Album: Eat A Peach (1972)
Charted: 86
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  • Crossroads, seem to come and go, yeah
    The gypsy flies from coast to coast
    Knowing many, loving none
    Bearing sorrow, having fun
    But, back home he'll always run
    To sweet Melissa
    Mmm, hmm

    Freight train, each car looks the same, all the same
    And no one knows the gypsy's name
    And no one hears his lonely sighs
    There are no blankets where he lies
    Lord, in his deepest dreams the gypsy flies
    With sweet Melissa
    Mm, hmm

    Again, the mornin's come
    Again, he's on the run
    A sunbeam's shinin' through his hair
    Fear not to have a care
    Well, pick up your gear and gypsy roll on
    Roll on

    Crossroads, will you ever let him go?
    Lord, Lord
    Or will you hide the dead man's ghost?
    Or will he lie, beneath the clay?
    Or will his spirit float away?
    But, I know that he won't stay
    Without Melissa
    Yes, I know that he won't stay, yeah
    Without Melissa
    Lord, Lord, it's all the same Writer/s: GREGG ALLMAN, STEPHEN ALAIMO
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 85

  • Steve N. from NjIf you have never seen the version from the Dennis Miller show on YouTube, go find it. It is transcendcent. Fukikin magic. Chills.
  • Anonymous from ColoradoI have always believed the song was about his brother, Duane, after he died. The sadness associated with “him” is palpable. In the song Gregg tells of seeing his hair in the sunlight. I think he had seen his brothers ghost or spirit for real, but Gregg couldn’t hold on to him, couldn’t touch him and oh, how he yearned for his brother. How he missed his brother. And his brothers death cast a shadow of deep and profound sadness he could never recover from. But in those fleeting moments of seeing his brothers spirit, Gregg knew Duane simply wouldn’t or couldn’t stay without Melissa. I don’t know who Melissa was/is, but I really wish I knew. She was someone very special!
  • Patty WrightMelissa is the best song they made, especially gregg playing guitar.
  • Melissa E from Michigan I just wanted To add that my father named me after this song, I’m turning 22 in January he is 61. I will always be his sweet Melissa and this song will always have a special place in my heart.
  • Melissadanice from TexasMy dad & I have an alternative meaning (for us) of this song. He traveled for work all the time, being torn about being gone from me because he was all I had. He had custody of me since I was 5. This became “our song” because he never wanted to be gone, but he didn’t have a choice. And he said I would always be his Sweet Melissa. I know it’s a far off interpretation of the song, but it fits.
  • Jeanne from Towson, MdI was watching the movie “The Bodyguard” today and found myself being drawn in by the song that’s put on the jukebox when Kevin Costner’s and Whitney Houston’s characters enter the bar on their “date.” You hear it faintly in the background, but it was beautiful, sad, and haunting and it immediately took me back to my college days when my friends and I would go to one of the best little tucked away bars in downtown Baltimore at the time, No Fish Today. Dark, great atmosphere, fabulous live music. I decided to check out the lyrics to the haunting song, which turns out was “Melissa.” I realized immediately why someone chose it for the background music to this scene (along with a nice version of “I Will Always Love You.) The words sum up the kind of life Kevin Costner’s character has been living and, from the way the movie ends, will continue to live—the gypsy life.
  • Adrian from East YorkshireThe Sabrina the Teenage Witch actress Melissa Joan Hart was also named after this song.
  • Walt from Chesapeake, VirginiaThe various versions of the story behind Melissa aren't true, including his own public version. I happen to know the woman about whom the song was written. She was Gregg Allman's high school girlfriend, and his True Love. He spinned the grocery store story to protect her from being bothered about it by people. They remained lifelong friends, and he spent some of his last days with her at her home. She remains a very beautiful woman. I've discussed the song's origin with her at length, and have seen early photos of her and Gregg together, as well as photos taken of her with Gregg shortly before he died.
