Stacks of 45’s – Witchy Woman/Earlybird

“She drove herself to madness with the silver spoon”

When I was young before I had cassettes, the only good way of making a playlist of songs was to stack 45s on the turntable. I would arrange for them to play my favorite songs in my favorite order. These posts are about records I had in my stacks.

“Witchy Woman” is a song written by Don Henley and Bernie Leadon and recorded by the Eagles. It was released on August 1, 1972, and was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in London. This was my first Eagles 45 and I bought it going into the 8th grade. I liked the song “Witchy Woman” so much I don’t even remember the B-side “Earlybird”.

“Witchy Woman” Personnel
  • Don Henley – lead vocals, drums
  • Glenn Frey – backing vocals, lead guitar
  • Bernie Leadon – backing vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Randy Meisner – bass guitar, backing vocals

Guitarist Bernie Leadon started writing the Native American-sounding music while he was still with the Flying Burrito Brothers. With the Eagles, he played it for Don Henley who wrote the lyrics and introduced the R&B pulse to the music. Henley was reading a book about Zelda Fitzgerald[1] at the time and used her wild, bewitching, and mesmerizing “Flapper” of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties persona for an influence.

[Leadon] came over one day and started playing this strange, minor-key riff that sounded sort of like a Hollywood movie version of Indian music — you know, the kind of stuff they play when the Indians ride up on the ridge while the wagon train passes below. It had a haunting quality, and I thought it was interesting, so we put a rough version of it down on a cassette tape.

Don Henley

The lyrics “She drove herself to madness with the silver spoon” may be a reference to Zelda’s time in a mental institution and the special slotted silver spoon used to dissolve sugar cubes with absinthe, the popular 1920s alcoholic beverage distilled from the wormwood tree and called “the green fairy” for sometimes inducing hallucinations. According to Henley, other influences for the song include books by Carlos Castaneda[2] on shamanism and a girl he knew who was interested in the occult.

[Witchy Woman is] an important song for me, because it marked the beginning of my professional songwriting career.

Don Henley

“Witchy Woman” reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop singles chart. As I mentioned the B-side is “Earlybird” written by Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. With interesting bells and bird whistling opening, it is a banjo-driven song with some cool electric guitar, and classic Eagle harmonies.

  1. Zelda Fitzgerald (July 24, 1900 – March 10, 1948) was an American socialite, novelist, and painter. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, she was noted for her beauty and high spirits, and was dubbed by her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald as “the first American flapper”. She and Scott became emblems of the Jazz Age, for which they are still celebrated. The immediate success of Scott’s first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), brought them into contact with high society, but their marriage was plagued by wild drinking, infidelity, and bitter recriminations. Ernest Hemingway, whom Fitzgerald disliked, blamed her for her husband’s declining literary output. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, she was increasingly confined to specialist clinics,[clarification needed] and the couple was living apart when Scott died suddenly in 1940. Zelda Fitzgerald died over seven years later in a fire at the hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where she was a patient.
  2. Carlos Castañeda (December 25, 1925 – April 27, 1998) was an American writer. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that purport to describe training in shamanism that he received under the tutelage of a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” named don Juan Matus. Castaneda’s first three books—The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, A Separate Reality, and Journey to Ixtlan—were written while he was an anthropology student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He wrote that these books were ethnographic accounts describing his apprenticeship with a traditional “Man of Knowledge” identified as don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian from northern Mexico. The veracity of these books was doubted from their original publication, and they are now widely considered to be fictional.[6] Castaneda was awarded his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees based on the work described in these books. At the time of his death in 1998, Castaneda’s books had sold more than eight million copies and had been published in 17 languages.

"Witchy Woman"

Raven hair and ruby lips
Sparks fly from her fingertips
Echoed voices in the night
She's a restless spirit on an endless flight

Woo hoo witchy woman,
See how high she flies
Woo hoo witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye

She held me spellbound in the night
Dancing shadows and firelight
Crazy laughter in another room
And she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon

Woo hoo witchy woman
See how high she flies
Woo hoo witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye

Well, I know you want a lover,
Let me tell you, brother,
She's been sleeping in the Devil's bed.

And there's some rumors going round
Someone's underground
She can rock you in the nighttime
'Til your skin turns red

Woo hoo witchy woman
See how high she flies
Woo hoo witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye


Early in the morning
About the break of day
The earlybird is working
So his life don't fade away

He spends his days denying
That he's got no time for flying
In the breeze

High up on his own,
The eagle flies alone
And he is free

Earlybird is scratching
Though the going's getting tough
Time is passing by him
And he just can't get enough

He'll tell you all is going well
But he knows that somethings wrong
The earlybird will wake one day
And find his life is gone

Know I like to lay in bed
And sleep out in the sun
Reading books and playing
Crazy music just for fun

You know it makes feel so fine
And sets my mind at ease
To know that I don't harm a soul
In doing what I please

Any old day you say,
Ain't gonna fade away
Any old day you say,
Ain't gonna fade away

Any old day you say,
Ain't gonna fade away
Any old day you say,
Ain't gonna fade away

Any old day you say,
Ain't gonna fade away
Any old day you say,
Ain't gonna fade away



Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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