Lyrics
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 mama spent every last penny we had
To buy me a dancin' dress

Mama washed and combed and curled my hair
Then she painted my eyes and lips
And then I stepped into my satin dancin' dress
It was split on the side clean up to my hips

It was red, velvet-trimmed, 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 (please)
But if you want out, well, it's up to you
Now don't let me down
Your mama's gonna help you move uptown"
(Don't let me down, don't let me down)

And mama dabbed a little bit of perfume
On my neck and she kissed my cheek
And I saw the tears well 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 run 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', "mama 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 ma
Then I left that rickety shack
'Cause the welfare people came and took the baby
Ma 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
And it wasn't very long 'til I knew exactly
What my mama'd been talkin' about

I did what I had to do
But I made myself this solemn vow
That 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 a benevolent man
Took me in off of the street
And one week later I was pourin' his tea
In a five room hotel suite

Well 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

And I ain't done bad

Now in this world there's a lot of self-righteous
Hypocrites that would call me bad
And criticize my mama 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 mama'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 mama's gonna help you move uptown"

And I guess she did

Copyright: Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group
Writer(s): Bobbie Gentry




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