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'Fancy' Songwriter, Bobbie Gentry Sings The Ballad In Sassy Performance

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Bobby gentry Songs | 'Fancy' Songwriter, Bobbie Gentry Sings The Ballad In Sassy Performance | Country Music Videos
Photo credit: Rex Features/GLOBE
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Who is Bobbie Gentry?

As an emerging artist in the 1960's, Gentry has proven to be one of the most talented and underrated artists in country music. She was one of the first female artists to write and produce her own material, and forged much of the pop influence we see in country music today. Although she isn't as celebrated as other female country artists, she still remains an important part of music history.

Gentry originally wrote and recorded "Fancy" in 1969, which she wrote with woman's liberation movement in mind. The song gained popularity when recorded in 1990 by Reba McEntire, and reached the top 10. Even though Gentry's original recording didn't perform as well on the country charts back in 1969, it was still heard around the country via television and radio.

Gentry's glamorous bombshell image is easy to see in this live recording of her "Fancy" performance below. With impressive dance moves, and an overall powerful performance - you can't help but fall in love with her! 

Throughout the 1970's Gentry continued to write and record music. Hits such as "Okolona River Bottom Band", "Ode To Billy Joe", and even a duet with frequent collaborator Glen Campbell titled, "Let It Be Me" allowed Gentry to further her career. But after decades of building her career, she decided to gradually retreat from the public eye in 1979 after marrying fellow singer/songwriter Jim Stafford. 

Watch Bobbie Gentry's feisty performance of "Fancy", along with McEntire's 1990 version below! 

 LYRICS BELOW 

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 were hard-pressed
When momma spent every last penny we had
To buy me a dancin' dress

Momma washed and combed and curled my hair
Then she painted my eyes and lips
And then I stepped into the satin dancin' dress
It was 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

"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 gonna help you move 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 when she started to speak

She looked at our pitiful shack and then
She looked at me and took a ragged breath
" 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 it 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 now, girl, you better start movin' uptown"

Well that was the last time I saw my momma
Then 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
It wasn't very long after that I knew exactly
What my momma been talkin' about

I knew what I had to do
But I made myself a solemn vow
But I was 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 one chance, Fancy, don't let me down
Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down"

It 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 hotel suite

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

Now in this world there's a lot of self-righteous
Hypocrites that would call me bad
They criticize ma 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 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 gonna help you move uptown"
And I guess she did

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