  • AnonymousI named my daughter after this song .
  • Paul from QueensOne summer I was in Montauk and the allman bros.were playing there and I had to leave to rejoin my wife and they played Melissa and I will never forget that. It was one of the most beautiful rock songs I have ever heard.
    Super kudos
  • Keith Hennington from 0I live in Pensacola FLA and I did not know any of this.It was really interesting and good to learn. I really do like the Allman brothers. I also dated a witch named Melissa for about 3 weeks as I said she definitely was not sweet however I do love the song
  • Melissa from From Deland, FloridaMy heart goes to Gregg Allman for this touches me every time . Something I cherish ....listen to it ...I feel so good. Thanks for it Gregg..miss you.
  • Gary from UsaThe song Melissa was actually written about a man who came to a cross road in his life and did the wrong thing. Melissa is actually his one true love who is waiting for him at home and he is hoping to get a second chance with her.
  • Jim from Ocean Grove, NjGregg wrote this song before the Allman Brothers Band became famous. Duane liked it a lot, but said it was not rock and roll. Gregg sold the rights to the song to some jerk (whose name is unimportant). After Duane died, Gregg played this at the funeral and Allman Brothers bought back the rights to the song and recorded it on Eat a Peach (to honor Duane).
    Since Gregg's death, the lyrics about "dead man" and "ghost" seem to be about Gregg.
  • Greg from Harrington Park, NjSteve Alaimo did not "help" Gregg Allman with the song. What happened was one of 2 versions - either one could be true just not sure which --- version 1 is that Gregg Allman was in Florida and had to get back to L.A. to finish contractual obligations he had out there and he had no money to do it so he sold half of the songwriting rights to the song to Steve Alaimo for enough money to buy the plane ticket. The 2nd version is basically the same premise but instead of flying to California he was flying from California to Florida or Georgia (wherever Duane was at the time) and he didn't have enough money to get to his brother who was demanding that he get there and be in his new band, so he sold the songwriting credits to Steve Alaimo for $$ to buy that plane ticket home. Steve Alaimo had nothing to do with the lyrical creation of the song.
  • Melissa from Plymouth, Ma After reading what Greg Allman said, It makes perfect sense. Part of the song was written earlier in touring as unknowns. It is a longing for a sweet woman's love, a warm place to come home. The last verse was written after his brother's death. Finding his spirit in the music, he felt his brother in each note. Touring, trying to fill his brothers shoes, communing and honoring with him through the music, afraid he will lose even that connection, the "gypsy" feels an intense need for that sweet woman, for love. Longing and loss are intense creative catalysts and they both are coming from a place in the soul, 'Lord, Lord, Its all the same." Who knows what fate would have brought had not this band had the experience of such deep loss. Hence the LONG live touring of the Allman Bros Band and I LOVE LIVE MUSIC. I am another Melissa who was named afer this song and I think this song is what made the name, itself, popular in the mid to late 70's and 80's. I bet there is a direct correlation bw the song's radioplay and the name. Peace and Love
  • Doug Parker from Scunthorpe, United KingdomI loved the Allman Brothers and my favourite song was, and still is, 'Melissa' When our first daughter was born in 1980 we called her Melissa ( when her sister was born in 1988 we called her Nadine after another song, by Chuck Berry) My wife is watching the film 'The Bodyguard' at the moment and 'Melissa' was played in the background. Lovely today to see our Melissa and her two young kids playing in our garden in the snow. Tomorrow I plan to listen to the song on vinyl. I have really enjoyed reading the comments about the song on here.
  • Tonya from Chandler, AzI live in Chandler, Az I remember this song from a phone commerical and when I was driving down highway 87 to Florence, Az this song popped in my head I turned and their was a cross with a name Melissa on it. Now when I go to Florence I look for the cross. The cross is on the left side going to Forence , you will be amazed but it's near field where they plant crops called VooDo.
