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Witchy Woman by Eagles

Album: The EaglesReleased: 1972Charted:
9
  • Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon started writing this song when he was a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Once Bernie joined the Eagles, he and Don Henley finished the song in Eagles fashion. It was one of the first songs Henley wrote.
  • Leadon and Henley wrote this about a number of women they had met. It is not meant to portray the woman as devilish, but as more of a seductress.
  • The Eagles was the group's first album. It was produced by Glyn Johns, an Englishman who had previously worked with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. They recorded it at Olympic Studios in London in just three weeks; the group became far less efficient over time - their 1979 album The Long Run took more than two years to make.
  • According to the liner notes for The Very Best of the Eagles, the song originated with guitarist Bernie Leadon playing a "strange, minor-key riff that sounded sort of like a Hollywood movie version of Indian music." The song's lyrics didn't develop until Henley went down with a flu and high fever while he was reading a book about Zelda Fitzgerald. "I think that figured into the mix somehow - along with amorphous images of girls I had met at the Whisky and the Troubadour," he recalled.
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Comments: 35

I think the "silver spoon" is a reference to heroin. This song came out in the early 70's, when the drugs of choice were pot, psychedelics and heroin (melted down and burned on a spoon, as an earlier poster stated). Coke was around, but didn't become popular until the late 70's and early 80's (and then was replaced by crack in the mid 80's, as the drug of choice). I don't really buy all this stuff about Zelda Fitzgerald, either. Maybe they were reading a book about her life at the time when the song was written, but, if the book was, indeed, an influence, I think that it was just one of many. I think that there was a more personal reason for writing a song like this. (And it kind of cracks me up when I read, at the top of this page, that the "witchy woman" is supposed to be seductive, rather than devilish. ""I know you want a lover, let me tell you, brother, she's been sleeping in the devil's bed..."Sheryl - Boston, Ma
The silver spoon refers to a slotted silver spoon used to dissolve sugar cubes with Absinthe.Judy Lee - Riverside, Ca
When rehearsing material for their debut album, Bernie Leadon played the basic riff and guitar solo for this song. But there were no lyrics. When asked by the rest of the band what he called it, Bernie said the first thing that came to mind: "Witchy Woman". Don Henley liked the riff and the title, so he took a cassette tape of Leadon's riff home and the next day came into the rehearsals with the lyrics complete.Ken - Louisville, Ky
First, it's not just Eagles lyrics that people seem to think are about drugs. It's almost every single song, even the most innocent sounding ones, that someone comments that there is a drug reference. My son and I laugh about that all the time. Secondly, some songs are referring to drugs! Then I crack up at comments like this: "A slotted silver spoon is used to dissolve a sugar cube with absenthe. An alcoholic beverage distilled from the wormwood tree.It is also called "the green fairy" as it is said to induce hallucinations." Okay, we are talking rock musicians writing lyrics. They are not scholars. When people pull out a "Cliff Claven" sentence and act like these dudes were well-versed in all kinds of random knowledge that they used to write song lyrics, I simply cannot believe there is any merit to it. Witchy Woman is a good song.Camille - Toronto, Oh
The line about silver spoon is clearly a reference to the Ricky Schroder sitcom from the 80's.Who amongst us has not gone mad while watching that?Brian - Boston, Ma
I tend to think of Stevie Nicks when I hear this.I don't know why maybe because she to has a song about a witch RhiannonBrian - Boston, Ma
Classic Blues hit by the Eagles. Love its lyrics (have used it on women very often to tease them if they wore jazzy nailpaint), and the vocals. "Witchy Woman aur koi nahi ga sakta", meaning "Nobody else can sing Witchy Woman", as a friend of mine once said.Mayank - Ranchi, India
This is a good tune. It would be cool to play it at a Halloween party especially because of the title and some of the lyrical content.Joel - New Orleans, La
"She drove herself to madness with the silver spoon" is a referance to Zelda Fitzgeralds commitment to a mental institution. A slotted silver spoon is used to disolve a sugar cube with absenthe. An alcoholic beverage distilled from the wormwood tree.It is also called "the green fairy" as it is said to induce hallucinations.It is illegal in the U.S.John - Chicago, Il
She can rock you in the night time till your skin turns redJesse - San Antoino, Tx
This is about the excess of women and drugs, never a good thing when using them in one sentence..Jim - Long Beach, Ca
The silver spoon is probably a coke spoon, but keep in mind that Heroine can also be snorted. No track marks that way.Robert - Denver, Co
The opening riff always makes me think of Indians in headdress, prepared for battle, riding on horseback, rising over yonder ridge in some old Western movie.Eric - Camas, Wa
Definitely about cocaine, and "How high she flies" is a pun between a trip on a broomstick and a trip on coke.Peterm - Coventry, United Kingdom
I'd always heard that the song was loosely based on Susan Atkins, one of Manson's girls. If you listen to the lyrics it's plausible.Exterminans - Louisville, Ky
by the way, this song isn't about Stevie Nicks...first of all she has blonde hair not "Raven" hair and second of all this was way before Don Henley even met her...so yeah...Elizabeth - Ithaca, Ny
okay for the record, Silver Spoon means Cocaine!Cocaine,Cocaine, Cocaine!!! Not Heroin but Cocaine... Cus the silver spoon is what they use to snort it...

