The song was written by vocalist Gregg Allman long before the founding of the group.
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 three months 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
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
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
Crossroads, will you ever let him go?
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
Yes, I know that he won't stay, yeah
Lord, Lord, it's all the same
Songwriters: Stephen Alaimo / Gregg Allman
Melissa lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc