Hi, everyone! It’s time to switch things up. Instead of my usual book promos, I’d like to take a moment to share a piece of original writing with you. This essay was featured in the 2016 anthology Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned from Love Songs (buy it here). Enjoy!
Searching for My “Silver Springs”
As a girl raised by “older” parents, it should come as no surprise that my perspective on love was a lot different than that of my peers raised in the 1990s. While my friends were swooning over the Titanic soundtrack, I was working my way through my family’s extensive vinyl collection. I would ultimately discover the awesome glory that is Fleetwood Mac, and the lyrics of Stevie Nicks. The song “Silver Springs” has become a favorite of mine as I have reached adulthood and, honestly, I can think of nothing more tragically romantic than unfulfilled love.
I tore through the Fleetwood Mac catalogue in middle school and learned more about love and loss from the Rumors album than I (still) have in my own romantic life. The 1997 live cut of the song is my favorite version, as the voices of the band have deepened and the overall tempo is slowed. If the original album cut was a bleeding wound, this version is a slow sort of ache, remembered only in the darkest of times.
To this day, I find myself nearly howling the words out loud every time that I hear it on the radio, and I have to stifle the urge to engage in passionate sing-alongs with passing strangers. In the most intense moments, I am the wounded heroine burdened with righteous fury. In quieter times, I find that “Silver Springs” creates a sort of nostalgic melancholy for the unknown.
Throughout my girlhood and early adult years, I related to the sting of love lost and the sometimes obsessive desire for closure. Some of my favorite novels and films feature the same sort of desperate pain and longing found in the lyrics.
With “Silver Springs,” our narrator is both melancholic and vengeful. She reflects on a life that might have been, just as she wishes a sort of lover’s curse on her former partner, all with the same tender phrasing and whispering voice. My mental music video features a modern witch singing into her crystal ball as she looks into a future she might have had with her lover.
I saw the band perform the song live on my 24th birthday, and the moment was a nearly religious experience. As I lost myself in the sound, I realized just how much the song had influenced my love life. In every relationship that I had from high school and beyond, I was searching for a love as deep and intense as the one demonstrated in “Silver Springs.” Even as I worked my way through various breakups, nothing felt as bad as what Stevie was singing about. After my longest relationship ended, everyone around me was disturbed by the fact that I hadn’t shed a single tear. My mother even encouraged me to take a few days away from everything and try to make myself cry. In the end, “Silver Springs” helped me to face my problems and allow myself to grieve for the love that might have been.
The song’s final chorus is just as powerful as any R&B ballad. With the help of Stevie and Fleetwood Mac, I learned that in love it is best to keep an open mind and an open heart. I hope to find my own “Silver Springs” kind of man one day – if only to curse him with memories of our love.
Copyright 2016 – Rebecca Ayers- ButtonTapper Press