The Allman Brothers Band - Melissa

"Melissa" is a song by American rock band the Allman Brothers Band, released in August 1972 as the second single from the group's fourth album, Eat a Peach. The song was written by vocalist Gregg Allman in 1967, well before the founding of the group.

Two demo versions from those years exist, including a version cut by the 31st of February, a band that featured Butch Trucks, the Allman Brothers' later drummer. Allman sold the publishing rights later that year, but they were reacquired by manager Phil Walden in 1972.

The song's title is frequently referred to incorrectly as "Sweet Melissa" due to the lyric being sung at the end of each of the first two choruses.

The version on Eat a Peach was recorded in tribute to Duane Allman, who considered the song among his brother's best and a personal favorite. He died in a motorcycle accident six weeks before its most famous rendition was recorded.


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

Songwriters: Stephen Alaimo / Gregg Allman

Melissa lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc