Meaning of “Leather and Lace” by Stevie Nicks (Ft. Don Henley)

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

The song is a poetic conversation between two lovers, exploring the balance between vulnerability and strength in a relationship. It’s like yin and yang, leather and lace—two very different materials that come together in harmony. Stevie Nicks wrote this with Don Henley of the Eagles, and it’s often seen as reflecting their own complicated relationship. The lyrics dig deep into the dynamics of love, how you sometimes have to give a little to get a little, and how loving someone involves embracing both their toughness and softness.

We’re about to dive into the mesmerizing world of Stevie Nicks and unravel the luscious layers of “Leather and Lace.” Trust me; you won’t regret it.

“Leather and Lace” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines paint love as fragile, easily shattered by words. Stevie Nicks lays bare the vulnerability of love, while also declaring her own strength—”I have my own life and I am stronger than you know.” She brings up the duality right from the get-go.

“When you walked into my house, you won’t be walking out the door.” Both Stevie and Don convey this feeling, showing that both parties are in this for the long haul. There’s a promise of forever, a sentiment also echoed in “Lovers forever, face to face.”

“My city, your mountains, stay with me, stay.” Here, the lyrics cleverly juxtapose two different worlds coming together—her city life and his mountain roots. They are distinct but can coexist, much like the leather and lace they each offer in the relationship.

Now let’s talk about the chorus: “Give to me your leather, take from me my lace.” Leather and lace serve as metaphors for masculinity and femininity, toughness and vulnerability. The relationship thrives on this exchange—giving a little of yourself and accepting a little of the other.

“Would you ever love a woman like me?” and “I knew I’d never want to leave” address the insecurities and affirmations we all feel in love. The song admits that love isn’t always easy. Sometimes we’re strong; sometimes we’re scared. Yet, despite these uncertainties, there’s an innate understanding that with love, “somehow I would get by.”

Why Was “Leather and Lace” Written?

Stevie Nicks wrote this song during a turbulent time in her own life. Fresh from the massive success of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” Nicks was also navigating a complex relationship with Don Henley. They were two big personalities in the music world, each with their own baggage, but also with undeniable chemistry.

The song captures the essence of that relationship—intense, passionate, but also fraught with its own set of challenges. Both were learning to navigate fame, love, and personal growth. In a way, the song became a platform for them to explore and articulate these feelings. It’s not just a love song; it’s a mirror reflecting the complexities and dualities inherent in all relationships.

So the next time you listen to “Leather and Lace,” you’ll know it’s not just a duet—it’s a conversation, a negotiation, and above all, a heartfelt confession.