So I'm back to the velvet underground
Back to the floor that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was
To the gypsy that I was

And it all comes down to you
Well, you know that it does and
Lightning strikes maybe once, maybe twice
Oh and it lights up the night
And you see your gypsy
You see your gypsy

To the gypsy
That remains
Her face says freedom
With a little fear
I have no fear
Have only love
And if I was a child
And the child was enough
Enough for me to love
Enough to love

She is dancing away from you now
She was just a wish
She was just a wish
And her memory is all that is left for you now
You see your gypsy, oh
You see your gypsy

Ooh ooh, ohh, ohh-oh

Lightning strikes
Maybe once, maybe twice
And it all comes down to you
Ooh oh, and it all comes down to you
Lightning strikes
Maybe once, maybe twice
And (oh) it all comes down to you
I still see your (your) bright eyes, bright eyes
(And it all comes down to you)

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Gypsy Lyrics as written by Stevie Nicks

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Gypsy song meanings
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  • +16
    Song Meaning

    This song actually has a definite meaning, and it's beautiful. The first meaning is about Stevie herself, and the second, more emotional part, is about the death of someone, particularly her best friend Robin, who died of leukemia before it was released. That's what the line "I still see your bright eyes" is about. And "Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice" - you'll only find a friend like that once, maybe twice in a life time. She's explained this in several interview you can Google and it's on Wikipedia as well. Here's her explanation of the rest of it:

    "Oh boy, I've never really spoken about this, so I get verklempt, and then I've got the story and I start to screw it up. Okay: In the old days, before Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had no money, so we had a king-size mattress, but we just had it on the floor. I had old vintage coverlets on it, and even though we had no money it was still really pretty... Just that and a lamp on the floor, and that was it–there was a certain calmness about it. To this day, when I'm feeling cluttered, I will take my mattress off of my beautiful bed, wherever that may be, and put it outside my bedroom, with a table and a little lamp."

    On March 25, 2009 during a show in Montreal on Fleetwood Mac's Unleashed Tour, Stevie Nicks gave a short history of the inspiration behind Gypsy. She explained it was written sometime in 1978-79, when the band had become "very famous, very fast," and it was a song that brought her back to an earlier time, to an apartment in San Francisco where she had taken the mattress off her bed and put it on the floor. To contextualize, she voiced the lyrics: "So I'm back, to the velvet underground. Back to the floor, that I love. To a room with some lace and paper flowers. Back to the gypsy that I was." Those are the words: 'So I'm back to the velvet underground' – which is a clothing store in downtown San Francisco, where Janis Joplin got her clothes, and Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane, it was this little hole in the wall, amazing, beautiful stuff – 'back to the floor that I love, to a room with some lace and paper flowers, back to the gypsy that I was.'

    I love this song.

    srose99on July 13, 2012   Link
  • +8
    General Comment

    All the characters in my songs ~ the Gypsies, the Saras, and the on this album, Alice and Juliet ~ they're all me. But they're all different sides of me. ~Stevie Nicks, interview in Revolution, November, 1989

    Gypsy is about um ...going back to the gypsy that I was prior to Fleetwood Mac. ~Stevie Nicks, Rock's Family Tree

    Yes in my uh Doheny house - in my English house. I just uh.. I went through an experience that wasn't particularly pleasant and I moved out of my big English bedroom into the little back bedroom that was all...the lady that owned this house had put all this French wallpaper up that was flowers and it was beautifully, beautifully done. It's just a little tiny room and put my bed back on the floor, moved my JBLs [speakers] in there, all my plants... all my junk, everything I had into this tiny little room about as big as this sofa, you know and I just lived in there for about 3 months. And I, it was really like living back in my apartment before I joined Fleetwood was ...I'm very comfortable living in one little room with my bed on the floor and kind of lace tacked up at the windows, you know.

    [A place where you felt secure and safe or comfortable?] And back to me, back to know, uh back to learning to live alone again. Back to the gypsy. ~Stevie Nicks, Jim Ladd Innerview, 1982

    In the song Gypsy it says, Going back to the velvet underground/ Back to the floor... which means my bed went back on the floor, with the paper flowers and the, you know, there's a part of that that [era] there will never be again ...except that it does live in my house because it was so special. ~Stevie Nicks, Video Interview for Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits (1988) as cited in Mirror Mirror, Issue 3

