Stevie Nicks Says She Inspired Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’

Stevie Nicks believes she inspired Prince‘s 1984 chart-topper “When Doves Cry” through her own 1981 hit single “Edge Of Seventeen.” During a chat with The New Yorker, Nicks spoke about coming up with the song’s hook line featuring the phrase “white-winged dove” after being inspired by a menu on an airplane. She recalled, “Coming from Phoenix to here. And who knew that the white-winged dove was this bird in Phoenix, or in Arizona, that made its home in the saguaro cactus, because it was protected in there? I didn’t really know anything about doves or pigeons or whatever you want to call them. But they literally said, ‘This bird, when it makes a sound, sounds like it’s saying ‘Ooh, ooh, ooh,’ right?”

She went on to say, “I instantly went into writing that song, which then ended up being about Tom Petty and John Lennon and a bunch of people. But think about this: the white-winged dove really inspired Prince to write ‘This is what it sounds like when doves cry.'”

Nicks went on to talk about songwriting inspiration, revealing, “I don’t think that you pick your experiences in heartbreak. ‘Gypsy’ was about my friend who died (Robin Snyder Anderson). And that was the worst year of my life, y’know? But I wrote ‘Gypsy’ about it, and about her. Little bits of her are in a lot of my songs.”

She added, “So you can use the tragedy. ‘Always been a storm’ (from the Fleetwood Mac Tusk) song (‘Storms’) — that I wrote about my best friend who moved in with my boyfriend, Mick (Fleetwood), and her husband had to call and tell me that. ‘Sarah moved in with Mick, I just wanted you to know that.’ And I jetted out the back door into the mountains and sat out there for three hours contemplating my future, ’cause, well, I just lost my best friend and I lost Mick, and I’m in a band with Mick, which means I can’t just dump Mick.”

Stevie Nicks explained to us that unlike many singer-songwriters, her music doesn’t come from hours slaving over a piano: “I write in a journal every night and most of my songs come out of the prose that I write in my journal. Then, I’ll write a formal poem to some situation that I’ve written about. So, I have many, many, many long, two-to-three page formal poems that are ready to be made into songs. What I haven’t done is, I don’t take them to the piano until I know there’s a reason to do it.”

Categories: Pulse Music