She Came From Cumbria and Was Perfect: RIP Christine McVie

I was saddened to hear of the death of Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie last week. I’m a bit late with this tribute now, but as I’ve mentioned around here before, if I drew a graph of all the songs I’ve revisited by year of release, the peak would land at 1977, as that seems to have been the year when most purchases were made, and the most listening was done. Put it down to the fact I was still at school so other than the annual diet of exams to sit I had few other distractions to get in the way of hanging out with friends, and listening to music. It was inevitable therefore I would have a copy of Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s multi-platinum selling album from 1977, which held the top spot on the US charts for a staggering 31 weeks.

It wasn’t a given that I would ever have owned that album, as they were not a band I followed, but its status meant it would find its way into my metaphorical Christmas stocking (vinyl not a good fit for such receptacles). At the time, I didn’t know much about the background to the making of the album – the breakdown of the romantic relationships within the band – as we just didn’t have access to such intimate knowledge back then. Looking at the track listing now however, I realise that the band member with the most songwriting credits on Rumours was Christine McVie. She mined a rich seam of inspiration when writing about her split with founding band member John McVie. Christine was probably also the best singer in the band, and an accomplished keyboard player, but back then I didn’t really attribute specific songs to individual band members so am stupidly only realising this now.

Here she is singing You Make Loving Fun from Rumours, a song about her new boyfriend apparently, the band’s lighting engineer (although his tenure in that post was understandably short-lived).

You Make Loving Fun by Fleetwood Mac:


When reading of her death I was surprised to learn she was aged 79. Somehow I always think of that generation of musician to have been a contemporary of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others of that ilk who first found fame in the early 1960s. But of course Christine wasn’t always attached to Fleetwood Mac. Before her marriage to John McVie she was Christine Perfect (what a great name) and had been a member of several bands on the mid-1960s British Blues scene, notably Chicken Shack.

After helping them out as a session player for a couple of years, Christine formally joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. A big change in personnel came about in 1974 when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band – this seems to have been the spark that propelled them to stratospheric success. It must have been tough for the older Christine to have another woman join the band, especially the young and striking Stevie, but from all accounts it caused no issues at all, which says a lot about her professionalism and dedication to the band’s success.

Here is another of her songs from Rumours, Songbird. It was a bit of an obvious and lazy choice for inclusion, when journalists wrote about her death last week, but having listened to it again several times it really is a beautiful song that showcases her talent as both a songwriter and singer, so I have no qualms about sharing it here too.

Songbird by Fleetwood Mac:


Before I go I just want to share an interesting phenomenon. I was having a late night text message exchange with DD recently, and the subject of favourite bands came up. I told her mine and she told me the three she currently liked listening to best. The first two were contemporary and expected, but the third surprised me as it was Fleetwood Mac! The younger generation have become exposed to the music of Fleetwood Mac via Stevie Nicks who has appeared as herself on one of the really successful Netflix dramas, American Horror Story. I was also up in the loft yesterday and found a box containing all sorts of ephemera DD has left behind, which will need sorting out at some point, but what surprised me was that there was a canvas where she had made a picture using the Rumours album cover. It just goes to show, with streaming services like Spotify now being the vehicle used for listening to music, albums from 45 years ago can become contemporary favourites again with the young. Didn’t see that coming when I first listened to it back in 1977. Also good to know that the beautiful singing voice of Christine McVie, will live on for subsequent generations.


Until next time… RIP Christine McVie.

Songbird Lyrics
(Song by Christine McVie)

For you, there’ll be no more crying
For you, the sun will be shining
And I feel that when I’m with you
It’s alright, I know it’s right

To you, I’ll give the world
To you, I’ll never be cold
‘Cause I feel that when I’m with you
It’s alright, I know it’s right

And the songbirds are singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before

And I wish you all the love in the world
But most of all, I wish it from myself

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before
Like never before
Like never before

The Halfway Point, Is It a ‘Stop’ or a ‘Don’t Stop’?

Well, I’ve just passed the halfway point in my challenge to write 30 posts in 30 days, and although my neck and shoulder injury seems to have righted itself, I am starting to flag a little. Should I keep going I wonder, or just content myself with having kept up the pace for as long as I have?

I am acutely aware that all you lovely followers might be finding it rather tedious having so much thrown at them in a single month, but I do still have a few more ideas up my sleeve. Feedback is positively encouraged as I don’t want to lose people along the way.

Anyway, I’m happy either way, so should it be a Stop

… or a Don’t Stop?

Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac:


I was totally the wrong demographic for the phenomenon that was the Spice Girls in the mid ’90s, but they were omnipresent, so you just couldn’t avoid their catchy pop tunes – There are a fair few I’ll admit to still being quite fond of. That was unbelievably nearly 25 years ago now, when DD was just a tot. Where has the time gone?

The Rumours album was a Christmas gift from the school boyfriend in 1977. Sadly it was in cassette tape format, so didn’t stand up well to the wear and tear of being played so often in the subsequent months – Remember having to rewind the tape back into the casing manually, after it got scrunched up the machine?

Considering the many relationship breakdowns that happened within Fleetwood Mac before recording started, it’s quite something the album ever got made at all, but it did, and became one of the best-sellers of all time. Certainly plenty of material there to shape the song-writing.

Don’t Stop Lyrics
(Song by Christine McVie)


If you wake up and don’t want to smile
If it takes just a little while
Open your eyes and look at the day
You’ll see things in a different way

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be here better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone


Why not think about times to come?
And not about the things that you’ve done?
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do


Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be here better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

All I want is to see you smile
If it takes just a little while
I know you don’t believe that it’s true
I never meant any harm to you

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be here better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone