I remember it all very well lookin' back
It was the summer I turned eighteen
We lived in a one room, rundown shack
On the outskirts of New Orleans
We didn't have money for food or rent
To say the least we were hard pressed
Then Mama spent every last penny we had
To buy me a dancin' dress

Mama washed and combed and curled my hair
And she painted my eyes and lips then I stepped into a satin
Dancin' dress that had a split on the side clean up to my hip
It was red velvet trim and it fit me good
Standin' back from the lookin' glass
There stood a woman where a half gown kid had stood

She said here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down
Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down

Mama dabbed a little bit of perfume on my neck
And she kissed my cheek
Then I saw the tears wellin' up in her troubled eyes
When she started to speak
She looked at a pitiful shack
And then she looked at me and took a ragged breath
She said your Pa's run off and I'm real sick
And the baby's gonna starve to death

She handed me a heart shaped locket that said
"To thine own self be true"
And I shivered as I watched a roach crawl across
The toe of my high heel shoe
It sounded like somebody else that was talkin'
Askin' Mama what do I do
She said just be nice to the gentlemen Fancy
And they'll be nice to you

She said here's your chance Fancy don't let me down
Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down
Lord forgive me for what I do, but if you want out
Well it's up to you
Now don't let me down you better start movin' uptown

Well, that was the last time I saw my Ma
The night I left that rickety shack
The welfare people came and took the baby
Mama died and I ain't been back

But the wheels of fate had started to turn
And for me there was no way out
And it wasn't very long 'til I knew exactly
What my Mama's been talkin' about

I knew what I had to do but I made myself this solemn vow
That I's gonna be a lady someday
Though I don't know when or how
I couldn't see spending the rest of my life
With my head hung down in shame you know
I might have been born just plain white trash
But Fancy was my name

Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down
Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down

It wasn't very long after a benevolent man
Took me off the street
And one week later I was pourin' his tea
In a five room hotel suite

I charmed a king, a congressman
And an occasional aristocrat
Then I got me a Georgia mansion
In an elegant New York townhouse flat
And I ain't done bad

Now in this world there's a lot of self-righteous hypocrite
That would call me bad
And criticize Mama for turning me out
No matter how little we had

But though I ain't had to worry 'bout nothin'
For nigh on fifteen years
I can still hear the desperation in my poor
Mama's voice ringin' in my ear

She said, here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down
Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down
Lord, forgive me for what I do
But if you want out well it's up to you
Now don't let me down
Your Mama's gonna help you uptown

I guess she did



Lyrics submitted by jeneferita18, edited by rapsodie

"Fancy" as written by Bobbie Gentry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Fancy song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:I love songs that tell a story. This song tells a sad story. No matter what it's horrible that she had to prostitute herself out to get herself out of proverty. I know this song isn't positive. It sorta makes her sound greedy for money. That she values herself based on money. Maybe proverty can break you in more ways than one. Self esteem should never be based on material things.
    NutzyPixeon November 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:does anyone know the story behind this song?
    SexyAshlyRoseon June 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Well, I don't know if this is based on a true story, if that's what you mean SexyAshlyRose. All I know is that it was originally sung by Bobbie Gentry and pretty much what the song is talking about. (As it's pretty self-explanatory.) But if she based off true events, I don't know.
    I usually don't care for country songs, but I could always handle this song for whatever reason. :P
    Konekonosumuieon October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I LURVE this song. It was one of the first "Reba" songs I discovered, and ever since that...I've fallen in lov with her. I think it's amazing.
    shmourfuleon January 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:A girl I was in choir with did this as a solo at the show choir varienty show and when i heard her sing i fell in love with it and finally found out who sang it....great song
    MayorMenleyon February 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:What a song... when times get hard you have to take chances to survive. This might not be based on a true story but it is a good message. "now this world theres alot of self righteous hippocrates
    that call me bad
    and criticize momma for turning me out
    no matter how little we had..."
    Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices and take chances to survive which is what i think the song is about.
    b_eckyon June 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This song is about her becoming a hooker. Hence the lines:

    "I charmed a king, a congressman, and an occasional aristocrat. then i got me a georgia mansion and a new york townhouse flat."

    How do you think she got the money to buy the fancy housees? By being "nice" to the kings and congressman of course.
    IheartDaveon December 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:God, this is one of my favorite songs in general. And I'm not a big fan of country. Even as a kid it really hit me and made me feel emotional like not a lot of other songs could. Reminds me of driving to school with my dad. He loves country music. And yea, I agree with IheartDave. It's about her being a prostitute. But if that gets her out of poverty, then work what you got!
    troiannon February 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Yeah, I'm not that into country but I like this song. I think her Mom sold her off to someone. He Mom was prostituting her, not she herself.
    kmk_natashaon February 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Kellie Pickler performed this song on American Idol during country week and I loved it!
    happyhystericalon April 18, 2006   Link

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