The Real Meaning Behind “Leather and Lace” By Stevie Nicks and Don Henley

The Real Meaning Behind “Leather and Lace” By Stevie Nicks and Don Henley | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Stevie Nicks / YouTube

If you’ve ever found yourself belting out the lyrics to “Leather and Lace” at a karaoke bar, you’re not alone. This timeless duet by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley strikes a chord with its catchy melody and thoughtful lyrics. Let’s unravel the real meaning behind this classic song.

Originally penned by Stevie Nicks for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, the rendition by Nicks and Henley has become the definitive version.

The lyrics delve into the complexities of love and relationships, offering listeners a glimpse into the emotions of the two iconic musicians.

Staying true to her signature metaphor-heavy writing style, Nicks opens the song with a Shakespearean touch: “Is love so fragile and the heart so hollow? Shatter with words, impossible to follow.” The poetic expression sets the stage for a song that explores deep, heartfelt emotions.

In her verse, Nicks candidly sings about the challenges of accepting heartache, expressing the difficulty of searching for something intangible.


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Given the romantic history between Nicks and Henley, the emotional resonance in the song becomes even more poignant.

Henley’s contribution to the narrative adds a personal touch, with lines like “Sometimes I’m a strong man / Sometimes cold and scared.” His verse conveys the vulnerability and honesty necessary for a truly compelling love song. He reassures Nicks that her love will be his guiding light through both the good and bad times.

The chorus paints a vivid picture of contrasting lovers: “Lovers forever, face to face / My city, your mountains / Stay with me, stay.”

Despite their differences, Nicks expresses her desire for him to stay, acknowledging that compromises are essential for a harmonious relationship: “Give to me your leather / Take from me my lace.”

“Leather and Lace” stands as a tribute to the emotional depth that Stevie Nicks and Don Henley brought to their collaboration. Through intricate lyrics and a melodic arrangement, the song captures the essence of love’s challenges and the enduring bond between two individuals. So, the next time you sing along to this classic, remember the profound emotions woven into its lyrics by two musical legends.