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 But still they are the most cruel She asked me Be my sister, sister, sister of the moon Some call her sister of the moon Some say illusions are her game They like to wrap her in velvet Does anyone, ooh, know her name? So we make our choices When there is no choice And we listen to their voices Ignoring our own voice
Rough outtake and single versions appear on the Tusk Reissue (2004)
As vague and enigmatic as this song is, when I listen to it I think that Stevie is talking about her stardom here, her "stage persona" as a "sister of the moon." Stevie transforms herself for the crowd - she follows that call - but not for "love" or "money." For the music, then? For the crowds? The crowds "love her, and still they are the most cruel." So we, the audience, may love Stevie, but we expect a lot from her. That puts a burden on her - perhaps this is the cruelty she speaks of. She talks about how people call her a "sister of the moon" yet they know it is really all an illusion. Despite that, they encourage that illusion - "wrap her in velvet."
The last line is the most telling - "Does anyone know her name?" Does anyone know who Stevie really is? Or do we just see the mystical gypsy face that she puts on for show? She made her own choices, but sometimes, her own personal wishes go by the wayside - she's "ignoring [her] own voice." Stevie has to sacrifice to be a "sister of the moon" but, again, it was her choice and although she has regrets, I don't think she'd trade it for anything.
One of the questions I knew I wanted to ask Stevie [Pamela met Stevie] was what one of my all time favorites "Sisters of the Moon" was about. She told me that the song is about how she felt when she was 100lbs. and touring nonstop with Fleetwood Mac.
GREEN OWL speculates:
Nicks has said in regards to the genesis of Sisters of the Moon that she saw herself in a mirror and got present to just how frail and sick she was that she was fading. Don Henley mentioned in an interview that she had an abortion while she was between tour dates, on the road perhaps it happened during the Rumours tour when the idea for this song came to Nicks?
I must be way off base here... I thought that she was speaking of a High Priestess asking Stevie to "be my Sister of the Moon", to be in a coven? It seemed almost like an initiation in her imagery... "I followed as friends often do, I cared not for love nor money and I think she knew..." She came freely and chose to follow the path of her life because she had visions, or dreams, that some things were meant to be... She was willing to give up love for this path, but she did not follow it for money... She took the path of her life for much deeper reasons.
"So we make choices when there is no choice and we listen to their voices ignoring our own voice"... The path of the dreamer... I think this song was written on multiple levels.
This is my speculation of the song, Sisters of the Moon; it is totally about Stevie talking about herself and her seeing herself as a scary, skinny, mess, of herself in a mirror. At her parents' house when she was visiting, I believe. Stevie wrote this song about looking at herself in a mirror and thinking she was totally fading away, she was almost gone. She was fraile, skinny, and not herself, the strong person that she always had to fight to be throughout Fleetwood Mac. She couldn't believe what she saw so she wrote it into a song, ya know, "wrap her in Velvet" , didn't she say that meant to be dead. "Just wrap her up"??? I read that somewhere.
BUT, the whole song is about how scary she thought that she looked.
I agree with the frail, fading idea that spurred the song, but I think it's more than that. My guess is that she saw that she was letting her persona define her. Letting songs, and tour dates, and interviews and cocaine become her only activites. She realized she had to take a step toward 'normality' and a step back to her spiritual self, that some defined as dark or witchy. "Will you be my Sister?" Is Stevie's way of saying, will you come back to your real self? Will you come back to reality? And I think that is when she began to be more careful in regards to giving FM her all. She began to talk to Paul Fishkin and get her solo career moving. She took a step forward rather than stagnating in the "velvet robes" that people wanted to wrap her in. In fact in a demo version of this song Stevie says: "they would like to wrap me in velvet robes of gloom, but doesn't anyone know my name?" Which I think refers to the guff people gave Stevie about being a witch.
I believe Sisters of the Moon has many meanings all wrapped into one song. Yes, I do believe Stevie could be talking about her stage persona against her "real self," and how they both tie in together. The one part of the song I wanted to comment about was the part when Stevie sings "Well the people...well they love her-but still they're the most cruel." This is probably talking about the audiences and fans....but also possibly the critics. We know that Stevie got a heavy beating from them in the beginning of her career with Fleetwood Mac, and throughout it also. The people being cruel could be those nasty critics!