anyway, I love this song. I don't really think it's about Stevie Nicks though. I think it's just about a group of girls that the band met at a local bar in California. But I wouldn't be surprised if it were about Stevie Nicks.
Liz - Smallville, Ks
I always assumed the song was about Stevie Nicks, who along with her friend Mr Henley (and nearly everyone else in that time period) was very fond of cocaine and used it to excess. "She drove herself to madness with a silver spoon" sounds fairly obvious -- unlike some of the lyrics which have been cited on songfacts as indicating "totally a heroin song" or what have you.Ekristheh - Halath, United States
Does anyone else feel like this song is about Stevie Nicks? I know Don Henley and her dated in the seventies and it seems like he might have written it with her in mind.Ameer - La, Ca
Actually, Rachel, they were talking about cocaineJoel - Columbia, Sc
This cool song stands the test of time. We've all met a woman like this somewhere down the line....Mike - Hueytown , Al
Yeah they were talking about Herion. And it's "rock" you in the nighttime ?til your skin turns red. The big rock. And it's probably so twisted because he was delusional from being sick...Rachel - Okie, Ok
how does the silver spoon symbol wealth? parallel to this song: if anyone also listened to "gold dust woman" by fleetwood mac, stevie nicks refers to digging her grave with a silver spoon...drugs and death anyone?Sara Mackenzie - Middle Of Nowhere, Fl
I think that the "silver spoon" is refering to wealth.. not heroinBrad - Kalamazoo, Mi
I notice that every Eagles songs have drug references to you people.
Why is that?
Bob - Rio Vista, Ca
this was on a seinfeld episode with the karl fardman dressers!Kevin - Quebec, Canada
There are probably drug references in there. Interesting comments from john from jacksonville and like from manchester. Bernie Leadon is very underrated.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
Heroin is burnt on a spoon over an open flame... I don't take heroin but I know about it... Incidentally, on the show Darmha and Greg, Darmha's mum reckon's she was Witchy Woman after she met Don Henly in the 60's.Luke - Manchester, England
Henley has stated that the song was inspired by a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald.Mary - San Francisco, Ca
Awesome song. I dunno about the drugs bit, but it could be. There seem to be some really abstract lines..."she'll hang you in the nighttime till your skin turns red"John - Millersville, Md
Charlotte - I think the silver spoon is probably a coke spoon.Dick - Arcata, Ca
It sounds like it is about heroin. "She drove herself to madness with the silver spoon".....Charlotte - Bluffton, Sc
i also prefer desperado but its still a great song and i love itMeagan - Baton Rouge, La
The song title was also used as a conversation piece in a Seinfeld episode, it was suppose to be Elaine and her new boyfriend's song but he preferred Desperado, thats Seinfeld for ya.Pete - Nowra, Australia
The legend has it that Henley sang his lead while leaning into a toilet in the studio bathroom to achieve the vocal effect they were looking for.John - Jacksonville, Fl