Well, 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

My mama washed and combed and curled my hair
And then she painted my eyes and lips (lips), then I stepped into a satin
Dancin' dress that had a split from 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"
She said, "Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down"

Mama dabbed a little bit of perfume on my neck
Then she kissed my cheek
And then I saw the tears wellin' 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 heel shoe
It sounded like somebody else, it was talkin'
Askin', "Mama, what do I do?"
She said, "Just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy
They'll be nice to you"

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 now
Your mama's gonna move you 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
It wasn't very long 'til I knew exactly
What my mama been talkin' about

I knew what I had to do when I made myself this solemn vow
That I's gonna be a lady someday
Though I don't know when or how
But 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

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

It wasn't long after a benevolent man
Took me in off the streets
One week later, I was pourin' his tea
In a five room hotel suite (yes she was)

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

Now in this world, there's a lot of self-righteous hypocrites
That'd 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
Well, I can still hear the desperation
In my poor mama's voice ringin' in my ears

"Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down
Oh, 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 hun
Your mama's gonna move you uptown"

Oh and I guess she did


Lyrics submitted by jeneferita18, edited by rapsodie

Fancy Lyrics as written by Bobbie Gentry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Fancy song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

17 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentDude... hippocrates. It's spelled hypocrites. Hippocrates was a Greek physician. Kind of famous. Hippocratic Oath, anyone? Christ..

    Great song though.
    laonefayeon January 29, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top