'Rhiannon': Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks is working on a movie inspired by her mystical hit song
The song was inspired by a novel about a girl who was possessed by the spirit of Rhiannon. The name entranced Nicks to a point that she began writing a song about her and now she's planning a movie on it
Stevie Nicks has kept her 2020 schedule free so she can work on a movie inspired by her 1975 Fleetwood Mac hit song 'Rhiannon'. The singer-songwriter, in a chat with Rolling Stone, spoke about life in lockdown and admittedly she's not finding it as troublesome as other artists because taking the year off was already in her plans.
"Last year I made a pitch to everybody that when this Fleetwood Mac tour is over, I'm taking next year off because I want to work on my Rhiannon book/movie. And I want to maybe work with some different producers… I don't know what I want to do! I just know that I don't want a tour!"
'Rhiannon', the song
It all began when Nicks picked up a "stupid paperback" on the couch of a friend's house in 1974. It was a Mary Leader book called 'Triad: A Novel of the Supernatural' and that is when she stumbled across this name. The novel was all about this girl who becomes possessed by a spirit named Rhiannon.
She became so entranced with the name that she began writing a song about Rhiannon. "I’ve got to write something about this. So I sat down at the piano and started this song about a woman that was all involved with these birds and magic."
The song revealed a deeper significance after some time, “I come to find out after I’ve written the song, that in fact, Rhiannon was the goddess of steeds, maker of birds. Her three birds sang music, and when something was happening in war you would see Rhiannon come riding in on a horse."
Shortly after writing her hit mystical song, Nicks discovered the Welsh mythology behind Rhiannon, which further allowed her to connect on a spiritual level with the magical character. "This is all in the Welsh translation of The Mabinogion, their book of mythology. When she came you’d kind of blackout, then wake up and the danger would be gone, and you’d see the three birds flying off and you’d hear this little song. So there was, in fact, a song of Rhiannon. I had no idea about any of this," she explained.
The book also states that Queen Rhiannon rejects a god in favor of a mortal man. The god seeks revenge by framing Rhiannon for the murder of her child, then forcing her to stand outside of the city gates to confess her crimes to all who pass. Nicks later told Mojo magazine that she didn’t know the mythological story when writing the lyrics. “But my story was definitely written about a celestial being, I didn’t know who Rhiannon was, exactly, but I knew she was not of this world,” she said.
In a 1979 interview with Rolling Stone, she agreed to think of Rhiannon as a real person, "I don’t know why. She is some sort of reality. If I didn’t know she was a mythological character, I would think maybe she lived down the street.”
Rhiannon, the poetry-inspired album
While the 'Stand Back' star has yet to meet with producers to discuss the movie, she's been recording music for the project based on a collection of poetry she's amassed over the last 30 years.
"I have some Rhiannon poetry that I have written over the last 30 years that I've kept very quiet," she revealed. "I'm thinking, well here I have all this time and I have a recording setup.' And I'm thinking I'm going to start doing some recording. I'm going to start putting some of these really beautiful poems to music and I have the ability to record them. So that's on my to-do list."
Explaining she's trying to make the most of the enforced downtime, the star insisted, "What all we have right now, if you're home in quarantine, is time, unless you're taking care of kids. So, really, you could do anything you wanted that you've been wanting to do your whole life. So that's how I'm trying to look at it."