Edge Of Seventeen

Album: Bella Donna (1981)
Charted: 11


  • Nicks wrote this song about the death of her uncle and the death of John Lennon. The line about the "Words from a poet and a voice from a choir" refers to Lennon.

    Speaking about the song in commentary for her Live In Concert video recorded on her Bella Donna tour, she explained: "I was in Australia when John Lennon was shot. Everybody was devastated. I didn't know John Lennon, but I knew Jimmy Iovine, who worked with John quite a bit in the '70s, and heard all the loving stories that Jimmy told about him. When I came back to Phoenix I started to write this song.

    Right when I got to Phoenix, my uncle Bill got cancer, got very sick very fast, and died in a couple of weeks. My cousin John Nicks and I were in the room when he died. There was just John and I there. That was part of the song when I went running down the hallways looking for somebody - I thought where's my mom? Where's his wife and the rest of the family? At that point I went back to the piano and finished the song."
  • Speaking further in her video commentary, Nicks spoke about the "white-winged dove" and what this song means to her: "It became a song about violent death, which was very scary to me because at that point no one in my family had died. To me, the white-winged dove was for John Lennon the dove of peace, and for my uncle it was the white-winged dove who lives in the saguaro cactus - that's how I found out about the white-winged dove, and it does make a sound like whooo, whooo, whooo. I read that somewhere in Phoenix and thought I would use that in this song. The dove became exciting and sad and tragic and incredibly dramatic. Every time I sing this song I have that ability to go back to that two-month period where it all came down. I've never changed it, and I can't imagine ending my show with any other song. It's such a strong, private moment that I share in this song."
  • Stevie came up with the title when she asked Tom Petty's wife Jane when the couple met. Jane said, "At the age of seventeen," but she had a very strong southern accent and Stevie thought she said "the edge of seventeen," which makes a great song title. Telling the story in a 1981 interview with Los Angeles disc jockey Robert W. Morgan, Nicks said she told Jane: "It's got to be 'edge.' 'The Edge of Seventeen' is perfect. I'm going to write a song."

    At first, the song was going to be about Tom and Jane, but it became something completely different.
  • Bella Donna was Stevie's first solo album. This was the third single; the first two were duets: "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with Tom Petty and "Leather And Lace" with Don Henley. The album proved that Nicks had enormous appeal outside of Fleetwood Mac, and this song in particular gave her tremendous confidence, as it's a very personal track that resonated with listeners and went over very well live.

    When Nicks toured for Bella Donna, it was just a 12-date trek, as she had to return to Fleetwood Mac to start work on the Mirage album. The tour imbued her with the strength she needed to carry on in the group, where there was lots of lingering tension, notably between her and Lindsey Buckingham.
  • When Nicks played this as the last song at the last stop on her Bella Donna tour at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, California, she walked across that stage and collected various gifts audience members brought for her as she finished the song. This became a tradition, with Nicks ending up with a mountain of flowers and stuffed animals at the end of her solo shows which she always donates to local children's hospitals. Performing with Fleetwood Mac, she can't do this as there are five stars in the band.
  • Nicks always ends her concerts with this song, sticking with the same arrangement. "It's such a strong, private moment that I share with people in this song."
  • Nicks' performance from her Live In Concert video, which aired on HBO, serves as the music video for this song. It was directed by Marty Callner, who also did the clips for "I Can't Wait" and "Rooms On Fire."
  • The Bella Donna album was produced by Jimmy Iovine, who was dating Nicks at the time. According to Nicks, he didn't think the album had a hit, which is why he had her record "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with Petty. Released as the lead single from the album, it reached #3 in the US and helped "Edge Of Seventeen" earn airplay when it was issued as a single a few months later.
  • This song is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, developed by Rockstar Games and distributed by Take-Two Interactive for multiple video game consoles. The game features fictional in-game radio stations that can be heard when the player gets in a car; this song is featured on the "Liberty Rock Radio 97.8" station along with other rock songs such as "1979" by the Smashing Pumpkins and "The Seeker" by The Who. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Rob - Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Destiny's Child sampled the famous guitar riff on this track for their song "Bootylicious." Some of Stevie's fans were horrified, but she loved it, and even appeared in the video. Stevie met the group when she was on the The Rosie O'Donnell Show promoting her Trouble In Shangri-La album, and Destiny's Child was in the same building rehearsing for Saturday Night Live.
  • This featured prominently throughout American Horror Story: Coven (2013) as the Stevie Nicks-obsessed, hippie witch Misty Day, played by Lily Rabe, used it as her anthem. Nicks would guest star towards the end of the season.
  • A movie called The Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld was released in 2016, but this song was not part of it.
  • This was used in a 2019 commercial for Amazon Prime Wardrobe where a woman imagines herself in new dress as white-winged doves fly over her.

