If you’ve ever been faced with the issue of having to inform someone why their comments about being a ‘gypsy soul’ & loving ‘gypsy things’ are completely offensive, you have Fleetwood Mac & the song “Gypsy” to thank, its beautiful ethereality & romanticized depiction of gypsy life inspiring white girls everywhere to start wearing shawls & claim to be a migrant soul looking for a resonant gemstone to hold the energy of their heart…or something like that – All joking aside, this is one of the most iconic Fleetwood Mac – or rather Stevie Nicks – songs of all time, an uplifting tale of self-reflection, hopeless romanticism & perseverance meant to act as a mirror upon which the listener can view themselves, seeing the wide-eyed gypsy they once were & ruminating on how far they’ve come, for better or worse, wondering if they’ve strayed too far from the person they thought they would grow up to be or if they can still salvage the adventurous soul trapped within. But that’s only the surface level analysis, as Nicks’ words hold all manner of personal value & expository detail within, speaking of the rarity of love with the line “lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice” & how one needs to take the initiative to accept this true love when they see it, other times outlining how it’s okay to fall away from the ideals you had set up for yourself so long as you can accept & love yourself for who you are, the line “to the gypsy that remains […] I have no fear, only love […] the child was enough for me to love” showing that she appreciates the intentions of her younger self & isn’t afraid to admit that she’s a completely different person now, accepting of the passage of time & willing to face her fears moving forward as she embraces the next love to come through her life – Everyone loves a whimsical journey of self-reflection & this is it, a relaxing narrative that encourages the listener to just let go, allowing them to live freely & happily from now on.
When you apply a melody to this narrative, things start to get a little interesting, Nicks’ vocals blooming into a blissful expression of satisfaction in melodic form, each line more serene & heartwarming than the last. She delivers each verse with a casual, understanding tone, illustrating how mature she has become with time, wise enough to accept the mistakes of her past & enjoy what can come from it as she sings ever-so-softly, her melodies swiftly flowing from adorative mid-tones to chesty highs expressed with a much more confident character; It feels like she’s having a conversation with herself, the constant shifting of her tone & the soothing qualities of her timbre sounding as if two close friends were speaking to one-another, the story’s developmental impact being felt in the movement of her words as she goes through doubt, confirmation, acceptance & enlightenment, each expressed solely by tonal stature, making for once of the most compelling performances she gives on the entire record. Underneath this is played a jolly Soft Rock arrangement, comprised of the Mick Fleetwood’s signature laidback drumming, emotionally-charged guitar & backing vocals from Lindsey Buckingham, dreamy piano & organ lines from Christine McVie & a super-groovy bassline from John McVie, every single element fitting together with an effortless charm, so serene & perfect in combination it felt as if they were born to be together – “Gypsy” wasn’t only a spectacular song though, as it would go on to not only be the first ever World Premier Video on MTV but the highest-budgeted music video to have ever been created back in 1982, a cinematic event the likes of which hadn’t been seen before; It features Nicks living out her life in various time periods, each scene change evoking the cinematic style of whatever period she was referencing with camera effects, amazing set design, period-appropriate costuming & all manner of scene-blocking reminiscent of the varying film styles, an intense storyline of nostalgic remembrance playing out all throughout, connecting it to the already grandiose narrative of the song. It’s fair to say that with all of these elements combined, “Gypsy” rightfully earned its location in the top tier of Fleetwood Mac’s virtually-impeccable songwriting track record.
"Gypsy" is a song by the rock group Fleetwood Mac. Written by Stevie Nicks around 1979, the earliest demo recordings were made in early 1980 with Tom Moncrieff for possible inclusion on her debut solo album Bella Donna. However, when Nicks' friend Robin Anderson died of leukemia, the song took on a new significance and Nicks held it over for Fleetwood Mac. "Gypsy" was the second single release and second biggest hit from the Mirage album, following "Hold Me", reaching a peak of number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.