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 Well, 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 Faces freedom with a little fear 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 She is dancing away from you now She was just a wish She was just a wish And a memory is all that is left for you now You see your gypsy, oh You see your gypsy, oooh, ah... (Lightning strikes Maybe once, maybe twice) And it all comes down to you Oooh, oh, oh, and it all comes down to you (Lightning strikes Maybe once, maybe twice) And it all comes down to you I still see your, your bright eyes, bright eyes And it all comes down to you
Alternate Version Appears on "25 Years - The Chain" (1992)
Live Version Appears on Best Buy Tour 97
I love this song, my favorite of Stevie's! The "Velvet Underground" is one of Stevie's old hangouts. She remembers her past fondly, all its "lace and paper flowers." But with those memories come the memories of her past with Lindsey - "it all comes down to you". The line "lightning strikes - maybe once, maybe twice" is very interesting. Is she saying that there might be a time when she and Lindsey would get back together? This kind of attitude seems so different from even a song on the same album, That's Alright. But there it is. Stevie sure had complex feelings toward Lindsey!
Anyway, some of her is still that little gypsy-girl that Lindsey remembers, the way she was when they were young and in love. But now, she has to "face freedom with a little fear". However, she can conquer the fear with love. Again, she brings up the past - she loves the "child" but it isn't "enough for [her] to love", despite the fact that it was what Lindsey loved. So we're back to that basic problem of change: when Stevie matured, she felt like she and Lindsey weren't compatible anymore. Because of this, "she is dancing away from you now" and all Lindsey has is the memory of their past, no matter how much they would want to return to it (see Can't Go Back). Still, she will always love him - she "still see[s] those bright eyes".
WILD HEART speculates:
This according to Stevie in various interviews is about her best friend Robin. The gypsies that she refers to are her and Robin. "She is dancing away from you now", this may refer to Robin's death or maybe to herself dancing away from Lindsey. The gypsy that remains is probably her after Robin dies and she talks about a child to love which may be Robin's premature baby. Stevie is such a sophisticated song writer and so poetic that it can be interpreted any way that seems significant to the listener, this is why fans have remained so loyal to her through the years as she writes songs that connect with every one who has ever loved anyboby. Well this is my interpretation anyway!
I think Gypsy is about a lot of different things happening at the time. Stevie was still trying to find closure with Lindsey, her solo career had just taken off, and her best friend Robin was dying. Although the Velvet Underground is a real place, I think she's trying to use it metaphorically here. She was "back to the floor" that she loved. Love, at least to me, is
like a dream, like being up in the sky. And now she's back to the floor, fallen out of love. She's "back to the gypsy" that she was before Lindsey, before Fleetwood Mac.
I read somewhere once that Stevie has said that the lines "Lightning strikes..maybe once, maybe twice" are like, lightning will strike and you'll find one really good friend in your life. If you're lucky, it'll strike again, and you might have two really good friends. Here she's referring to Robin, her best friend. But "it all comes down to you" on whether or not you'll let the person be your friend.
The next lines have a double meaning for me. "To the gypsy that remains..faces freedom with a little fear" could mean that she's facing freedom from Lindsey, but she's scared to move on without him. It could also mean that Robin is the gypsy that remains. She's facing freedom from her sickness, that is, death with a little fear. And then Stevie states that she has no fear, only love. Love for Robin, love for Lindsey, she's not afraid to move on.
Then Stevie says that the child within her, the child she used to be, isn't enough for her to love. Now that she's experienced a friend like Robin, and a love like Lindsey, her childhood wouldn't be enough to love. "She is dancing away from you now" also takes on a double meaning. It might mean that that gypsy part of herself is dancing away from her as she gets more famous and more weary after these experiences. It could also mean that Robin is dancing away from her, her best friend is dying. Now all that is left is the memory of what she used to be, or who Robin used to be before her illness.
"I still see your bright eyes" could be about Lindsey, Robin, or herself. If Lindsey, she misses that man she fell in love with, that bright eyed kid. If Robin, she misses that part of her that was full of life, before she was drained by Leukemia. If Stevie herself, she misses that child that she was, that innocent little girl before the pain of life. In the extended version, she also sings "I can't find you" at the very end before the guitar solo. Again, it could be about all three. The bottom line is that she can't find the part of them that she loved.
This is, and will always be my favorite song that Stevie has written. It's a beautiful saga of her love for life, and the people she has met along the way.
I think Gypsy is about Stevie's life after the abortion of her child. "She is dancing away from you now, she was just a wish...." Stevie's child was just a wish. "And a child was enough for me to love.." I think she was tellin Don H. That she didn't need him, just a child to love but even a child could not be hers. So all 'n all i think this is a song about Stevie returing to life and reffering to herself as a Gypsy.
Before I read that this song was actually about Stevie's best friend, this is the first impression I got from the lyrics. I think a lot of Stevie's songs have double meanings, anyway.
Back to the Velvet Underground- back to Fleetwood Mac on tour. "Velvet Underground" to me sounds like a place that is both beautiful and wild, much like Fleetwood Mac was and is.
Back to the floor that I love- the stage, she loves to perform.
A room with some lace and paper flowers- this is what I imagine Stevie likes her dressing rooms to be like; beautiful and feminine, the calm before the storm so to speak.
Back to the gypsy that I was- Again, back on tour with Fleetwood Mac, traveling the world like a gypsy. She sees herself as a gypsy and feels her fans see her as a gypsy also.
And it all comes down to you- I think maybe here she's feeling pressure to be as great on stage now as she was in Fleetwood Mac's heyday, during the Rumours period.
Lightning strikes, maybe once maybe twice- The lightning is her (and the other bandmates) fame, striking once with Rumours and maybe twice with a new album and/or her solo career. The fame "lights up the night, and you see your Gypsy" (Stevie on stage). I also think in the phrase "you see your gypsy" she is speaking to Lindsey. "your Gypsy" is a reference to Lindsey's gypsy, the way Lindsey sees his Stevie.
In the 3rd stanza, I think Stevie is speaking to herself about herself. The "gypsy that remains" is Stevie alone in her solo career and she's facing "freedom with a little fear" but she "has no fear, only love", for her work.
And if I was a child and the child was enough, enough for me to love- Lindsey always saw Stevie as, and many times called her, a child. Maybe that was OK once upon a time, but that part of her alone is no longer enough for her and she has to venture out on her own.
In the last main stanza, I think Stevie is speaking to Lindsey. She, the "gypsy" that he remembers, is leaving him now. The Stevie he wants was just a wish and the memory of this 'Super Stevie' that he wanted is all that is left for him now. His perfect Stevie doesn't exist, she's stronger that he wants or imagines her to be.
You see your gypsy- Again, a reference to Lindsey's Stevie, his Stevie, the way he sees her and she believes will always see her.
But she still sees his (Lindsey's) "bright eyes", no matter where she is and remembers the good times and the love she once had with him.
Want to speculate about "Gypsy"? E-mail me and I'll post your comments.