The many faces of Rhiannon
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I read the name [Rhiannon] of it in a ~ in a ~ just a novel and really liked it and thought, 'that's really a beautiful name." Sat down, tap, tap, tap...about 10 minutes later wrote Rhiannon. We think that she was, in fact, Queen and that her memory became the myth. I definitely feel that there's a presence...
~Stevie Nicks, interview video clip, circa 1970s

Lindsey, don't you think that Rhiannon is a beautiful name?
Yes Stevie, I do. I think that Rhiannon is a beautiful name.
~Stevie speaking to herself, and evoking the past, when recording another
version of the song/demo (late 1970s)

Mary Leader's TriadAh, well, I got the name out of a, a book that I read last - let's see- not last - it was it was written right around Halloween ~ not the last Halloween but the Halloween before that ~ which was about two months before we joined Fleetwood Mac [1974]. And it was just about a lady that had two ~ songrhia.gif - 13.98 Ka modern-day lady ~ who lived in Wales that had two personalities. One was called Branwen ~ which is Welsh name also ~ her real name was Branwen ~ and this other personality that came in and took over was Rhiannon.

And, um, so I wrote this song and made her into what I thought was an old Welsh witch. And then I had just, just found out ~ because somebody from Phoenix found a whole trilogy of books written in 1972 on Welsh mythology ~ that Rhiannon was a Welsh witch.There's a whole ~ there's a trilogy of books written about her called the song of Rhiannon.Which is pretty weird because I never saw that. And yet the song is exactly about that.

So it is ~ it's just about, it's just about a very mystical woman that is finds it very, very hard to be tied down in any kind of way ~ and she's uplifting all through the song. That's ~ that's what I wanted to get and that's what the band got really well was that uplifting of wings kind of a feel, you know ~ when you feel like you see a seagull and she's, she's like lifting up. Well, that's, that's Rhiannon. Rhiannon ~ yeah ~ she's moving up.
~Stevie Nicks, Jim Ladd, "Innerview" with Fleetwood Mac, 1976 or '77/radio

HBO Rhiannon Twirl AnimationRhiannon is the heavy-duty song to sing every night. On stage it's really a mind tripper. Everybody, including me, is just blitzed by the end of it. And I put out so much in that song that I'm nearly down. There's something to that song that touches people. I don't know what it is but I'm really glad it happened.
~Stevie Nicks, interview in Crawdaddy, November, 1976

Oh, I'm never tired of Rhiannon. It's a very ~ it's been a very heavy thing in the whole Fleetwood Mac trip. You know it's a very heavy part of the show.
~1976 KOME radio interview with Stevie Nicks and Robin Snyder

feather3.gif - 32.97 KThis legend of Rhiannon is about the song of the birds that take away pain and relieve suffering. That's what music is to me. I don't want any pain....[Nicks' own version of Rhiannon is softer, more emotional that Fleetwood Mac's] It's not a rock & roll song.

[She pulls out a collection of photographs] This is Rhiannon, without a doubt. [The picture, of Nicks, does not look like her] Well, you see, it turns. It goes right into...[she pulls out another photograph, of herself on stage with Lindsey] This is the killer. And the pale shadow of Dragon Boy, always behind me, always behind me. [She is speaking almost to herself, in a hoarse whisper] You see, I just want to make you realize that when I get carried off, really carried off into Rhiannon, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm not carried off into Fleetwood Mac. 'Cause I'm just as carried off into them. Rhiannon has to wait. She just has to wait; that's all there is to it.

[Answer to why she refers to Rhiannon as she] Well, because...I don't know why. She is some sort of reality. If I didn't know she was a mythical character, I would think she lived down the street.
~Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stone, 1979

This is a story about a Welsh witch.
~Stevie introducing the song Rhiannon on the Fleetwood Mac Live album,1980

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