Comments: 43

  • AnonymousI don't buy it. This song is clearly about Stevie battling with her lust for an underaged musician.
  • Martin D Billingham from Troy, Ny (think Saratoga) & Boston (think, Ah, I've Finally Found My True Home)Stevie, now old, I lived my life working in local TV in both Boston & Albany, N.Y., hoping to have an impact and make some kind of positive difference while never managing to do more than barely scratch the surface!..so be it... Conversely, especially having now read your explanation about the lyrical meaning of Edge..17 (for ex.), you seemingly, effortlessly EXPLODED onto the scene and shook up the world with your talent, voice, stage presence, charisma, charm etc,, (let me know when I've heaped on enough praise, (because it will surely, still be not enough). Must have watched /AGE,[edge} 17 117 times in the last 3 days and I still cry out for more! Guess I'm just tryin to say, thank-you for being you...Love MARTY OF TROY (Helen's brother). Peace, Out....
  • Devans00 from Silicon Valley, CaYou can hear the whooo, whooo, whooo call of the Arizona desert white-winged dove around 1:20 of this video. It is kind of mournful.
  • Rachel from NjPerfect song! I just love it!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 14th 1982, "Edge of 17th (Just Like the White Winged Dove)" by Stevie Nicks entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #73; and on April 11th it peaked at #11 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #5 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    Was track six off her debut solo album, 'Bella Donna', and on August 30th, 1981 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart (it also peaked at #1 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums chart)...
    Three other tracks off the album also made the Top 100; "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (#3), "Leather and Lace" (#6) and "After the Glitter Fades" (#32)...
    Ms. Nick, born Stephanie Lynn Nicks, will celebrate her 66th birthday in three months on May 26th (2014).
  • Emmy from Bellville, OnSaddest song ever.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxA good song, but I agree that it gets repetitious (seems like 10 minutes of 'sings a song, sounds like she's singin'....ooooo....ooooo...ooooo!'). It's hardly the only song to be guilty of that, but guilty it is.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaUp until watching "Up All Night" tonight I thought the first line was, "Just like the one we love. . . "
  • Kayla from Winnipeg, MbTo whoever said this song is boring and repetitious (your name isn't even worth mentioning).. you wouldn't know good music if it hit you in the face! And if you think it's really "repetitious", try listening to Gag Gag or some other new crap because that's all they do is repeat lines over and over! Go listen to that and see how much better it is! It's NOT! Stevie is amazing and a legend so get your head out of your ass!
  • Jon from Phoenix, AzSince Interstate 17 runs through Phoenix, I always thought she was talking about a hitchhiker she saw on the side of the road.
  • Barbara from Chesterfield, Vai always thought this was a song about an older woman involved with a younger man.
  • Lisa from Milwaukee, Wi, WiI can't stand Stevie's voice. She sounds like someone constipated sitting on the toilet. Especially when she sings oooohhhhhhhaaaa and holds the note really long.
  • Emma from Adelaide, AustraliaGreat song by a great singer. The Gossip copied the start rift in their song Heavy Cross. This was also going to be the theme song for Twilight, as Edward and Bella were both seventeen. I don't know how Stevie would have handled that...
  • David from Walla Walla Wa, Wacontray to popular opinion stevie deosn't practice witchcraft, , in fact the song rhiannon was about a welsh witch!
  • Dave from Caledonia, MnStevie Nicks has always had a voice that sounds like an old hag who has smoked nonstop for 30 years or so. Fleetwood Mac rightfully used to bury her raspy vocals behind the music. In her duets, I can't tell which vocals are sung by the male singer and which ones are her! She is also an evil witch, who gives me the "willies."
  • Candi from Murfreesboro, TnActually, Stevie Nicks wrote many of her songs that she used as a solo artist while she was with Fleetwood Mac. She let them look at all of them and choose the ones that they wanted, and she took the "leftovers"--which were obviously very good also. This may or may not have been written before then.
  • Tim from Syracuse, NyStevie "borrowed" the guitar riff and drum part for this song from a Police song called "Bring on the Night." When he found out, Waddy Wachtell reportedly told her "Don't *ever* do that to me again!"
  • Sibella from Pretoria, --There's a gay movie named after this song. Not that I watched it, I just saw it standing on a shelf in a DVD place.
  • Ryan from Farmer City, IlI love this song to death. I mondegreened it into sounding (in my head) like "Just Like the Wild Ranger" not realizing that it was called the Edge of Seventeen. This song is reminiscent (beat-wise) to the opening of "Eye of the Tiger", and I love to use this song to open up a new rock mix cd. I also like this song for when I'm "getting busy" at night, if you know what that means! :)
  • Nikhil from Mumbai, Indiathis song plays in the movie school of rock, i love drunk Ms Mullins singing the song. great song!
  • Freddy from Askøy, Norwaythis song is great...
