Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town  

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"If I could move I'd get my gun and put her in the ground" --"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" (1967) by Mel Tillis


"Country music also produced its own factual gun tunes. These range from Jimmie Driftwood's 1959 song "Tennessee Stud" to Kenny Roger's 1970s hit "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town." [...] A woman, who is about to go out searching for other men, is told by her disabled husband that "if I could move, I'd get my gun and put her in the ground." This song is more potent because Mel Till is, who wrote the song, described an actual event that took place in northern Florida during his childhood. Although the song only suggested that Ruby should be murdered, in actuality her husband shot and killed her."--The Darker Side of Dixie (1995) by Cecil Kirk Hutson.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" (1967) is a song written by Mel Tillis about a paralyzed veteran of a "crazy Asian war" (given the time of its release, widely assumed—but never explicitly stated—to be the Vietnam War) who either lies helplessly in bed or sits helplessly in his wheelchair as his wife "paints [herself] up" to go out for the evening without him; he believes she is going in search of a lover, and as he hears the door slam behind her, he pleads for her to reconsider. The song was made famous by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition in 1969. "Ruby" was originally recorded by Waylon Jennings in 1966. Johnny Darrell scored a number nine country hit with it in 1967.



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