    [On being a gypsy] The clothes I wear... that doesn't change. I love long dresses. I love velvet. I love high boots. I never change. I love the same eye make-up. I'm not a fad person. I still have everything I had then. That's one part of me... that's where my songs come from. There's a song on the new Fleetwood Mac album [Mirage] that says, 'Going back to the velvet underground/back to the floor that I love,' because I always put my bed on the floor. 'To a room with some lace and paper flowers/ back to the gypsy that I was.' And that's San Francisco. That's the Velvet Underground. Those are the things that I can't give up. ~Stevie Nicks, The Record, February 1982

    For me to be a gypsy; for me to write about the gypsy - and for me to live the life of a gypsy that I love - I sort of almost have to be almost cold and insensitive to be able to remain that gypsy. It's not easy to be a hippie-gypsy when you're rich and when you're a rock'n'roll star. ~Stevie Nicks, Jim Ladd Innerview, 1983

    Dreams was a very real song. Gypsy was very real. ~Stevie Nicks, BBC Interview, 1989

    The song Gypsy isn't a real happy story. Gypsy is a lot about returning to San Francisco. And Gypsy was written when my best friend [Robin] died of Leukemia and uh ...about the fact that she wasn't going to see the rest of this: I still see your bright eyes, it was like she wasn't ...going to make it. And uh, I was like the lone gypsy ~ this was my best friend from when I was 15 and so I was a solo gypsy all of a sudden and it was very sad for me and that's sometimes when I write my very best songs.

    Robin had been on the road with Fleetwood Mac for five years. As my speech therapist and also management, an incredibly efficient helper. I still miss your bright eyes ~ that's why we don't do it on stage ~ it's because it's really too hard for me to sing. Lightening strikes maybe once, maybe twice... that means one time in your life you find a very good friend, and maybe if you're incredibly lucky, you might find a second. It all comes down to you, means but you have to look very hard. ~Stevie Nicks, video interview for Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits (1988)

    You also, I think, know this girl. I knew her [Robin]. And she's still here so I guess... New York was our favorite place, so.... ~Stevie Nicks, introduction to the song Gypsy on the Radio City Show of the Wild Heart Tour, September 13, 1983

    marquiceriseon January 29, 2006   Link
  • +7
    General Comment

    This song is beyond amazing, and has an even deeper, greater meaning than anyone can imagine. I am a total Fleetwood/Stevie fan. and this song evokes emotion every time I hear it. The song is about soulmates. The "gypsy," is a spirit that roamed for eternity, thereby being a gypsy spirit, because it wandered like a nomad, never being born to human form. The first stanza describes how the body that held the gypsy spirit died (velvet underground/floor that I love/room with lace and paper flowers all describe being buried in a casket). Now that the physical body is dead, the gypsy spirit can roam free again. The beginning of the song describes the gypsy spirit's return to eternity--its body's physical death. In the rest of the song, the gypsy spirit in the song is saying that it roamed eternity and liked it that way, until lightning struck and it lit up the nights...that is, another spirit came along and gave the gypsy a reason to be born. The gypsy spirit is saying that in all eternity, finding another soul that lights up the endless night of limbo only happens once, maybe twice, then it vanishes forever. So the gypsy spirit, so accustomed to, and in love with its freedom, is reborn to a physical life in order to be that other spirit's soulmate on earth. Notice that the gypsy spirit is saying that "if I was a child/and a child was enough/enough for me to love/enough.." meaning that the gypsy's soulmate is atill alive on earth, but the gypsy spirit will not be reborn again because it would have to start out as a child, a baby, and the gypsy would be limited in loving its soulmate. So instead, the gypsy faces freedom (reentering infinity), with a little fear, where fear never existed before it was born to human form. The gypsy is afraid to enter eternity without its soulmate, yet knows that going back to earth as a baby and not being able to love its soulmate the way it intended would be far worse than wandering the endless night of eternity. There is twinge of sadness, and resign, yet a bittersweet happiness--the song was written so beautifully, it captures the emotions of powerful love and joy of finding that one person that lights up the nights, that strikes you with a thunderbolt, and the sadness that results when that loss is felt--but what makes the song so extraordinary is that it tells the story from the other side of the universe--when we lose a loved one, this is what emotions they are feeling in eternity. Stevie weaves this story with such flawless grace that is resounding and infinite. Truly a musical masterpiece.