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkI didn't think much of this song when it first aired then I saw Stevie Nicks perform it live when I was in TX. She was touring with Joe Walsh. He came on first and that was who I was paying to see. At the time I thought, "Poor Stevie, the croud is gonna walk when she comes on stage." She rivaled his energy. When she sang this, one of her back ups stood behind her and sang the echo "I hear you - hear you . . ." There was raw pain in both voices - my eyes were stinging. I didn't know at the time this song was for her uncle or John Lennon but there was no doubt that she was singing about losing someone she loved. Except she had wardrobe changes after each song, it was one of the best concerts I'd ever seen.
  • Jane from Austin, Txthank you michael from cleveland. i don't really care for this song as much as the other ones. but, when i heard bring on the night by the police i was floored. i think wikipedia mentions something about this song. anyrate, i love stevie.
  • Ozzy from Fresno, CaI hate it when people say chicks can't rock (not just cuz i am one...) but then i say look at the go gos.
    look a joan jett.
    look at heart.
    and when i say stevie nicks, they stop saying "oh she/they don't count"
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesI'm a fan of this song. My brother is annoyed by it because he has heard it "too much". But to me it never gets old. If I were in Stevie Nicks's position, I'd call it "White-Winged Dove" rather than "Edge of Seventeen", but that's just my opinion. In this song, for some reason, the voice of Stevie Nicks resembles that of Blondie. Why is that? I never knew that Lindsey Lohan had a version of this. (I never knew Lohan was even a singer.) Anyway, Stevie Nicks rocks!!
  • Meredith from Jacksonville, TxI cant believe anyone could prefer the LL version. I got physically sick when I heard it! As for rocking out, see Stevie sing it live and it will blow you away. The live version on her newest CD Crystal Visions, with the MSO gives me chills!
  • Rob from Wilkes-barre, PaLindsay's voice is God-awful and is probably only going to get worse
  • Chelsea from Wichita, KsLindsay Lohan can kiss my ass.
  • Meaghan from Spring City, PaI LOVE the Lindsay Lohan version. It's more powerful than Stevie's original with the violins and thrashing electric guitars. I don't understand why she left out the whole last verse, though. Does anybody have a clue?
  • Shannon from Lynbrook, NyLindsay Lohan covers this song on her album "A Little More Personal (RAW)". I always LOVE to rock out to this! "Just like a white winged dove!" I LOVE IT!
  • Jay from Mom, CtJoyce, your music taste stinks. Stevie Nicks has made her own style of music and her own way of delivering muisic. Accept her ways. She is a goddess.
  • Michael from Cleveland, TnI love the song, but I thought that Stevie Nicks would have give Sting a writing credit because "Bring On the Night" by the Police has the same riff, bass line and and drum beat...check it out! Peace
  • Stephan from St Georges, CanadaHere in Canada, a young artist named Jonas hit the chart list with a rock cover of this song. I'm not a fan of covers but this one is really good!
  • Michelle from Vancouver IslandEdge of Seventeen was written while still with Fleetwood Mac and her success caused much tension between herself and Buckingham. Edge of Seventeen was the third single from Bella Donna and was at #11 for 2 weeks. Bella Donna became America's top-selling album in September 1981. Stevie rocked then and still does. -michelle
  • AnonymousThe part of the song about Stevie's uncle is pretty much verbatim how it happened. Her uncle was dying and Stevie would visit him every day. He died while she was there and she did in fact go running down the hallway "in flood of tears that no one every heard fall at all". The chorus of the song was originally to be the final verse.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI always thought this was about Stevie Nicks loving a guy who was only 17. Any comments?
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtI hate Stevie Nicks...but I really love this song.
  • Sanjeev from Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaJoyce of Urbandale,

    You don't know what good music is.......

    Jim of Perth,WA
  • Joyce from Urbandale, IaSo Boring and repetitious!! I change the radio station imediately!!! And it sounds as though she forgets the words or has none so she bellows: "ooohhh hoooooo oh ummmmm aawwhhhhaaaa blaaahhhummm blaaaabbbaaablaaahhh"
    Sounds kinda like a tortured sheep bleat!!!
  • Mike from Glenn Dale, Md, MdActually, Fleetwood Mac *was* still together when she recorded this. Bella Donna was released when the band was between the Tusk record (1979) and Mirage (1982). Nicks's White Winged Dove tour was only 12 dates because she went right back into the studio to record with Fleetwood Mac.
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaI love this song. Stevie Nicks rocks
  • Charlie from Thomaston, Ctmy sister thought it was written when fleetwood mac was still together, hah! i proved her wrong!
  • Andres from Bahia Blanca, ArgentinaThis song was sampled by Destiny's Child on their #1 US hit "Bootylicious". Also, Stevie Nicks does a cameo on their video.
    The full name of Nicks' hit is "Edge of seventeen (just like the white winged dove) and was a #11 hit in the US in 1982.
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