  • Melissa from N.n., VaMy name is Melissa, my first love says this song reminds him of me. We parted only b/c we had to, due to other selfish people. He cries evertime he hears the song. After over 20 years we got back intouch only to find out that our lives have taken different directions. Matt, I know you will never forget your "Sweet Melissa"
  • Paul from Tacoma, Wa"Melissa" strikes once again. On the TV show "Revenge" that aired on 10/4/2011 it was playing in the background during the wake for the owner of "The Stowaway" bar.
  • Paul from Tacoma, WaNo one mentions the use of this song in the movie "The Bodyguard" with Whitney Houston & Kevin Costner. In the scene where he takes her to his little hideaway tavern, "Melissa" is what's playing on the jukebox in the background.
  • Robert from Snellville, GaAfter reading all the comments, I guess I need to straighten things out. ;) When Greg Allman was thinking about the perfect woman for him, his thoughts led him to his acoustic guitar...the guitar represents the perfect woman. Greg often refers to himself as a Gypsy. Historically, people who could not comprehend musical prowess attributed it to the devil... the (hoodoo) legend is that there is a crossroads somewhere in Mississippi where Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for the ability to play the guitar exceedingly well. (Google Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson and Crossroads). If you listen to the lyrics, thinking of Melissa as a guitar, it makes perfect sense.
  • Naomi from Pitman, NjI lived in FL, early 70's. I was 9 months pregnant driving my powder blue VW Bug when on my radio came the song, My Sweet Melissa. So I thought if I have a girl, I will name her Melissa and so I did. Melissa loves this story (and so does every one else) It is such a beautiful song and I just love the Allman Brothers, hope to see them one day!
    Naomi, Pitman, NJ
  • Melissa from New Bern, NcI was named after this song, and my sister was named after jessica. My dad loved the allman brothers, he named my brother after bob dylan. I listen to this song alot because i dont get to see him alot so it makes me think of him.
  • Larry from West, CaWho is the gypsy here and how deep do you want to go with a guy that has written 200 songs and can't put a good one out?
    Sounds like the gypsy he's talking about is the bus he's riding in. Remember he it sounds like he's talking about himself of his brother. So they are riding from coast to coast in the gypsy. Crossroads seem to come and they are drving past all these roads. Freight train, each car looks the same...ever drive on the 40? if you're the passenger then what are you looking at?
    The guys are on the bus so much that it's in his dreams and so is Melissa aka the girl he left at home.
    Now again the mornings come (after the gig last night) again he's on the run (to the next gig)
    We pick up your gear and gypsy roll on, roll on to the next gig...
    Crossroads, will you ever let him go...These guys are going to tour on a bus the rest of their lives or so it feels like it...until he's dead we'll have to ask...
    Only Gregg knows this one
  • Melissa from Las Vegas, NvI am a Melissa. I have grown up listening to this song. I just want to say thanks Jack. While deployed in Iraq Jac broght his guitar we only met up for a couple days before moving North with different units. But he would play this for me, reminding me of home reminding me of my mom and al the boys I have loved. Thank you Jack. Thank Mr. Allman seems no matter what situation I am in this song can make me happy.
  • Joe from Daytona Beach, FlGregg and Duane was never in 31st Of February! That was a band that Butch Trucks had in Jacksonville, Fl. along with Scott Boyer. I know this for a fact because I use to go to the Comic Book Club and hear them playing there. Gregg and Duane had the Escorts, the Allman Joys and Hourglass. I was raised in Daytona Beach and knew these guys. Just wanted to set that straight because of what some said about the two brothers being in 31st Of February...not!
