About The Song

Reba McEntire’s “Fancy”: A Country Music Anthem

Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” is a country music classic released in 1990 on her album “Rumor Has It.” The song tells the story of a young woman named Fancy, who escapes poverty through a wealthy suitor despite her mother’s disapproval.

Origins and Inspiration:

  • “Fancy” is a cover of a 1970s song originally written and performed by Bobbie Gentry.
  • McEntire heard the song in the early 1980s and felt it resonated with her own experiences growing up poor.

Story and Themes:

  • The lyrics portray Fancy’s journey from a life of hardship to wealth and luxury.
  • Her mother, a hard-working woman, warns Fancy against pursuing a life of comfort built on superficiality.
  • The song explores themes of social mobility, class differences, family conflict, and the pursuit of a better life.

McEntire’s Impact:

  • McEntire’s powerful vocals and emotional delivery breathed new life into the song.
  • The song became a major hit, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
  • “Fancy” established McEntire as a superstar in the country music scene.

Legacy:

  • “Fancy” remains one of McEntire’s signature songs and a beloved country classic.
  • The song’s themes continue to resonate with listeners, sparking discussions about ambition, family, and societal expectations.
  • It has been covered by numerous artists and featured in movies and television shows.

Here are some additional resources you might find interesting:

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Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤
I remember it all very well lookin’ backIt was the summer I turned eighteenWe lived in a one-room, run-down shackOn the outskirts of New OrleansWe didn’t have money for food or rentTo say the least we were hard-pressedThen mama spent every last penny we hadTo buy me a dancin’ dress
Mama washed and combed and curled my hairAnd she painted my eyes and lipsThen I stepped into a satin dancin’ dressThat had a split on the side clean up to my hipsIt was red velvet trim and it fit me goodStandin’ back from the lookin’ glassThere stood a woman where a half-grown kid had stood
She said, “Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me downHere’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down”
Mama dabbed a little bit of perfume on my neck, then she kissed my cheekAnd then I saw the tears wellin’ up in her troubled eyes when she started to speakShe looked at her pitiful shackAnd then she looked at me and took a ragged breathShe said, “Your pa’s runned off, I’m real sickAnd 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 acrossThe toe of my high-heeled shoeIt sounded like somebody else that was talkin’Askin’, “Mama, what do I do?”She said, “Just be nice to the gentlemen, FancyAnd they’ll be nice to you.”
She said, “Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me downHere’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me downLord, forgive me for what I doBut if you want out, well, it’s up to youNow don’t let me downNow your mama’s gonna move you uptown”
Well, that was the last time I saw my maThe night I left that rickety shackThe welfare people came and took the babyMama died and I ain’t been back
But the wheels of fate had started to turnAnd for me there was no way outIt wasn’t very long ’til I knew exactlyWhat my mama’d been talkin’ about
I knew what I had to do and I made myself this solemn vowThat I’s gonna be a lady somedayThough I didn’t know when or howBut I couldn’t see spending the rest of my lifeWith my head hung down in shameYou know I might have been born just plain white trashBut 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 that benevolent man took me in off the streetAnd 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 aristocratAnd then I got me a Georgia mansion and an elegant New York townhouse flatAnd I ain’t done bad (she ain’t been bad)
Now in this world, there’s a lot of self-righteous hypocritesThat would call me badThey criticize my mama for turning me outNo matter how little we had
But though I ain’t had to worry ’bout nothin’ for now on fifteen yearsWell, 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”She said, “Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me downLord, forgive me for what I doBut if you want out, well, it’s up to youNow don’t let me downNow your Mama’s gonna move you uptown”
Well, I guess she did

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