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Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town- My Favorite Sad Song
Every Time I Hear This Song, It Makes Me Feel Emotional
I don't understand why it pulls my heartstrings to such an extent -
Is it the words, is it the music, is it the desperation in Kenny Roger's voice, or is it a combination of all three?
I know not. I just know it brings tears to my eyes, and a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now that's what I call songwriting.
This is my Original 45 rpm Record of Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town - It's 49 Years Old
The song, which came out in 1969, gives a very visual picture, and, as the words come tumbling out, each time I hear it, I see this brave and struggling Vietnam War veteran, sitting in his wheelchair, desperate to keep his beloved Ruby's love, and as he watches her doing up her makeup to go out, he begs her not to leave him. He is fully aware of his limitations and knows he can no longer satisfy her needs, but he is afraid of being abandoned and losing his lover and feels completely impotent.
I feel every one of those emotions, and it tears my heart. What sort of idiot must I be, that it affects me so profoundly? I'm not a war veteran, I didn't support that war, I've never been in this situation, and I'm not a man, so what is it?
I'll tell you what it is - this song, Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town, has very powerful empathy, and Kenny Rodgers and the band knew just how to play it with maximum feeling and effect. The Vietnam War is over, but all round the world there are still wounded soldiers coming home, traumatized by the horrors of war, and suffering, and this song is for each and every one of them.
Here Are Some of the Words to the Lyrics, Which Were Written by Mel Tillis
Sometimes, as I put on my lipstick and smarten up to go out and meet friends, the words of the first verse flow through my mind. The whole situation must be so awful and the husband so desperate and lonely as he senses impending doom.
I Don't Know What the Younger Generation Think of This Song
Being nearly fifty years old, the record came out well before the time when Millennials and beyond would have sat and mooned over it.
It isn't Dance Music or Club Music but Country and Western.
However. I think Ruby is probably famous enough to be high on the list of best Country and Western music ever.
Here's some more great music, sung by Kenny Rogers (including Ruby, of course).
There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle:
You Can Also Listen to Kenny Rogers singing Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town on The Video Below
There are several versions on YouTube, but this is the one that I prefer, mainly because, out of the many live versions, this is the one where his voice sounds most like the one on my record and, judging from the number of "Likes", it is one of the most popular.
Kenny Rogers With The First Edition Sings Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town - Youtube Video Viewed by Over 5 Million People
Here's a Poll - Let's See What Everyone Thinks:
Do you love Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town as Much as I do?
© 2014 Diana Grant