The Maker of Birds

 Written by S. Nicks; Some Lyrics by E. Walton

 A bird that is not mine Three birds that belong to her One emerald green, one snow white One golden, flashing like a sunbeam through the night One golden, flashing like a sunbeam through the night When at first he saw her It seemed she had no name She sat alone, and it seemed to him That the light and the face were the same Her hair shone, streamed blond and gold He thought, "Maybe I'm going insane" Her gown was no more than the water could cover This time would not come again And the white mares dance And the lady asks "Take my wisdom with you as you ride If you kill the dark Lord of Death Someday, I shall be your wife Someday, I shall be your wife" And the birds are still singing And the song is now sweeping Like a silver, a silver shimmering flood For you, Rhiannon I would fight, I would fight the world For you, Rhiannon, I would fight, I would fight the world For you are in my blood For you, for you are in my blood


WEBMISTRESS speculates:

The person who wove this fairy tale was Evangeline Walton. Not only the plot but much of the phrasing of this song comes directly from Walton's book Prince of Annwn. In that book, Pwyll, Prince of Annwn, is enlisted by Death to fight the other Lord of Death (the evil one). On his way to do so, he meets the Goddess Rhiannon, Maker of Birds, in an enchanted grove. She pledges to be his wife if he is successful. He eagerly declares he will fight anyone for her. She warns him that it will be difficult, and that she will try to help him with her wisdom. While he is with her, he sees white mares dance; then the birds sing and he goes into a dream-like state. He wakes up thinking he imagined her, but he is to reunite with her later. As for the phrasing, here is one example of Stevie's "borrowing" of certain images:

"A woman sat there, and it was from her that the light in that place came. Her body shone like the sun; her one thin garment hid it no more than water would. Her hair shone, it streamed red gold to her noble, high-arched feet, which were tender and rosy white as the apple blossoms. [...] Three birds flew round Her head, and their song was sweet. One was as tenderly green as the leaves, one shone white as snow, and the third flashed like a sunbeam" (37).

Another: "He tried to answer, but the birds were still singing, their song was sweeping him away like the shimmering, many-hued floods of a rainbow river" (40).

Let's hope she planned to credit Walton if this were ever released!


RUISRYAN speculates:

This is Stevie's way of taking the myth of the Goddess Rhiannon, and sort of weaving it in a more romantic fashion. I think that this song and the myth itself are something that Stevie relates to very highly, especially since she wrote the original Rhiannon without knowing the myth, but still alluding strongly to it. This is the part of Stevie mentioned in Dreams "I see the crystal visions". I really think Stevie is a very sensitive person, so she is very prophetic in some of her songs. Also, I read somewhere that Stevie had intended to make a movie based on the myth of Rhiannon, and that this song, and Stay Away were supposed to be part of the soundtrack.


MIKE speculates:

This song was copyrighted in March 1978 as "The Maker of Birds", which is the true title. [WM: I changed the title of this page accordingly.] Stevie has said several things over the years about her RHIANNON film project. In 1983, she said she had 20 songs written and recorded for the album. Then, in 1989, she said that 11 songs were "fully-recorded, mixed and mastered", and that she hoped to maybe tour with those songs one day. I just hope they are all released as a full album some day.


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