  • Jc from Dallas, TxI just listened to an interview on youtube in which Gregg Allman said that he wrote the song while feeling very lonely in 1967, and he was envisioning in his mind what he considered to be the perfect woman for him at that time. He couldn't come up with a name to finish the song. He sat on the song a while, and then while in a grocery store a mother was calling her little girl's name, Melissa. He went home immediately and finished the song.
  • Melissa from Henderson, TnI wasn't named for this song; I just happen to share its name. I just heard it for the first time today and must say that I'm rather pleased that I have the same name as such a cool song. My parents liked the sound of my name and wanted to pick something with a balance between commonness and rarity. And it means honeybee, which is fitting in a number of ways.
  • Vince from Lantana, FlThe most talented group of musicians in the U.S.EVER!!!!!!!!Duane,Gregg,Dickey,Berry,Butch,Jaimoe!!!!!
  • Melissa Ferguson from Roanoke, Va Iam so in love with this song. Of course because my name is Melissa and dont forget to add the sweet. It brings me up when I am feeling down. It makes me special. Like he is singing especially for me. I think I have listened to it like a million times today and I keep walking through my house humming it while I am cleaning. I just love it. Check out Erykah Badu Sweet Melissa fans she sings only half of the song but she sounds so beautiful when she sings. Well I am out. Holla if you hear me Sweet Melissa fans
    From one of many Sweet Melissa's
  • Melissa from Wyandotte, MiMy dad sang this to me all the time as a little girl and I loved it because I was a kid and it had my name in it, but I never REALLY listened to it untill he died.(at only 43 yrs old) I finally found a cd with it on there and ordered it,delay after delay of it shipping it finally came on his birthday! So I immediately cried and popped it in and wow! Those lyrics were perfect, my dad was the last of a dying breed kind of family man. But when I was a born he was VERY younge and not the guy I knew as a kid. He was a man whore who always went out, fighting, drinking,tripping smoking etc... But my mom said no matter what he was doing he would always run home to see me. Even when he wasnt allowed in the house he would beg to see me and would stand over my crib and cough loudly and "accidently" bump my crib to wake me up so he could play with me. I know this is not what the song means but for me its about a man who loved his daughter and no matter what that free spirit did he would run right back home to see his little girl. I think he was at crossroads and thank god it did let him go. I love him and this song has been very special to me and I thank you dad for always running home to sweet melissa
  • Carlos Carion from New London, CtI should have married my melissa, instead, my youth turned me away while she moved away to california. what I wouldn't trade to have that one moment to say"yes,I will go wth you". My youth was my drug and I abused it, she was one in ten million, really. I will always remember you. thank you for the moments.The bird flew away.
  • Melissa from Portage, InI was born July of 1979, and I was also named after this song. My dad loves the Allman Brothers, I almost was named Jessica, but hey either way it would've been an Allman song. My mom wanted to name me Becky, thank god for that band!!
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InGeez, but don't Gregg's vocals just rip your heart out?
    Then, you listen to what he is saying, which is quite clear, and it hurts all the more.
    Dickey's gentle slide work on this is just perfect.
    Also, I saw them do this for the last Dennis Miller show, referenced above, and they absolutely tore it up.
    I will say it: Some of the best songs ever are those about sorrow
  • Melissa from Memphis, TnI would like to thank Gregg Allman if it were at all possible. :) I don't see that happening but I would like to say that this song is so very meaningful to me. My mother, who named me after this song is a smart, free-spirited woman with very good taste in music and I knew the minute she told me I was named after this song by the Allman Brothers Band, it HAD to be a wonderful band. I heard this song for the time when I was 6 years old and I fell in love with it also. Even though this song isn't about a certain person.. it is one of the most meaningful songs i've ever heard. Melissa wasn't a very common name in my home town but I was always proud to tell everyone I was named after the lovely song "Sweet Melissa".
