Monday, March 01, 2021

An Album/Song A Week: "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)" - Helen Reddy

 When Helen Reddy passed away in 2020, the one song I thought of was not "I Am Woman", but her 1973 #3 hit, "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".  The song was a follow-up to her #1 "Delta Dawn", and follows the same path lyrically.  A woman undone by a bad relationship.  But Reddy never liked "Leave Me Alone".  Often refusing to sing it at concerts, and complaining about having to repeat the chorus' repetitive "Leave Me Alone".  But it was that hook which stuck with most listeners.  Certainly did with me.  
 But the real reason I'm talking about this song is because of where I heard it and how often.  My recollection of living in Germany was that the American Forces Network didn't have many listener options.  I remember an FM station but mostly AM ones.  The AM channel my sister listened to the most was a Top 40 channel.  "Leave Me Alone" was released in the Fall of 1973, just as school was getting underway.  And once it became a hit, AFN AM station played it continuously, and just about every morning.  So, when Reddy passed, I immediately thought of those elementary school days.  Getting ready (no pun intended) for school and often hearing the same songs every morning.  Earworms like "Leave Me Alone" were easy to remember for young kids like me.  Even if I had no idea what the song was really about.  Not at nine years old. 
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