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What is the song “Gypsy” about?

In “Gypsy,” Stevie reflects on her young-adult life in the 1960s and early 1970s. She describes it as a wish or a search for the life she knew before Fleetwood Mac.

So I’m back to the Velvet Underground ~

The first verse of the song includes the lyric “So I’m back to the Velvet Underground,” which refers to visiting a San Francisco clothing store called The Velvet Underground, where all the female rock stars of the time allegedly shopped. The store, located in the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco, no longer exists.

“That’s 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.’ So that’s what “Gypsy” means: it’s just a search for before this all happened.” (EW, 2009)

“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.”

Lightning strikes maybe once maybe twice ~ I still see your bright eyes ~

The lyrics “Lightning strikes maybe once maybe twice” and  “I still see your bright eyes” are associated with Stevie’s childhood friend Robin Snyder Anderson, whom Stevie met at Arcadia High School in the mid-1960s. Sadly, Robin passed away after battling leukemia in 1982. “I tacked on a line for my friend Robin, my best friend, who died of leukemia: ‘I still see your bright eyes.’ But then, Robin wasn’t sick yet. She got cancer, and died within a year” (EW, 2009). Stevie later reflected on Robin’s death in the song “Nightbird” from Stevie’s 1983 album The Wild Heart

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