  • Melissa from Schuylerville, NyI was named after Melissa by my father. When he told me this I thought it was in my nature to love the Allman Brothers Band. Ironically, I play the guitar, and most of the songs I play are from the Allman Brothers Band. I love Gregg Allman too...
  • Kev from Great White North, OnI don't normally post this sort of thing, and don't know quite why I am doing it now, but I heard the song just now, looked up the lyrics, and here I am. I had never heard of the song until a woman I know up here in The Great White North named Melissa (surprise) introduced it to me. I liked the song and when I listened to the lyrics it was as if the song was written about the Melissa I knew. I fell in love with this woman almost the moment I met her - she's beautiful, brilliant, and has such tremendous potential. But like the guy in the song, somehow someway it never seemed to work. And while I was convinced she felt the same way, she'd never quite say it (though I did), and every fleeting chance would just melt away. To this day I still don't understand the whys but each time it left me feeling a little more hollow inside. Still, there isn't a day that goes by without something reminding me of that smile of hers and in turn never fails to put a grin on my face - even if no one else knows why. Its been a while, but the feeling is as strong as ever - if you're reading this, Melissa, where ever you are or whatever you're doing, I love you and always will.
  • Melissa from Milwaukee , WiI love the fact that I can actually imagine my mother listening to this song during the happiest time in her life and thinking of me before I was even born. YES- I AM also named specifically after this song. I have introduced it to my 3 sons and make them listen to it in the car over and over!! My nine year old can sing it word for word. My Mom is gonenow - I only had 17 yrs with her- but this song always makes me think of her. I am so glad I have this memory. Funny how one song can mean so much huh?
    Melissa, Milwaukee WI
  • Melissa from Deltona, FlI was also named for this took me years to find...I remeber it being on the radio one day, & my mother screaming for me to come & listen..I only caught the end..Yrs later I bought the tape, But I have nothing to play it in. Great song` actually all their music was great!
  • Steve from Columbia Heights, MnThis is my favorite song of all-time. It brings back fond memories of friends and good times many years ago. I also want to credit the great work of Dickie Betts on this song. He is a top ten all-time rock guitarist.
  • Leah from Jacksonville Beach, FlI love this song, it reminds me of a boy who always sang all the words when it played.i miss him.
  • Connie from Corona, New York, Ny"Gregg Allman got some help on this song from Sandy Alaimo, who was operating the studio they used". This was on your page ...... I happen to know that the guy's name was STEVE ALAIMO
  • Francis L. Vena from New York City,, NyMelissa a beautiful melody and wonderful
    lyrics- flv
  • Joe from Cleveland, OhI love the song "Sweet Melissa" because it reminds me of this chick I wish would drop her current bf and come to me instead. I met her at the public transportation busstop awhile back and have seen her around periodically and didn't see her for awhile but recently took her to get a hamburger at Burger King when we happened to cross paths.
    -Joe in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Mo from Austin, TxI first heard this song in high school in Austin, about 1995 or so. I'd just met a really cool new girl from Louisiana with long dark curls. As you can guess, her name was Melissa (last name rhymed with "Peters"...). I barely knew her, but this song always makes me think of her.
  • Susan from Tampa, FlI love his voice in this song, a good ol' good time song
  • Crystal from Lawrence, KsWhere the hell is Happy Place, KS? Must be a nickname for Lawrence.
  • Jessica from Wood River, IlMy older sister, Melissa, is named after this song. Ironically, I am named after Jessica. Pure coincidence. Melissa was Melissa's fathers favorite song and Jessica was my fathers favorite song.

