Song Lyric Sunday | “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” – Helen Reddy

Song Lyric Sunday_new

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Come/Go/Leave/Stay.

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Don’t park the Wayback Machine yet, 1973 is calling!

American singer-songwriter Linda Laurie wrote and released Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) in early June of 1973 with little success. At the same time, the song was shopped to Australian Helen Reddy, considered by some to be the pop diva of the 70s. She added a cover of the song to her Long Hard Climb album released in August of the same year.

Leave Me Alone was released in October as a single and became a million-selling, Gold-certified hit single and was also the second of Reddy’s six consecutive No. 1 songs on the Billboard Easy Listening Chart.

FUN FACTS

    • Capitol Records issued Leave Me Alone as the follow-up single to Reddy’s No. 1 hit Delta Dawn despite the misgivings of Reddy herself who felt Leave Me Alone was a thematic retread of Delta Dawn as both songs concern a Southern woman – alliteratively named – whose reason has been undermined by an ill-fated tryst.
    •  Capitol Records was correct in believing the resemblance to Reddy’s precedent hit would work in Leave Me Alone’s favor as the song reached the American Top Ten chart six weeks after its single release, making Long Hard Climb the only one of Reddy’s albums to feature two Top Ten songs.
    • Reddy found the song’s chorus with its repetition of the phrase “leave me alone” monotonous. It’s repeated 43 times.
    • During Helen’s retirement from performing, she earned a degree in clinical hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming. She was a practising clinical hypnotherapist and Patron of the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists.
    • When Reddy came out of retirement in 2013, playing US club dates with an act focused on songs she’d recorded which were not released as singles, she cited Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) as “one song I will never ever sing again” disparaging its lyrical repetitiveness: “that sort of songwriting doesn’t do much for me, but it was a hit. However, I don’t have to sing it anymore if I don’t want to, and I don’t want to.”
    • In August 2015, unnamed sources revealed that Reddy was diagnosed with dementia and had moved into the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Samuel Goldwyn Center where she is cared for by family and friends.

The music video is notable not just for being a ‘live’ performance, but also for taking place on The Johnny Carson Show.

Knowing the back story of Reddy’s disdain for the song explains her near-bored look during the performance in comparison to other songs like Delta Dawn and Angie Baby.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Leave me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)

by Helen Reddy

Songwriter: Linda Laurie
Big ole Ruby red dress wanders round the town
Talkin’ to herself now, sometimes sittin’ down
Don’t you get too close now, Ruby runs away
Poor ole Ruby red dress born on a sorry day
I can hear her say
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone
Please leave me alone, now leave me alone
Oh leave me alone, please leave me alone, yes leave me
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone
Please leave me alone, now leave me alone
God leave me along, just leave me alone, oh leave me
Big ole Ruby red dress, everybody laughs
Say she’s got no future and never made no past
Something hurt that Ruby, something she can’t bear
You look at her real close now, you see a little tear
Oh when she says now
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone
Please leave me alone now, God leave me alone
Oh leave me alone, just leave me alone, please leave me
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone
Please leave me alone, now leave me alone
Oh leave me along, just leave me alone, oh leave me
Some folks say some farm boy up from Tennessee
Taught it all to Ruby, then just let her be
Her Daddy tried to hide it, tried to keep things cool
But something happened to Ruby, she broke down to a fool
Who just said now
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone
Please leave me alone, now leave me alone
Oh leave me alone, please leave me alone, yes leave me
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone
Please leave me alone, now leave me alone
God leave me along, just leave me alone, please leave me
Leave me alone, won’t you leave me alone

 

 

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