Stevie Nicks Rock a Little photo outtake

The Nightmare


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“The Nightmare” is Track 8 on Rock a Little (1985), Stevie Nicks‘ third solo album. It follows “Talk to Me” and precedes “If I Were You” in the album track order. A remix of “The Nightmare” appears on the b-side of the North American “I Can’t Wait” vinyl single, which reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

About ‘The Nightmare’

Stevie Nicks co-wrote “The Nightmare” with her brother Christopher. She has never publicly spoken about “The Nightmare,” but the song borrows lyrics from “Sara” and “Storms,” which are both connected to Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood. She and Mick had a brief, but romantic affair in 1978. The “nightmare” may possibly refer to the aftermath of their breakup.

‘The Nightmare’ Lyrics

Thrown down through the arms of sleep
She fell through the ivory morning
Deep into the waters
Of the one she called love
She paled in the wake
Of what some call a dream
But you cannot know a dream
Till you’ve known the nightmare

When I stood with you against the storm
And I tried once again
Well, I said, “I’d like to leave you
With something warm”
How many times
Drowning in the sea
Drowning

That was when the dream took her prisoner
And she knew the dream was over
But the nightmare was not over
Still some call that a dream

The nightmare… The nightmare

Well, you cannot know a dream
When you turn away
You don’t know
You’ll never care
The night is not your friend
And you have not had her
And when the nightmare ends
But you never understand
When you’re gone
She wakes up calling out
Oh, calling out
As children may cry as she will

Anytime… Oh, anywhere
Blinded by the light of the day
She has known the nightmare

So about the moon and her sisters
How dare he take them prisoner
Well, if she had flung out her heart against him
Then in all of her wisdom
Oh, well that was a mystery

That was when the dream took her prisoner
And she knew the dream was over
But the nightmare was not over
Somewhere in her ancient ways
She walks through the night
And then she tries to get through the day
Some will never know
Or share any kind of dream

The nightmare
This is not the world
This is not the world
This is not the world
The nightmare
She wants him to fight… Anytime, anywhere
She wants him to stand up
She wants him to win
This is not the world
This is not the world
This is not the real world
Blinded by the light of the day
Blinded by the light
She was blinded by the light of the day
Blinded by the day

(Stevie Nicks/Christopher Nicks) ©1985 Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Musicians

George Black Synth bass, background vocals
Sharon Celani Background vocals
Charles Judge Synthesizer
Michael Landau Guitar
Marilyn Martin Background vocals
Andy Newmark Drums
Lori Perry Background vocals
Stevie Nicks Lead vocals, synthesizer
Rick Nowels Background vocals
Maria Vidal Background vocals

Production Credits

John Kovarek and Gabe Veltri Recording Engineers, Sunset Sound 
Rick Nowels Producer
Hernan Rojas Mixer

Release History

  • Rock a Little (1985)
  • “I Can’t Wait”/”The Nightmare” (Remix) – North American 12″ vinyl single (1985)

References

Nicks, S. (1985). [Liner notes]. In Rock a Little [CD]. Los Angeles: Modern Records.

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