    -Jessica, Wood River, IL
  • Matt from Stratham, NhThis was one of Duane's favorite songs written by Gregg. That is why Gregg performed it at Duane's funeral.
  • Stephen from Boston, MaSomewhere out there is a girl named Melissa who has no idea that this song was named after her. Strange.
  • Kristin from Portland, OrMy sister, Melissa, passed away May 06th, 2007 from cancer. The day my sister died, my godmother, Gail, introduced me and my mom to the Allman Brother's; Sweet Melissa. Not only did we listen to it for a MONTH STRAIGHT, it wasn't allowed to be turned off my mom's radio during the day! My mom decided that was DEFFINATELY the song to play at my sister's funeral, and that's what happened. During the display of the family pictures of my sister's life, "SWEET MELISSA" played and brought a room full of people to tears. Great song, I'm glad we found such a wonderful song to represent such a wonderful person!!
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzSeriously, I only heard this song for the first time in my life, just this morning. I listen to Classic Rock all the time, and I never heard "Melissa" before. I have a cousin named Melissa...that's the only one I know. Okay, just wanted to share. I do like the song though. It's pretty.
  • Sherry from Houston, TxI adore this song and it can mean anything to anyone, however, the writer did indeed "fit" the name Melissa in to the already written song. It's a beautiful name and a beautiful song.
  • Darrell from EugeneAlthough the pretty young redhead named Melissa whom I met while working in Eastern Oregon may well have forgotten me (I could very well look like her grandfather), I will never forget her. She was extremely cuddly, not to mention being adorable and sexy at the same time. Melissa (I cannot remember your last name), may the Force be with you.
  • Melissa from Canada, CanadaA teacher just asked me if I'd ever heard this song because my name is also Melissa. I replied no. I was named after Melissa Gilbert, the actress on Little House on the Prairie. After I came home and found the lyrics, I was blown away. I am in love with a gypsy myself! How WEIRD is that??
  • Melissa from South Glens Falls, NyI too am a Melissa and I was also named by my Dad. I am 36 and am currently undergoing dialysis. One of my dialysis nurses, Colleen, sings this song to me whenever she sees me. It is just an awesome song. No matter how it is interpreted, one thing is clear, each person who has a Melissa that this song reminds them of is a person who is loved and charished.
  • Bob from Laytonville, CaMy daughter began playing the violin last year (2006) and bought her friend April's violin and named it Melissa. In a recent email she said: "The violin has been a lot of fun, I should be able to play one or two songs decently enough by the time you come up. I bought my friend April's violin and it's such a sweet sounding instrument I've decided to name her Melissa (after the song "Sweet Melissa" by the Allman Brothers Band." Sadly I will never hear my daughter play her violin named Melissa. She was killed in a motorcycle accident 4/2/07 on route 66 east of Kingman, AZ. Bob, Laytonville, CA
  • Melissa from Peoria, IlI was born in 1987, Melissa is my dads favorite song, so he wanted to name me after it. My mom agreed because she thought some of the lyrics fit for us. my dad was in the army and was always moving, and the firts person he always asked to see was me. I didnt know this until he died, and ever since then i cry everytime i hear the song.
  • Darrell from Eugene, United StatesIn 2005, I was working a construction job in Eastern Oregon, and while I was performing some humdrum task, I saw a beautiful, young, petite lady who had beautiful long flowing red curls. She and I got to know each other very well, and I found out that her name was Melissa after she started cussing at herself. I have not seen her in some time, and I am no longer in the construction business.
  • Craig from Zion, IlThis song always reminded me of a love that got away young in my life. Yes, her name was Melissa. She moved away when we were in school and I have never heard from her since. Its strange now that even though I am married to the love of my life, the song Melissa always brings a tear to my eye. I guess you never forget your first love.
  • Melissa from Glen Head, NyMy name is Melissa and I was named after the song as well. In fact, I was born on a Friday night and my aunt played this song at each bar she went to that night. I was born right in time for happy hour!! My dad loved the Allman Brothers and suggested that my name be Melissa. Every time I hear that song I think of him...and of course remember my aunts story. Thanks for all these postings as I always wondered what the song was about.
  • Willy from Winchester, MaI think this song is about a man who is in love with a girl named Melissa from back home. He for some reason cannot be with this perfect girl, so he travels and lives a gypsy life. He has sold, or devoted, his soul and love to the girl, much like Robert Johnson sold his soul to the crossroads. In "all his deepest dreams the gypsy flies with sweet Melissa." He is with her in his dreams, but not in real life. He knows other girls while on his travels, but he can love no one but Melissa. Life is bland without her, all the freight train cars look the same. "No one hears his lonely cries," no one cares about him, there is no one to sypathize with him. He always comes back home to sweet Melissa, but since they cannot be together he never stays.
  • Denise from Franklin, Tnthe best song ever written and recorded.thanks for the memories gregg!!!!
  • Ted from Westbury, NyNot to be too anal but Imade an error in quoting the lyrics that I said were by Tom Rush...they weren't...Gordon Lightfoot, "The Last Time I Saw Her"
  • Ted from Westbury, NyMy wife was named Melissa. She died the year after the song was released. Obviously, the song resonates with me. For me, at least, the lyrics hold a personal meaning. I have never fully recovered from her death. I sometimes I think I listen to the song ina way Tom Rush described in his song "No Regrets". "And if time could heal the wounds I would tear the threads away so I could bleed some more."
  • Cody from Hagerstown, MdThey play this song in brokeback mountain. This one of my favorite songs and if i have a baby girl i'm going to name her melissa.
  • Melissa from Pembroke, NhNo surprise, I was also named after this song. My mom wanted to name me Denise, but when I was born and she called my dad (he was overseas in the airforce) and told him he said that I had to be named Melissa because he had heard the song earlier that day. I had never understood the song and after having read some of your comments it is somewhat more clear to me now. Melissa is a special name, and I'm glad to be someone named for an unforgettable person like that of the woman in the song. After having read these comments I'm quite curious to know how many Sweet Melissas there are. In any case they were all named with love.
  • Max from Philipsburg, PaListen to the words. The song is about a guy who's wife, or lover, Melissa, has died. He has lost his direction in life because of this and wanders the country as a hobo on trains. To wit:
    "Crossroads, seem to come and go... the gypsy flies from coast to coast... etc."