    candaon May 22, 2004   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    When I think of the song Gypsy, I think of what a gypsy is...a free wanderer, no boundaries. Therefore, my interpretation of the song is a lady who has been bound somehow, whether mentally, emotionally, or physically, now has freed herself. Now that she is free, she is back to what she used to be. Back to the "gypsy" meaning the things that she loved the most. She loved lace, laying on the floor, dressing in velvet, etc. She said lightning strikes once, maybe twice. Here I think she means she found something good, a once-in-a-lifetime, whether it was a lover, a dream or goal come true, whatever, but whatever good thing it was, it was good while it lasted, now she is free and back to the things she always loved and is comfortable with that. I think its a happy song. To find yourself and finally get back to you after going through something is always an amazing freedom. Thats what the song means to me. The great thing about music are free to have your own interpretations!

    cosmo1on September 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Opinion

    I always thought it was about a woman who couldn't stay tied down. period. She's a gypsy, always moving and changing. It sounds like an apology. "Sorry, but I commit to no one." She is dancing away from you now. She was just a wish. You could never really have her, though she made you think so. Maybe she did fall in love. Maybe she knows this may never happen again(like lightning), but she isn't ready to settle. You only see her like a flick of lightning, then she moves quickly out of your life. She fears nothing. She loves you, but she is no longer a child with all the time in the world for love. I'd really like for someone to comment. I mean, am I the only one who interpreted it this way??

    GypsyEnigma13on November 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    marquicerise, thank you for doing the world a favor and clarifying what this song REALLY means. That is, what it really means according to the person who wrote it. The previous theory was making me hate the song, but you have redeemed it. Thanks a bunch.

    tyndale2045on April 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    my interpretation of this song, is a girl who calls herself a gypsy, like referring to going to guy after guy not really having anything steady and then she found a guy that she loved and things probably didnt work out so shes saying 'it all comes down to you' meaning like the ball was in his court to decide where things would go and he decided not to be with her, so shes telling him that even though that cant be together, she'll always love him..and she has to go 'back to the gypsy that she was' before.

    fl33tw00dm@con January 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    this song was written for stevie nicks best friend. she died of leukaemia.

    stevie and her best friends husband later married (maybe mourning brought them together) but then realised they had made a mistake and divorced.

    this is what the song means:

    so i'm back to the velvet underground back to the floor that i love

    (this shows that that the person has passed away- about to be buried or cremated)

    to a room with some lace and paper flowers

    (describes the room of the funeral service)

    back to the gypsy...that i the gypsy...that i was...

    (leading to her death she was weakened, but now she is no longer suffering and is back to how she was before she got sick)


    (self explanatory)

    to the gypsy...... that remains..... she faces freedom...... with a little fear.....

    (afraid of the unknown)

    well i have no fear.... i have only love..... and if i was a child.... and the child was enough..... enough for me to love.... enough to love......

    (again- this shows how she is going back to the time before she was sick. she is no longer suffering (i read this in an interview with stevie nicks) as it makes reference to being young again)

    she is dancing away from you now she was just a wish she was just....a wish and her memory is all that is left for you now you see your gypsy..... you see your gypsy.....

    (self explanatory- she's leaving those who are alive behind)

    lightning strikes... maybe once...maybe twice.... and it all comes down to you oooooo......oh......well it all comes down to you.... lightning strikes... maybe once....maybe twice.... oh............. i still see your bright eyes......bright eyes... and i've always loved you.... and it all comes down to you it all comes down to you.....

    (this is sort of like an "i miss you")

    *i havent seen any comments that mention her friend. i thought more people knew about it. but since i hadnt seen it here i thought i'd write it up.

    i had never heard any other meaning to GYPSY than the one i just wrote. but what i've read on other comments is interesting.

    X ELSE

    elsarino!on July 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i belive this song about escapeing life back to the days of care free (gypse) mum died last year and it was played at her cremation.....and she was a gypse in her days i spose lol...she loved this song and only now when i listen to it i understand why she found comfort in it ...every song has a diffenrent meaning for everybody u take what you want form it ........there is no true meaning to this song that is why it's such a brill song every one can releate to it in there own way .........x.x.x.x

    louxxxon February 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think I've been listening to too much of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (if there is such a thing as too much Pink Floyd), so it means something different to me.

    To me, it describes someone who is restless and nomadic in that they can't settle down. They can't form real, lasting relationships. But this time, there is a one-in-a-million "lightning strike", and she's suddenly not a fearless gypsy, she is a fragile woman. Now, it's up to him to chase after her, or else she'll just go back to her "gypsy" ways: running away and keeping everyone at arms' length.

    I recognize that the author had a different intended interpretation, but... this way is more meaningful to me. Thoughts?

    blaubokon June 30, 2011   Link

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