I hate it when I am listening to a song that sounds like it’s really good and then you sit back and listen to the lyrics and are left with that ‘wtf’ moment. It’s the weirdest, most awkward feeling in the world. Is it normal to jam out to a song that is lyrically disturbing? Is it OK? Sometimes I really do feel funny about it.
The reason I bring that up because I was relaxing and had my music on shuffle and the song “Fancy” by Reba McEntire came on. I got the CD a while ago and I think I just gave it a quick listen. But it comes on and I’m liking the music so far, Reba starts singing. At first it sounded like a lot of the down and out country songs I usually hear. It’s sad, but I’m feeling it. So I’m OK until the line “she said, Be nice to the gentlemen Fancy, They’ll be nice to you.” If you could have seen my ‘wtf’ face at that moment. I stopped the song and started it over again, just so I could be absolutely certain I got this right.
It starts out with a poor woman helping her eighteen year old daughter get dressed up. She does her hair and makeup and helps her into an expensive, beautiful dress. They had already driven home the ‘we’re seriously poor and screwed’ point by describing the house and the roaches and whatnot. Then mom talks about the father walking out on them, she’s sick and on her deathbed and she can’t care for the youngest child. So my original thought was, she wanted to see her daughter at her best and happiest at her senior prom before she died. Morbid! Noble, but morbid.
Then THAT line showed up and now I unfortunately know what’s really going on. You are personally preparing your oldest daughter to be a street walker. That is absolutely sick. I felt the same when I finally figured out and understood the plot of GiGi. I’ve loved that movie forever, know all the songs though I never thought about or questioned what they meant. Then the time for understanding hit me and I was like ‘Holy crap! I can’t believe it.’ But there it was. It’s amazing what upbeat and catchy music can do to a theme, no matter how torrid. Listen to how strong and clear she sings the chorus “Here’s your one chance Fancy, don’t let me down’. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to forget that.
So after a series of unfortunate events, she gets to a place where she is well off and living it up. Turns out if you can position yourself to be one of them high dollar ho’s, you can do well for yourself. Which was what dear old mom wanted all along. So what is the moral to this story? Is there even one to be had? I know that times are tough and all but damn, I don’t think I could do something like that. Not to myself. I couldn’t imagine doing it to my own child. But still it turned out OK. I guess that’s the point. Do what you gotta do.
I hate when I get blindsided with lyrics. This song is catchy and I love Reba, but this song gives me chills and not the good kind. It depresses the crap out of me. It also leaves me in a weird space because I don’t know how I should feel about it. Or if I should feel anything about it at all. Can I enjoy the song for what it is? A song painting a very vivid picture and telling a morbid story without thinking about the fact that somewhere, right now as I type this, this is actually happening to someone. Enter that weird feeling.