    When the first verse says "back home he'll always run" it is figurative. It's referring to his imagination (which I'll demonstrate below).

    Next verse: "Freight train, each car looks the same, no one knows the gypsy's name..." etc
    This is quite specific. Lots of people see him, noone thinks about him, nobody knows him as he bums around the country. At the end of this verse: "In all his deepest dreams the gypsy flies... with sweet Melissa"

    Note the use of the word "flies". It's not "lies", or any other word. The use of the word "flies" implies she is an angel, that she is dead.

    The bridge/middle section is just more description about him waking every morning and running to some other place for no reason just to escape his torment.

    Now, the 3rd verse.
    "Crossroads, will you ever let him go?"
    Just an out-loud wondering of whether he'll ever break free of this depression and stop wandering,
    or will he just finally die one day and end this.

    "Will you hide the dead man's ghost, or will he lie beneath the clay, will his spirit roll away?"
    This is a VERY cool, somewhat obtuse part. But here we are wondering if, when he dies, whether his spirit will be hidden forever, just buried in the ground, or will it be free.

    And finally, the crowning line:
    "But I know that he won't stay, without Melissa".

    In other words, whatever happens to his spirit when he dies, it will not stay anywhere if Melissa is not there. Even after death, he will forever be devoted to her.

    Songs like this, with such simple melodies and lyrics, that yet tell such complex passionate stories, don't come along every day.

    This song is a national treasure.

