“Saturday Night Special” or also known as “Pawn Shop Song” was a composition by Larry Bastian and Dewayne Blackwell. The name Conway Twitty, an American country music artist, popularized this tune. Released in June 1988, the song was Twitty’s second single from the album Still in Your Dreams. The song peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
“Saturday Night Special” came from a slang term used in the United States and Canada for any cheap handgun. The cheap handgun also had the tagging “mousegun” or “pocket pistol”. Saturday night specials take the definition compact, inexpensive, small-caliber handguns with perceived low quality.
At the beginning of the song, the narrator was trying to buy a “Saturday Night Special” and a bullet to end his life. As he was heading out, he noticed a distressed woman trying to deal her wedding ring. The pawn dealer knew that the woman was not thinking straight, so he bargained the price lowering it to $7. With the narrator overhearing this, he turned around and stared angrily at the pawn dealer. Placing his hand on his jacket, he felt the gun he just bought. He asked the man what his life’s worth was. Knowing that the man had a gun in his pocket, the dealer handed the woman $2000 more. The narrator ended the story with an unexpected twist of faith. He tossed the gun down the bridge and went with the lady to Texas to start a new life.
Before Conway Twitty passed away, he struggled towards the end of the 1980s. He did his best to continue giving Top Ten hits despite a sliding career at the start of the 1990s. He was lucky to have his loyal fans who continued to support him by buying both records and concert tickets. This remained until he lost his last breath. In the summer of 1993, Twitty died from an abdominal aneurysm.