Ruby, don’t take your love to town

Although most of us know this song from the version Kenny Rogers recorded in 1977, when he was solo, this is the 1969 version with his band. And it is not the first recording. That honour falls to Waylon Jennings two years earlier.

Ruby is the wife of a disabled war veteran, that is getting ready to go out on the town. Without him. The image is painted from his perspective, where she is making herself beautiful for another men. He’s pleading her not to.

Already in 1969, Geraldine Stevens made an answer song called Billy, I’ve go to go to town, where she tells him not to worry: she really loves him and won’t cheat on him. The name Billy is not mentioned in the original song. In 1972 Bobby Womack added a son to the family, siding with his father.

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