If we’re going to make a list of greatest songs, we can’t miss Reba McEntire’s ‘Fancy.” It’s a hit single that has always been part of the country classics list. Reba had come a long way when she first dominated the Billboard charts over forty-five years ago. As the years go by, “Fancy” is still making waves for country music. Like Dolly Parton, the name of Reba is a sturdy stone on the genre.
Original vs. Rendition
Do you know that “Fancy” is not a Reba McEntire original? Bobby Gentry wrote and sung it in 1969 for her album titled with the same name. According to reports, Reba wanted to record the song in 1984, but her producer refused at the time. Jimmy Bowen, her past producer, thought that it embodies closely to Bobby only, so he felt Reba could not sing it.
The famous country singer thought that there’s no hope for her to include it in her albums. But, she changed producers in 1990, switching to Tony Brown. McEntire and Brown had almost finished recording for her album ‘Rumor Has It.’ The new producer asked his talent what other songs does she wants to add to the album. Thinking about the music her past manager turned down, she seizes the opportunity.
McEntire told him about wanting to cover “Fancy,” and Brown agreed instantly. Little did they know, her cover would become one of her signature songs.
Although Bobby Gentry is the original of “Fancy,” that didn’t stopped McEntire from owning the song. She sung it and even surpassed Gentry’s No. 26 spots on the Country chart and #31 on the Hot 100. The rendition achieved No. 8 in 1991 for the same song. What’s more impressive is that her cover consistently ranks at 100 Greatest Country Songs up to this day.
Meaning Behind the song “Fancy”
“Fancy” is a rags-to-riches story that the protagonist earns money unconventionally. Reba McEntire spilled in an interview how the song is like Cinderella and Annie Get Your Gun. She loves those stories, by the way.
For an elaborate version, Fancy is the name of the song’s main character. She and her mother lived in extreme poverty. Her father abandoned them, and she is in a hopeless situation. Fancy’s mother gave everything, even the last penny, that she has to her daughter.
She bought her a lovely dress and dolled her up. Before setting off Fancy into the world, she told her to “be nice to the gentlemen, and they’ll be nice to you.” The 18-year-old worked as a prostitute. As luck may bring, she eventually landed her a New York townhouse and Georgian mansion.
However, Fancy is still haunted by her past, so she returned to where she lived before. McEntire took it to a whole new level by making her shack before a refuge for runaways. The official video was practically a mini-movie. The queen of the country played the role of Fancy on the video.
Reba McEntire’s ‘Fancy’ ranked at 100 Greatest Country Songs time and time again. The song might have different spots depending on who’s releasing, but it never left the list. If you want to hear classic country songs, then you can start with the albums of McEntire. You won’t regret it.
bobby gentry, Reba McEntire
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