"Fancy" as written by and Bobbie Gentry....
"Well, I remember it all very well lookin' back
It was the summer that I turned eighteen.
We lived in a one-room, run down shack
On the outskirts of New Orleans.

We didn't have money for food or rent
To say the least we was hard-pressed
When Momma spent every last penny we had
To buy me a dancin' dress.

Well, Momma washed and combed and curled my hair,
Then she painted my eyes and lips.
Then I stepped into the satin dancin' dress.
It had a split in the side clean up to my hips.

It was red, velvet-trimmed, and it fit me good
And standin' back from the lookin' glass
Was a woman
Where a half grown kid had stood.

She said, "Here's your last chance, Fancy, don't let me down!
Here's your last chance, Fancy, don't let me down
Lord forgive me for what I do,
But if you want out girl it's up to you.
Now get on out, you better start sleepin' uptown."

Momma dabbed a little bit of perfume
On my neck and she kissed my cheek
Then I saw the tears welling up
In her troubled eyes as she started to speak

She looked at our pitiful shack and then
She looked at me and took a ragged breath
She said, Your Pa's runned 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-healed shoe

It sounded like somebody else was talkin'
Askin', "Momma what do I do?"
She said, "Just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy.
They'll be nice to you."

She said, "Here's your last chance, Fancy, don't let me down!
Here's your last chance, Fancy, don't let me down.
God forgive me for what I do,
But if you want out girl it's up to you
Now don't let me down,
Now get on out, you better start movin' uptown."

Well that was the last time I saw my momma
When I left that rickety shack
'Case the welfare people came and took the baby.
Momma died and I ain't been back.

But the wheels of fate had started to turn
And for me there was no other way out.
It wasn't very long after that I knew exactly
What my momma was talkin' 'bout.

I knew what I had to do.
Then I made myself this solemn vow:
I's gonna to be a lady someday
Though I didn't know when or how.

I couldn't see spendin' the rest of my life
With my head hung down in shame.
I mighta been born just plain white trash.
But Fancy was my name.

"Here's your last chance, Fancy, don't let me down!
Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down.

Wasn't long after that a benevolent man
Took me in off the streets
One week later I was pourin' his tea
In a five roomed penthouse suite.

Since then I've charmed a king, a congressman
And an occasional aristocrat
And I got me a Georgia mansion
And a elegant New York townhouse flat.

Now I ain't done bad

Now in this world there's a lot of self-righteous
Hypocrites that would call me bad.
They criticize Momma for turning me out
No matter how little we had.

And though I haven't had to worry 'bout nothin'
Now for nigh on fifteen years
But I can still hear the desperation
In my poor mommas voice ringin' in my ears.

"Here's your last chance, Fancy, don't let me down!
Here's your last 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 get on out, you better move uptown
And I guess she did"


Lyrics submitted by cojo727, edited by SouprGrrl, sokorny

Fancy song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentFancy was written by singer-songwriter, Bobbie Gentry, in 1969. It became her second biggest solo hit after her monster #1 Ode to Billie Joe. Fancy, released in Oct 1969, went #8 a.c,#31 pop, #26 country and #65 r&b for Bobbie. It spent four solid months on the pop hot 100 and earned Bobbie a grammy nomination and Academy of Country Music nod for top female vocalist. In Canada, the song went #26 pop,1 country and #8 a.c. It would end up selling 1 million copies in North America. Bobbie stated in 1974: "Fancy is my strongest statement for womens lib". It was an unapologtic look at the female condition and the reality many of the working poor faced.
    daniel419on October 15, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the best story songs ever written. It's one of the best songs ever written and recorded...by Bobbie Gentry, not Reba. Reba's just doesn't have IT. Already sung perfectly by Bobbie Gentry.
    This was the first album I ever bought, and it is still probably my favorite album. Produced with legendary Rick Hall at Muscle Shoals.
    I always loved this song because it was about a poor girl with nothing but a red dress and some advice from her mama, and she turned it around and made sure to never be in that position again.
    fyscheeon October 19, 2016   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionSince this website changed so many songs are not worded like they were actually sung! :(
    SLYcraftson May 03, 2017   Link
  • -3
    General CommentIt's amusing that there aren't any comments under the writer and original singer. I guess Reba really did end up owning it.
    Letmeinon January 02, 2009   Link

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