- Fancy

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November 27, 2015

Lyrics

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
Mama washed and combed and curled my hair

And she painted my eyes and lips then I stepped into a satin
Dancin' dress that had a split on 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 grown kid had stood
She said "Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down

Here's your one chance, Fancy, don't let me down"
Mama dabbed a little bit of perfume on my neck

And she kissed my cheek
Then I saw the tears wellin' 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
She said "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 heel shoe
It sounded like somebody else that was talkin'
Askin' "Mama what do I do?"
She said "Just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy
And 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 you better start movin' 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
And it wasn't very long 'til I knew exactly
What my mama's been talkin' about
I knew what I had to do but I made myself this solemn vow

That I was gonna be a lady someday
Though I don't know when or how
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
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 very long after a benevolent man

Took me off the street
And one week later I was pourin' his tea
In a five room hotel suite
I charmed a king, a congressman

And an occasional aristocrat
Then 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 hypocrits

That would 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
I can still hear the desperation in my poor
Mama's voice ringin' in my ear
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
Your mama's gonna move you uptown"
I guess she did

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