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Stevie Nicks discovered Rhiannon through a novel called Triad, by Mary Leader. This novel is about a woman named Branwen who is possessed by another woman named Rhiannon. There is mention of the myth, but the characters bear little resemblance to their namesakes. After writing the song, Stevie learned that Rhiannon was a Welsh goddess -- she also realized that the song lyrics applied to the Welsh Rhiannon as well.

After learning of the Mabinogion story, Stevie began work on a Rhiannon project, unsure of whether it would become a movie, a musical, a cartoon, or a ballet. There are several "Rhiannon Songs" from this unfinished project.

 

Rhiannon painting by Stevie Nicks
This is a painting of Rhiannon which Stevie Nicks 
created for the City of Hope Leukemia foundation
 
"If this is to be my punishment,
   I will live it out
   As tall as a tree"
~Forest of the Black Roses~
 
 
"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 . . ."
~Three Birds of Rhiannon~
 

 

 
 
Lyrics - Original Version

Rhiannon rings like a bell thru the night
And wouldn't you love to love her
She rules her life like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover...

All your life you've never seen
A woman--taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven
Will you ever win...

She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark--
And when the sky is starless--

All your life you've never seen--
A woman--taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven
Will you ever win...

Dreams unwind.
Love's a state of mind.

 

Lyrics - Version from The Dance CD (live)

Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
and wouldn't you love to love her?
She rules her life like a bird in flight
and who will be her lover?
All your life you've never seen
a woman taken by the sky.
Well would you stay if she promised to you heaven?
Would you even try?
And he says, "Rhiannon, Don't go."
And he says, "Rhiannon, stay."
And he says, "I still cry out for you.
Don't leave me, don't leave me."

Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night.
And wouldn't you love to love her?
She rules her life like a bird in flight.
And who will be her lover?
All your life you've never seen
a woman taken by the sky.
Well would you stay if she promised to you heaven?
Would you even try?

She is like a cat in the dark,
then baby, she is your darkness.
She rules her life like a fine skylark,
when the sky is starless.
Once in a million years a lady like her rises.
Oh no, Rhiannon, you cry, but she's gone
Your life knows no answer, Your life knows no answer.

Rhiannon....(4*)

She rings like a bell through the night.
And wouldn't you love to love her?
She rules her life like a bird in flight.
And who will be her lover?
All your life you've never seen
a woman taken by the sky.
Well would you stay if she promised to you heaven?
Would you even try? Say, would you even try?

Rhiannon....(3*)

Dreams unwind
Love's a state of mind
Your dreams unwind
Love's a state of mind
Your dreams unwind
And still it's hard to find, I know.
Your dreams unwind
And still it's a state of mind, I know
Dreams unwind
And still it's hard to find, I know
Dreams unwind
And still it's a state of mind, I know

Take me like the wind, child
Take me with the sky
Take me now
Take me like the wind, baby
Take me with the sky
All the same
All the same
All the same, Rhiannon
All the same
Baby, all the same
All the same

And he still cries out for her,
"Don't leave me now."

 
 
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