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"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.
God 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 sleepin' uptown."

That was the last time I saw my momma
When I left that rickety shack
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.

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

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 get on out, you better start sleepin' uptown."

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 an elegant Georgia mansion
And a New York townhouse flat.

Now I ain't done bad

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

But 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!
Oh, 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 get on out, you better start sleepin' uptown."



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bobbie_gentry/fancy.html

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songmeanings

  • v
    +1
    Vanessa P OneJuicebox LopezJan 10, 2013 at 7:12 am
    Fancy was written by Bobbie Gentry and released in 1970.
    It was produced by Peter Hall.
    There is no "Davies," or "Raymond Douglas".
    And your lyrics are terribly wrong.
    Here's the fix...

    I remember it all very well, lookin' back.
    It was the summer 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 were hard-pressed.
    Then Momma spent every last penny we had.
    to buy me a dancin' dress.

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

    It was red, velvet-trim, and it fit me good,
    and starin' back from the lookin' glass.
    was a woman where a half grown kid had stood.

    "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 momma's going to help you move uptown."

    Momma dabbed a little bit of perfume.
    on my neck and she kissed my cheek,
    And 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,
    "Your Pa's run off, and I'm real sick.
    and the baby's going to 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 that was talkin'.
    askin', "Momma what do I do?"
    "Just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy,
    and they'll be nice to you."

    "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 get on out girl, you better start movin' uptown."

    Well that was the last time I saw my momma,
    when I left that rickety shack,
    'cause 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 way out.
    And it wasn't very long till I knew exactly.
    what my momma'd been talkin' about.

    I did what I had to do,
    but I made myself this solemn vow:
    That I was going to 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 one chance, Fancy, don't let me down!
    Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down."

    It wasn't long after, a benevolent man.
    took me in off the street.
    And one week later I was pourin' his tea.
    in a five room hotel suite.

    I've charmed a king, a congressman.
    and an occasional aristocrat,
    and I got me a Georgia mansion.
    and an 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.
    and criticize Momma for turning me out.
    no matter how little we had.

    And though I ain't had to worry 'bout nothin'.
    for nigh on fifteen years.
    I can still hear the desperation.
    in my poor momma's voice ringin' in my ears.

    "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 momma's going to help you move uptown."

    And I guess she did...

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