I like this song. It is modified from an old demo called "Lady from the Mountain" that was written around the Tusk era, and the additional parts (essentially everything but the first verse and the verse that starts with "he loves her") were inspired by the Twilight series of movies, especially New Moon. You can go to Wikipedia and read the summary to find out how the lyrics apply to the characters Bella and Edward in that series; I'm going to focus on Stevie, because she has said that relationship between those characters reminded her of her relationship with Lindsey. Also, I don't care terribly much about Bella and Edward (I say that with all due respect to Stevie and other people who like the series, of course).
Thus, in this interpretation, Stevie is the "lady from the mountain," as she is in Sorcerer - indeed, in the demo, she often uses "I" and "you" rather than "he" and "she" for the song. She lives a fast lifestyle, and though it causes her to "burn bright," it also takes a toll. Still, this is the only way she knows how to feel alive. Then, she shifts to talking about Lindsey. He loves her, but he's so focused on his music - his "life alone." She asks him, does he even know why he does that? She knows that without her, his life will not be the same. Still, she sees the flame of their love that once burned so bright beginning to "die." It's "burning out" right along with her, both being extinguished by the fast rock'n'roll lifestyle.
In the demo, she goes further, saying she knows he wants her...she drives him crazy. She admits that she relies on him too heavily, which contributes to that...always calling "please save me." She also sees that he's gotten to a point where he's "burning out," and certainly, during the Tusk period, Lindsey was a workaholic, and they need to get perspective, before their own souls are completely extinguished. While this part is missing from the studio version, I feel it's still thematically applicable.
I agree completely with WebMistress. But, I also think this song is applicable to many of Stevie's relations... she says in many songs how "the fire", or "burning" consumes her romantic life. It seems as if she falls completely or not at all, also that she feels that many of her 'loves' are forever. Also, I think this song touches on Stevie's more dark side, and solitary/nomadic ways. Like described in Sister Of the Moon, Stevie fights, or at least fought the urge to 'fade away'.
I think thats what Stevie refers to as 'Some say she's not really real... strange lady from the mountain.' There is that part of herself that shows up in songs from time to time, that is very eccentric, solitary and nomadic.
I've always found this an extremely intriguing song, so if anyone has any other ideas on the origin of this/why it was never released, I've love to hear your opinion!
"Lady from the Mountain" is, of course, self-describing Stevie metaphorically: but I wonder if this song has anything to do with the Rhiannon legend? From what I remember, Rhiannon came down from the mountain and called on Pwyll who kept missing her as she'd fly out on her white horse. He described her as a mysterious and strange lady who almost haunted him....
When she sings [in the demo version], "Well....I could make you crazy...." the song is taking the First Person voice again, where she is almost taking ownership of who she is and using her nomadic and independent powers and focusing them on one haunted individual....
I really do think that this song is about Rhiannon, the Welsh Goddess of steeds and birds, or at least I think it is referring to Rhiannon. In the myth, Rhiannon was the Lady from the Mountain. She came down from the Great Mound, which was called Gorsedd Arbeth, where came down from her world to the mortal world where she met Pwyll.
When she comes down from her world, she gives out light and of course the mortals would see her as a strange lady, hence Some call her Strange lady from the mountain. However some say that she's not really real.
In the song Maker of Birds / 3 Birds of Rhiannon it says about Pwyll thinking he is crazy because he has met such a beautiful woman. This is referenced in [the demo version of] this song also when it says, If that woman could make you crazy.
In the myth, Rhiannon is being forced to marry a man against her will, unless she can find another suitable husband. She has been watching Pwyll and she knows it is him that she wants. In [the demo version of] this song Stevie is referencing this when she writes, Did she call out, did she say, <Please save me>. She is talking about whether or not Rhiannon was calling out to Pwyll, save me, please marry me, so that I do not have to marry this other man.
Also in the book (The Mabinogion) where the myth is told, there is use of the word tonight, when Pwyll says tonight he shall be married to her .in [the demo version of] the song Stevie writes "Tonight" She says, "Tonight"
So, in conclusion I strongly believe that this song is about Rhiannon, however I do not know if it is related in any way to her relationship with Lindsey or any other aspect of her life.