herself and ask herself "what is love". Can the innocence with in her heart become strong enough to handle the changes she needs to make?
I've been afraid of changin'
'cause I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too
And I'm getting older too
She has been afraid of change because she built her life around her lover. She is noticing her inner strength and need for change. She is growing up and maturing.
Oh take my love, take or down.
Climb a mountain and turn around
And of you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down
She is telling her lover to move on, she has moved on.
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