I remember it all very well lookin' back it was the summer I turned eighteen
We lived in a oneroom 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 satin dancin' dress
Mama washed and combed and curled my hair and she painted my eyes and lips
Then I stepped into my satin dancin' dress
That had a split on the side clean up to my hips
It was red velvet trim and it fit me good and starin' back from the lookin' glass
There stood 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

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 a pitful 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 owenself be true
And I shivered as I watched a rouch crawl across the toe of my high heeled shoe
It sounded like somebody else that 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...

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 till I knew exactly what my mama'd 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 didn't know when or how
I couldn't see spendin' the rest of my life with my head hung down in shame
I might have been born just plain white trash but Fancy was my name
Here's your one chance...

It wasn't long after a benevolent man took me off the street
And one week later I was pourin' his tea in a five room motel suite
I charmed a king a congressman and an occasional aristocrat
Then I got me a Georgia mansion in an elegant New York townhouse flat
And I ain't done bad

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