Stevie Nicks Still Hasn’t Figured Out What This Fleetwood Mac ‘Tusk’ Song is About: “Makes No Sense”

“Think About Me,” written by Christine McVie, and Stevie Nicks‘ “Sara” from Fleetwood Mac‘s 1979 album Tusk, are two of three songs Mick Fleetwood called one of the “greatest band moments” of their career. “When we worked through them, jamming until we figured out the arrangements and ultimately recorded them,” said Fleetwood, “it was the same process we employed on ‘Oh Daddy’ and so many other songs.”

The third Tusk track mentioned was the closing “Sisters of the Moon,” but despite Fleetwood’s adoration of the song, it was one Nicks said she could never figure out—even if she wrote it. “I honestly don’t know what the hell this song is about,” revealed Nicks in the liner notes for the 2015 deluxe release of Tusk. “I’ve been singing it on tour for the last two and a half years, and every time I’m thinking, ‘What the hell is that?'”

Nicks added, “It wasn’t a love song. It wasn’t written about a man. It was just about a feeling I might have had over a couple of days, going inward in my gnarly troll-ness. Makes no sense. Perfect for this record.”

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[RELATED: The Meaning, and Alter Ego, Behind Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ Classic “Sara”]

‘Black Moons in Those Eyes of Hers’

Throughout the song, Nicks describes a more ominous female figure, dark at the top of the stairs with eyes like black moons.

Intense silence
As she walked in the room
Her black robes trailing
Sister of the moon

And a black widow spider makes
More sound than she
And black moons in those eyes of hers
Made more sense to me

Heavy persuasion
It was hard to breathe
She was dark at the top of the stairs
And she called to me

And so I followed as friends often do
I cared not for love nor money
And I think she knew
Well, the people, they love her
And still they are the most cruel

She asked me, “Be my sister
Sister, sister of the moon”

Drummer Mick Fleetwood (l to r), Singer Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac perform at the Forum, Inglewood, CA 1975 (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Getty Images)

Nicks’ Illness

Written by Nicks a few years before they began working on Tusk, she once revealed that she wrote “Sisters of the Moon” around her deteriorating health while on tour with the band.

“I walked out in front of the mirror and looked at myself and I was sick, so [the lyric] ‘intense silence as she walked in the room’ was me looking at myself,” revealed Nicks. “And ‘the people, they love her,’ that’s after the gigs; they’re a million people and you’re being pulled every way.”

And so I followed as friends often do
I cared not for love nor money
And I think she knew
Well, the people, they love her
And still they are the most cruel

‘An Alter Ego’

Another explanation for the song, shared by Nicks, was that “Sisters of the Moon” was about her darker alter ego. “I think it was me putting up an alter-ego or something, the dark lady in the corner, and there’s this Gemini twin-thing,” said Nicks.

Tusk producer Ken Caillat, whose dog is photographed on the cover of the album, added that the song “meant a great deal to Stevie” at the time and “represented an anthem of friendship for her sorority of girlfriends.”

Regardless of how Tusk closed off, and the true meaning behind “Sisters of the Moon,” which was released as the fourth single, the album was another success for Fleetwood Mac, following the explosion of Rumours in 1977. Tusk went to No. 1 internationally, including the UK, and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and “Sisters of the Moon” reached No. 86 on the Hot 100.

Photo: Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images

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