"edge of seventeen" as written by and Stevie Nicks....
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Ooh ooh ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh

And the days go by
Like a strand in the wind
In the web that is my own
I begin again
Said to my friend, baby
Nothin' else mattered

He was no more than a baby then
Well he seemed broken hearted
Something within him
But the moment that I first laid
Eyes on him all alone
On the edge of seventeen

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh

I went today maybe I will go again
Tomorrow
And the music there it was hauntingly
Familiar
When I see you doing
What I try to do for me
With the words from a poet
And the voice from a choir
And a melody nothing else mattered

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh

The clouds never expect it
When it rains
But the sea changes colors
But the sea
Does not change
And so with the slow graceful flow
Of age
I went forth with an age old
Desire to please
On the edge of seventeen

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh

Well then suddenly
There was no one left standing
In the hall yeah yeah
In a flood of tears
That no one really ever heard fall at all
I went searchin' for an answer,
Up the stairs and down the hall
Not to find an answer
Just to hear the call
Of a nightbird singing
Come away come away

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh

Well I hear you in the morning
And I hear you
At nightfall
Sometime to be near you
Is to be unable to hear you
My love
I'm a few years older than you

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oh baby oh said oh


Lyrics submitted by joeys girl

"Edge of Seventeen" as written by Stevie Nicks

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

edge of seventeen song meanings
Add your thoughts

19 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentI had lived up in the hills with Jimmy [Iovine] for almost six months. He was coming to the end of Tom Petty's album...it seemed I had waited a long time, and since no one really knew where I was, I was starting to get very edgy to do something.... I was also starting to feel very unimportant and very sorry for myself. I was ready to begin Bella Donna and it seemed like it would just never happen. Jimmy had told me many times about his incredible friendship with John Lennon; how John had taken Jimmy in and taught him to record. He was his teacher... and I was entranced because I could not imagine these two together. Anyway, it was a real life fairy tale and I believed it. Then one grey day, the fairy tale ended... Jimmy's friend was dead... But Jimmy's love for John did not die. A terrible sadness set in over the house, there was simply nothing I could say. So I went home... Jimmy would have to go this one alone.

    I went home to Phoenix... and went to visit my uncle (who was very sick), not knowing that no one but his son, John, was there... and I sat on his bedside, while John sat on the floor beside him, and we stayed there. My father did not come, nor my mother... nor my aunt... so I sat there and held his hand, and sometime right about sunset, he turned his head slightly to John, and then to me, and his hand slowly let go of mine. I did run out into the hallway, but no one was there... and the white winged dove took flight...


    'Well I hear you, in the morning....
    And I hear you, at nightfall/
    But sometimes, to be near you....
    Is to be unable...to hear you....'

    Goodbye to you both, I said....
    There was nothing else left to say.
    ~Stevie Nicks, Timespace Liner Notes, 1991


    The line 'And the days go by like a strand in the wind' that's how fast those days were going by during my uncle's illness, and it was so upsetting to me. The part that says 'I went today... maybe I will go again... tomorrow' refers to seeing him the day before he died. He was home and my aunt had some music softly playing, and it was a perfect place for the spirit to go away. The white-winged dove in the song is a spirit that is leaving a body, and I felt a great loss at how both Johns were taken. 'I hear the call of the nightbird singing..... come away ... come away....'
    ~Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stone, September 3, 1981


    And my aunt's house, when my uncle died, was like, very pale yellow... very ethereal. And there was just real quiet music playing. And, 'So I went today, maybe I will go again tomorrow. The music there, it was hauntingly familiar. And I see you doing what I tried to do for me, with the words of a poet, and the voice of a choir and a melody... and nothing else mattered.'

    And I just sat there and held his little hand, and he died. The end of the song, it says, 'I hear the call of a nightbird, singing come away...', and that's when I felt that the black bird was taking the white bird to wherever. And it was terribly sad. And I was like, holding his hand when he died. And I really felt the loss of these spirits. And that's the white winged dove, that's the spirit.
    ~Stevie Nicks, 1981

    And when we recorded the song, the energy that was written into that song was so intense that it took us about two nights to get the track to that, and it's like nobody's feet ever stopped moving. It was like there was this energy that was so strong. I cried in the middle of the bridge thing, about the sea never expects it when it rains but the sea changes color, but the sea does not change. And so with the slow graceful flow of age, I went forth with an age old desire to please. It was like, well we have to keep going now. And I wanted that song to have all that energy of them and of us going on.

    And it was quite incredible to see, especially that entity of the band that played on that song. And they just put every bit of their heart and soul into it. It was like they just stood right there and held my elbows, you know, so that I could just stand really tall and sing that song for my uncle and for John Lennon and for everybody. And understand that we were doing what both of them would have wanted us to do. I said, 'My Uncle John wouldn't have wanted me to cry. He would have wanted me to write. He would have wanted me to go straight to the piano. ' You want the story and I'll give it to you.'
    ~Stevie Nicks Interview, Vox Magazine February, 1992

    This was one of those impulsive things that you could never do again... So we put the earphones on, they turned the track up and we just sort of doubled it ~ which is what we do in the studio... So I said, 'Well if God is with us, it's a big risk' and we did it perfect.
    ~Stevie Nicks singing almost-acapella live vocal of Edge of Seventeen from the WBCN radio interview, July 5, 1983






