Song Lyric Sunday — Halloweenie

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams is giving us a Halloween theme with the words “ghost,” “pumpkin,” “trick,” “treat,” and “witch.” The first thought that came to mind for me was Donovan’s “Season of the Witch,” but I remembered that I already used that song back in December 2018 when Helen Vahdati was still the host of SLS and her theme was “season.” So instead, I decided to go with The Eagles’ song, “Witchy Woman.”

“Witchy Woman” was written by Don Henley and Bernie Leadon and was released as the second single from the band’s debut album, Eagles. The song reached number 9 on the Billboard pop singles chart and was the only single from the album to feature Henley on lead vocals. The Eagles guitarist, Bernie Leadon, started writing the song when he was a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers. After he joined The Eagles, Leadon and Henley finished it. Henley said that they wrote it about a number of women they had met. “It was not meant to portray the woman as devilish, but as more of a seductress.”

Henley explained that the song’s lyrics didn’t fully develop until he came down with the flu and a high fever. He had been reading a book about Zelda Fitzgerald at the time, and Henley said that Zelda “figured into the mix somehow — along with amorphous images of girls I had met at the Whisky and the Troubadour,” a bar where the members of the band used to hang out.

In case you don’t know, Zelda was author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife and was thought to be his muse. She had a reputation as a wild, bewitching, and mesmerizing “flapper” of the Roaring Twenties era. In “Witchy Woman,” the line “She drove herself to madness with the silver spoon” was likely a reference to Zelda’s time in a mental institution and the special slotted silver spoon used to dissolve sugar cubes with absinthe, a popular 1920s alcoholic beverage that was sometimes thought to induce hallucinations.

Here are the lyrics to “Witchy Woman.”

Raven hair and ruby lips
Sparks fly from her fingertips
Echoed voices in the night
She’s a restless spirit on an endless flight

Woo hoo, witchy woman
See how high she flies
Woo hoo, witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye

She held me spellbound in the night
Dancing shadows and firelight
Crazy laughter in another room
And she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon

Woo hoo, witchy woman
See how high she flies
Woo hoo, witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye

Well, I know you want a lover
Let me tell you, brother
She’s been sleeping in the devil’s bed
And there’s some rumors going round, someone’s underground
She can rock you in the nighttime ’til your skin turns red

Woo hoo, witchy woman
See how high she flies
Woo hoo, witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye

23 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Halloweenie

  1. Marleen October 25, 2020 / 6:03 am

    Why do they say it’s for the Indians? Part of a story or just due to the opening rhythm and so forth? Anyway, the live version is an intriguing touch.

    I so happen to have listened
    to a little Sinatra last night:

    This goes from being called Witchcraft
    to a characterization of matters as taboo
    to calling someone he’s singing to a witch.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. newepicauthor October 25, 2020 / 6:47 am

    I never knew the story of Zelda Fitzgerald before, thanks for sharing that Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Coleman October 25, 2020 / 8:52 am

    I had read that about Zelda before and find it interesting how this all came to Henley in the midst of a fever. A bit of trickery of the mind that just happened to work out just fine for the Eagles. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 25, 2020 / 4:20 pm

      It is fascinating. I’ve read about a number of song writers who were inspired while feverish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Coleman October 26, 2020 / 1:51 pm

        Interesting how the subconscious works! Maybe that is why so many rock stars have such great hits…from the psychedelic drug use. Out of the conscious minds into another world! LOL! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen October 25, 2020 / 9:07 am

    It might seem odd to include the following information under this topic. When one watches the performance (on AmazonPrime), the connection can be seen… a little more so than what I will say now. I haven’t finished it yet, but something that stood out to me was an actual excerpt from the audio recording of the men in a Supreme Court hearing who couldn’t speak of contraception or “female hygiene” without coughing or sounding like they were choking. Grown, adult (and presumably sophisticated) males. I don’t remember if that was in 1965 or 1972; I will go back over that segment, before I watch through to the end later today, to be sure for myself.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_the_Constitution_Means_to_Me
    What the Constitution Means to Me has received accolades such as a nomination for Best Play in the 73rd Tony Awards and a finalist spot for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Melanie B Cee October 25, 2020 / 9:18 am

    Great choice! The Eagles featured large in my youth, so much grand music! This is a great song!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 25, 2020 / 5:41 pm

      Thanks. Yes, it is a great song. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Like

  6. Marilyn Armstrong October 25, 2020 / 8:34 pm

    I can actually sing along with this one. I don’t know most songs, but this one I do remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen October 26, 2020 / 3:11 pm

      My daughter-in-law remembers, and sings (just for herself and anyone around but not as performances or even in a choir), words to all kinds of songs (really all kinds while she prefers pop). She might not even know who she’s singing (and doesn’t usually care), but she’s grasped the words. I know a lot of words (more than most people), but my greater “talent” or fun (not great enough to call a talent) is identifying who the group (or sometimes the singer) is from the sound. Or, now, sometimes figuring out who originally sang a song when I hear a remake (which happened with an Eagles’ song recently).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen October 26, 2020 / 6:42 pm

        This has been made into a contemporary style jazz song. I’ll be paying attention to see who did it, as I listen often to the Sirius/XM station on which I heard it. I think of this song as Sweet Darlin’ — but it’s called The Best of My Love. Either moniker has another completely other song (not covers) out there in the world by different groups (Heart for the former and The Emotions for the latter). I enjoyed humming along to the truly great tune.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango October 26, 2020 / 9:47 pm

          Another classic from the Eagles.

          Like

  7. leigha66 November 2, 2020 / 10:57 am

    Interesting… so it was an absinthe spoon that drove her to madness. Great song!

    Liked by 1 person

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