Song Lyric Sunday | “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)” – Kenny Rogers

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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.

This week’s theme is  Cowboy/Gun/Hat/Horse/Western.


A disabled war veteran watches his wife get dressed 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.

Written by Mel Tillis and first recorded by Waylon Jennings in 1966, Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town) was a major hit for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition in 1969. It went to #6 on Billboard’s Top 100 and #39 on the country chart.

His pleas ignored by his wife, the frustrated and brokenhearted vet wishes he could move so he could take his gun and put her in the ground.

I was a child when this song came out… my age still in single digits, and despite the anti-war sentiment, the war was a sensitive subject for me as I had older brothers and uncles IN Vietnam at the time, with some returning home disabled from combat.

I loved this song and hated the wife… hated her. Guess I still do. The vet knows he doesn’t have long to live… so she must know too, but she still walks out. Just too cruel for words.


  • Ruby made number 1 in the UK New Musical Express chart (although number 2 on the official UK Singles Chart) staying in the top 20 for 15 weeks and selling over a million copies by the end of 1970.
  •  After the First Edition disbanded in early 1976, Rogers made re-recordings of Ruby, and a number of other First Edition hits, for his 1977 greatest hits package Ten Years of Gold. (It was later issued in the UK as The Kenny Rogers Singles Album.)
  • Ruby has been covered more than a dozen times by artists around the world, including Star Trek veteran, Leonard Nimoy.

The video below is from 1972 and was taped the day after I turned 12! HA! Gotta love history! 😀

And you KNOW I couldn’t resist – I had to include “Mr. Spock’s” version. It’s actually not bad!


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for




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.

Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia,, and YouTube.

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