  • Melissa from Southbury, Cti have to say my absolute favorite song from the allman brothers band is Melissa not only because my name is Melissa but why my name is Melissa. My dad is a HUGE fan of the allman brothers and my mom wanted to name me emily but hes like NO we need to name our little girl Melissa after this song. HE WON! my name is Melissa and i love telling the story to people when they ask me why my names melissa!
  • Sarah from Sandiego, CaI love this song so much but my sister Mellisa might die of cancer and im only 12 im not mellisa but shes only 24 so its really sad im crying right now.
  • Jen from Billerica, MaThis is a beautiful song by an ingenius group of musicians. I, however, see it a little bit differently than most of the people who have posted comments. I think that this song is about a man - the "gypsy" - who is in search for himself far away from home. I see him as someone whois escaping something back home....He is out, "knowing many, loving none, bearing sorrow, having fun," basically distracting himself on a day to day basis. I think this gypsy is someone who is trying to find answers in his life. In the end, the only truth, the only certainty that he knows, is this beautiful girl from home, "Melissa;" that is why "but back home he'll always run to Sweet Melissa."
  • Melissa from Oil City, MiYes my name is melissa also and yes i was named after this song. The whole time my mother was pregnant for me she could not think of a name for me, finally the time came and she thought of Verronica after my father(ron) but when i was born he looked at me and said sweet melissa and that was it. My dad would sing me to sleep with this song and to this day if we had not talked for a couple days he'll call my phone and sing it to me on my voice mail. I asked him why sweet melissa he said "imagine the perfect human being, someone who will always make you smile no matter what is going on, that is you and this song is the first thing that came to mind when seeing you for the first time. I could never go anywhere without my father, he is my best friend and my mentor.i love him so very much and i thank him for giving me the most beautiful name with the most beautiful meaning behind it. I love u daddy!
  • Stephen from New Orleans, LaI have a crush on this girl named Melissa and just love this song my older brother grew up listing to the allman brothers
  • Melissa from Suwanee, GaYes, I too was named Melissa after this song. I love my name, and when tell people that I was named after this song, they all laugh and say, "You were named after a song?" I laugh back and say, "The greatest song ever written!" I love my name and I have a cousin named Jessica(after the other song!) High five back to Melissa!
  • Jill from Chandler, AzI named my daughter after this song. I knew I was going to have a girl, didn't have a name picked out. Heard this song on the radio and it reminded me of good times. And it was a beautiful song about..."and at home they always run to sweet Melissa." That was it! A warm feeling came over me, and I have a sweet, beautiful daughter named Melissa.
  • Melissa from Duluth, MnI was one of the girls named "Melissa" after this song came out, I was born in 1972, the same year the album was released...I must say this name has been good for me so far, I think it's pretty and feminine..high five to all the "Sweet Melissas" out there!
  • Ashleigh from Palm Coast, FlGregg said that this was Duane's favorite song that Gregg had written. It is so sad and tragic that someone with such talent could be taken from this world when there was so much more music to be made.
  • Carla from Sebastian, FlDoes anyone have any idea how many girls were born and named Melissa after this song?
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScGreat song done by a great band! Rock on!
  • Melissa from Happy Place, KsHey Ace, do you think that maybe he got "Melissa" on his guitar because of the song? =) That's definitely not a song about a guitar.
  • Melissa from Edgewater, MnMy name is Melissa. I was named this because the Allman Brothers Band is my dads favorite band of all time. He was going to name me 3 names Melissa, Jessica or Elizabeth Reed, He told me that Melissa was the most beautiful song he had ever heard and that was my name. It is very special to me since my dad and I are so close. I have always wondered who Melissa is, maybe she is an amazing woman, or a guitar but all i can say is this a the greatest song ever written and recorded. If it wasn't for this song my name would be Rockelle.
  • Paula from Houston, TxYour dad wanted you to grow up to be like the beautiful, sweet girl in the song. That's a good enough reason.
  • Ace from Marion, WvI happen to know who Melissa is...I saw a cardboard cut-out poster of Allman performing live. The neck of his accoustic guitar is inlaid with mother-of-pearl spelling out "Melissa". If you listen to the song's lyrics, it becomes evident that the girl isn't a girl at all...but his guitar.
  • Missi from Knoxville, TnI was born in Dec of 1977 with the name Melissa which is specifically taken from this father named me. I believe that something always has a meaning...and lately, I've been tryin to make sense of why I was named Melissa from this song...any idea's?
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