Although “Fancy” never reached the No. 1 spot for either Gentry or McEntire, it is still considered one of the most popular country songs ever written. McEntire’s version of the song is regarded as one of her best-known works. In addition, it is viewed as a staple of her live performances.
Originally, “Fancy” was written by the talented country singer Bobbie Gentry in 1969. However, the version of the song sung by McEntire is known by music lovers worldwide. The song speaks about Fancy, a young girl born into a poor family. The family lives outside New Orleans and is so poor that they have nothing to eat.
On her 18th birthday, her terminally ill mother gives her a red satin dress and asks her to leave home with a gentleman. The song is a statement of women’s independence. Bobby Gentry once said about the track, “‘Fancy is my strongest statement for women’s lib if you listen to it. I agree wholeheartedly with that movement and all the serious issues that they stand for—equality, equal pay, day care centers…”
The music video portrays that women can use their intelligence and talent to lift themselves out of poverty & find success and happiness on their own terms. The song’s statement is to be true to oneself and know oneself.
Fancy takes her mother’s advice and transforms into a woman who attracts wealthy men who care for her. But, whatever the means, the story’s narrator, Fancy, chooses to become a successful woman in the end, who never looks back at her destitute past.
Fancy always remembers where she came from but only thinks little about it. Instead, she lives on her own terms, making decisions and taking responsibility for her happiness. Finally, the video ends with the camera panning out at the plot. Fancy’s old home is to become Fancy Rae Baker Home for Runaways.
Thus, the song shows that Fancy has forgiven her mother and found a way to give back to struggling others. The song’s timeless message of perseverance in adversity has made it a beloved classic for generations of country music fans.