    The immediate inspiration is from Jane Petty, who is Tom's wife, because she told me that when she met Tom he was, she said, 'at the age of seventeen' but she has this incredible southern drawl so it sounded like 'edge of seventeen' and I said, 'Jane, (I 'm writing it on the menu, right! Im going...) I'm writing a song called Edge of Seventeen.' And she laughs, you know, she didn't ever think I was ever serious. So it started out about Tom and Jane basically, who I have no idea what they were at 17, but I made it up. And, uh it went into being written about [her Uncle Jon and John Lennon].
    ~Stevie Nicks, The Stevie Nicks Story from The Source, 1981



    The most recent [song on Bella Donna] is Edge of Seventeen, which is also my favorite song on the record.... Edge of Seventeen closes it [the album] ~ chronologically, anyway ~ with the loss of John Lennon and an uncle at the same time. That song is sort of about how no amount of money or power could save them. I was angry, helpless, hurt, sad.
    ~Stevie Nicks, BAM, 1981


    What happened with this song was I was in Australia with, hanging out, playing, doing something with some band and uh, John Lennon died. So, I was of course upset by this and I was very far away and it was really strange to not be in the country when he died.

    Um, I went home to Phoenix and I had this idea about writing a song about him about the white wing dove. Which comes from uh, Arizona and like nests in the Saguaro cactus. But I didn't know that until I got to Phoenix and started writing this song and somebody told me that. And then to make a bad situation worse, um my uncle who was my dad's older brother, very close brothers ~ family my dad's. And uh, he was very sick. And um, I went to visit him one day, couple weeks after that. And my cousin Jon, whose name also was Jon, we, we were both there and for some reason nobody else was there and my uncle died. And we were, we were just there by ourselves with him and we didn't even know what to do. It was like, I can't believe this is happening. So when it says you know, 'And I went running down the hall searching for somebody and up the stairs and down the hall, I did not hear an answer but I did hear the call of the nightbird,' that's what that was about.
    ~Stevie Nicks, VH1 Storytellers, 1997


    Edge of Seventeen definitely ~ that's probably the closest to being my favorite [song]. It was written about my uncle Jon having cancer and and that was about the time of [the murder of] John Lennon, and it was right before we knew Robin was sick ~ the final 'white winged dove.' When it starts playing my head turns around.
    ~Stevie Nicks, Arizona Living, September, 1983



    Jimmy [Iovine] was absolutely best friends with John Lennon. So when that happened, a hush came over the house that was so overwhelming that there was nothing that I could do to help. There was nothing I could say, there was no way I could comfort him. [Unable to help, Nicks flew home to Phoenix] I went straight over to my uncle's house, and my uncle died that day. He died right there with me holding his hand, just me and my cousin, who's a little younger than me, sitting there on the bed and on the floor next to him.

    I have to deal with it every single night when I sing it. That's why I can [sing it]. When that song starts, I go back to that week. And it's not like I try. I don't make a physical effort to do it. In my mind, my little timespace, I'm back in the house at Encino finding out that news, and when I sing it to everybody, I try to make them understand in a way what I was talking about without actually telling them. That's why I can sing Edge of Seventeen just like I wrote it yesterday. Because it will never, ever lose the intensity. I will never forget how I felt when that happened to me. And when people read this, they're going to understand that this hasn't been so glamorous, and each one of these songs was one more chip off an already broken heart.
    ~Stevie Nicks, The Sun (Columbia, MD), July 17, 1991
    marquiceriseon January 28, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt just reminds me of School of Rock. Which is in no way a bad thing.
    polkadot.peekabooon August 26, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentanother amazing song
    stevie nicks has the best voice in rock
    sepronon June 30, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhat the hell is with all the goddamn dots?
    eyelinerloveon September 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI deffinatly love Stevie...she puts in my a state of awe...im just amazed by her talent...
    BLAZINDYMEon September 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about both john lennons death and stevies uncles death. he boy friend was very close to john and she heard a lot about him and how nice he was and stuff through him and when john died she was in australia and was like most people devistated about his death and started to write this song. later her ucle got sicjk and died only she and her boyfriend were in the room when he passed. after she went home and finishe writting this song. one white winged dove represents john a dove of peace the other represents her uncle the part about
    "That no one really ever heard fall at all
    Oh I went searchin' for an answer...
    Up the stairs...and down the hall
    Not to find an answer...
    just to hear the call"
    that actually happened her uncles brother(her dad) her mom none of her family were there and she ran down thr hospital hall trying to find some relative to tell them what happened.
    tuchesuavaeon December 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStevie was definetely at a peak in her career when she wrote this incredible song...She has said that is about her uncle dying, and also it was written around the time when John Lennon died, which definetely affected her.
    BlueCrystalMirroron July 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentokay, so stevie was a cradle robber like myself. i'm a young gal, in my early 20's but i prefer the occasional teenage boy in my intimate surroundings...lol...nah, for real my boyfriend is 4yrs younger!.....
    wickedpixie138on June 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also heard it was about her uncle who died young. Great song.
    sammy4770on April 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song's great. I'm kinda lost on what it means, but the guitar's great, the little cymbal tapping that goes on throughout the song is great, and Stevie's singing is amazing.
    TruthSpeakeron May 05, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain