"Melissa" as written by Gregg Allman and Stephen Alaimo....
Crossroads, seem to come and go, yeah
The gypsy flies from coast to coast
Knowing many, loving none
Bearing sorrow, having fun
But, back home he'll always run
To sweet Melissa
Mmm, hmm

Freight train, each car looks the same, all the same
And no one knows the gypsy's name
And no one hears his lonely sighs
There are no blankets where he lies
Lord, in his deepest dreams the gypsy flies
With sweet Melissa
Mm, hmm

Again, the mornin's come
Again, he's on the run
A sunbeam's shinin' through his hair
Fear not to have a care
Well, pick up your gear and gypsy roll on
Roll on

Crossroads, will you ever let him go?
Lord, Lord
Or will you hide the dead man's ghost?
Or will he lie, beneath the clay?
Or will his spirit float away?
But, I know that he won't stay
Without Melissa
Yes, I know that he won't stay, yeah
Without Melissa
Lord, Lord, it's all the same


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Melissa" as written by Gregg Allman Stephen Alaimo

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Melissa song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationOne of my favorite songs of all time, having been named after it. The way I like to look at it is that there's a man, represented in this song by a gypsy. The gypsy character lives a life of the party, never making commitments, never having anything consistant in his life, except for this woman named Melissa. The gypsy doesn't interact with people for very long and doesn't keep long term connections, other than Melissa. Basically, Melissa is the only exception in this man's life of "Knowing many, loving none."
    sweetmelissa18on July 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song will always remind me of this one lovely young lady named Melissa (though she preferred Missy). We were pretty good friends, and after I moved away, we lost touch. I can't hear the song without seeing her face, though, and remembering all the good times. Wherever you are, darlin' I hope you're doing well.
    Grayhawkon September 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHaving been on the road with Gregg for years and spending enormous times cooped up in hotel rooms with nothing to do but talk, I can assure you that joekerr21 is correct. Gregg was in a grocery store in Ft Walton Beach, FL staying at a cheap motel on Hwy 98. He had been working on the song and the name was the last tidbit he needed to finish the song. He was standing in line and the lady behind him was calling out to her daughter, Melissa, who was laughing and sort of teasing her mom by running away.
    southernallmanon May 24, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe "gypsy" always sounded to me like a man who is resigned to a certain way of life for whatever reasons yet carries a soft spot for a certain woman/girl.He can't change and isn't going to be a phony and pretend he can change,yet deep inside he has special feelings for "Melissa".
    ShatteredVinylon August 02, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThere was an old superstition that said if a murderer was buried under the stones at a crossroad his spirit would be confused and wouldn't know which direction to take. Thus, the spirit would wander, forever confused, at the crossroad.
    SisterLaurettaon September 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationDearly Beloved,
    I have heard the interviews with Greg about this song, and understand from what he said in the interview this song is mostly about a traveling man's relationship with a woman back home. However, I also hear a spiritual side to the words and the images in the song. I particularly wonder about love, and Melissa, in life and in death, especially at the end of the song with all of the after life questions and statements.

    I see the song as an allegory. Now I know that I will loose a lot of you on this bit, but could Melissa be a reference to the Messiah?

    In life, while doing a lot of what seems to be cool stuff and living free, there is very little comfort or fun for the traveling gypsy. There are three to one negative to positive images of his life on the road, except when Melissa is in his presence or thoughts.

    At the end of the song he questions a dead man's journey and condition. He asks the Crossroads, where Robert Johnson encounters the Devil, to be set free from his former sorry living condition. When he comes to the end of his long and winding road (another spirit filled song) he evokes the name of the Lord, and asks if the Crossroads will keep his soul, or will the worms just take over, or will he ascend to a better place. Where will the traveling gypsy go now?

    The man is sure that where ever he goes after death, it could not be Heaven for him, and he would not want to stay without Melissa. His love is so strong that he feels for it to be Heaven it should also have Melissa. Please Lord, it is all the same, I need to love and be loved by Melissa to be at peace.

    "Crossroads, will you ever let him go? Lord, Lord.
    Or will you hide the dead man's ghost?
    Or will he lie, beneath the clay?
    Or will his spirit float away?
    But, I know that he won't stay,
    Without Melissa.
    Yes, I know that he won't stay, yeah,
    Without Melissa.
    Lord, Lord, it's all the same."

    Yours truly, Rocket88
    Rocket88on October 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI had always thought this song was written as a tribute to Greg's late brother, Duane, who died the prior year. Released on the Eat A Peach album, which was a compilation of much of AB band's music from before Duane's fatal motorcycle accident in Georgia.
    "Eat a peach for peace" ~ Duane Allman.

    Maybe I assume too much... Oh well, whatever the meaning, it is a great song.
    Yosemiteguyon March 05, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about a man (the Gypsy) who has died and left behind a wife / lover named Melissa. The song are his family members mourning him together, imagining what his afterlife is like. Reminds me of the death of Duane Allman.
    MaggieMay7on May 04, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThere's a man who always on the road (the"gypsy") who lives in a absent-minded state, constantly thinking of Melissa. The first three paragraphs describes the man. The last compares his state to that of Jesus, asking "will he lie beneath the clay or will his spirit float away?" He answers this by saying "he won't stay without Melissa." This means that his constant thinking of Melissa is keeping him from reaching his full potential. The narrator asks "will you ever let him go?" directing this question at crossroads.

    Why is he on the road all the time? Probably him trying to earn money by going from job to job ."crossroads seem to come and go." So crossroads means jobs.

    In conclusion, a man is on the road, away from Melissa, and he can't stop thinking about her. This inhibits his ability to be successful at his job which keeps him on the road. This cycle of being away from Melissa, being distracted thinking about her, needing to move because he is bad at his job, and continuing to move and be away from home is the beautifully sad story of what love does to a man.
    Nookohon October 20, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a very nice song indeed. Not to mention being named after this song makes it cooler. The song, in my opinion, is about this person whom is always on the run. They're always off doing other things, but no matter what kind of adventures he goes on, he always is coming back to this one girl. No matter what, he's always back to the girl.
    TasChiBandGirlon May 17, 2002   Link

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