"Gypsy" is a song by the rock group Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks wrote the song originally circa 1979, and the earliest demo recordings were recorded in early 1980 with Tom Moncrieff for possible inclusion on her solo debut 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. "Gypsy" reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. A cover version of the song was featured in the "Silent Knight" episode of the television series Knight Rider.
There are two points of inspiration behind "Gypsy," as stated by Stevie Nicks. The first of which is a point of nostalgia for Nicks; her life before Fleetwood Mac. Before joining the iconic band, Nicks lived with Lindsey Buckingham, who would also join Fleetwood Mac. Nicks and Buckingham were partners in both the musical and romantic sense, however, only their musical partnership has survived. Nicks met Buckingham at a high school party, where he was singing California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas. Nicks joined in with perfect harmony, then they introduced themselves. They didn't see each other again until college, where they started a relationship, and started a duo called Buckingham Nicks. They barely got by with Nicks' waitress and cleaning-lady income. They couldn't afford a bed frame, so they slept on a single mattress, directly on the floor. Nicks says the mattress was decorated in lace, with a vase and a flower at its side. When she feels her famous life getting to her, she goes "back to her roots," and takes her mattress off of the frame "back to the floor," that she loved, and decorates it with "some lace, and paper flowers." It takes her back to the days when she had no wealth- back to herself as a poor gypsy. Some speculate the rest of this song is directed at Buckingham, assuming the lyric depict her leaving him. On March 31, 2009, Nicks gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly discussing the inspiration for the song: "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.' The second, and most emotional, subject of this song is the message as a tribute to someone's passing. On October 12, 1982, Robin Snyder Anderson, Stevie's best friend, died of leukemia.