One of the most pivotal moments in Stevie Nicks‘ life was the death of her friend, Robin Snyder. Nicks dedicated the song “Nightbird” on her 1983 album The Wild Heart to Snyder. The death of her friend also led Nicks to marry Snyder’s widow, Kim Anderson.
Stevie Nicks made the song ‘Nightbird’ for her friend
Nicks released her second studio album The Wild Heart in 1983. “Nightbird” is the fifth song on the album and it was written by Nicks and Sandy Stewart.
“Nightbird” is a duet with Stewart, and it is considered to be the sequel track to Nicks’ song “Edge of Seventeen.”
According to Music Spotlight Magazine, the song “finds Stevie ‘not ready for the winter’ (the hard times that would follow Snyder’s death) or the loneliness of losing her friend, as indicated by the line, ‘When I call, will you walk gently through my shadow?'”
It also carries over themes from “Edge of Seventeen,” with the “nightbird” in question being related to “the white-winged dove” from “Edge of Seventeen.”
“And when I call, will you walk gently through my shadow?/ The ones who sing at night/ The ones who sing at night/ The ones you dream of, the ones who walk away/ With their capes pulled around them tight/ Crying for the night/ Cry for the nightbird tonight,” Nicks sings in “Nightbird.”
Robin Snyder’s death was hard on Stevie Nicks
In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, Nicks described how painful it was to visit Snyder when she was diagnosed with leukemia.
“I was so high on coke. I’d drink half a bottle of brandy on the way there, ’cause I couldn’t stand it. She was so sick. And she said to me, ‘Don’t come back until you’re not high – don’t come back into this place where everybody is dying,'” Nicks told The Guardian.
Stevie Nicks married her friend’s widow
Snyder died just two days after giving birth to her son Matthew. After her friend’s death, Nicks proposed to Anderson, Snyder’s widow.
“It was insanity,” Nicks told The Guardian. “Everybody was furious. It was a completely ridiculous thing. And it was just because I had this crazy, insane thought that Robin would want me to take care of Matthew.”
She continued, “But the fact is, Robin would not have wanted me to be married to a guy I didn’t love. And therefore accidentally break that guy’s heart, too.”
After marrying Anderson, Nicks felt like she received a sign from Snyder that the marriage was a mistake.
“One day when I walked into Matthew’s room, the cradle was not rocking,” Nicks told The Guardian. “I know that sounds crazy, but it was always rocking whenever I’d walk in, and I knew Robin was there. And one day it wasn’t rocking and it was very dark and the baby was very quiet. And I said, ‘Robin wants this to end – now.’ I felt it as strongly as if she’d put her hand on my shoulder.”
After that day, Nicks ended things with Anderson and they broke up after three months together.