Who’s the bigger bitch Lucille or Ruby?

This is one of those pop culture questions that doesn’t get nearly the amount of debate it deserves. I am, of course, talking about the women featured in Kenny Rogers’ very fine songs “Lucille” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” (also the 1972 Kenny singing Ruby in that second video is a wonder to behold. Damn, those glasses are hot).

On the surface we have two similar songs. Ruby and Lucille are both married and contemplating extra-marital affairs. Each of the husbands are clearly aware of their wayward wives intentions. “Lucille” is told from the point of view of the man about to bed Lucille. “Ruby” is told from the point of view of her husband.

While I truly believe there are two sides to every story, we don’t have Lucille or Ruby’s testimony by which to accurately judge their bitchiness in cheating on their husbands. But this is a pop culture debate and accuracy has never really played a roll in such things.

So here’s the facts as we know them.

She goes to a bar in Toledo where she takes off her wedding ring. She has four children, and a farm where the crops aren’t yet ready to harvest. She’s disillusioned with her current lot in life, “I’m hungry for laughter and here ever after” she says. She is confronted, at the bar, by her husband as she sits spinning her sad story to another man. Even after her husband airs his complaints, she chooses to go back to the strangers’ hotel room where he can’t consummate their fling because he is haunted by her husband’s words, also this author thinks he might be a little intimidated by Lucille. Even though the husband “looked like a mountain” somehow she “made him look small.” Yowza.

She has gotten ready to go out somewhere. She’s painted up her lips and rolled and curled her tinted hair. Her husband, a paralyzed Korean War vet can see that it’s nearly dark out and is wondering where his wife is going. He admits that he fully realizes the wants and the needs of woman her age, but that he really would like some company. He claims then claims he has heard “them” say he will die soon and then says he would kill Ruby if he could reach his gun.

As you can see we have here two women who appear intent on adultery, and two men who really wish their wives were faithful.

So who’s the bigger bitch? The disillusioned mother who ditches her children and hard-working, albeit it passive-agressive husband to go have a fling in a bar in Toledo or the woman married to a paralyzed veteran who is threatening to hill her?

The obvious choice here is Lucille. While her husband can seem a little whiny, she could at least have waited until the crop were in and her children were fed before she fled her failing marriage. And while I can understand that Ruby’s husband is probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, she really shouldn’t stay in a house with a man who wants to kill her.

Bigger bitch: Lucille.

(Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Barrett Chase 25.Jan.11 at 1:05 pm

    I have to disagree. In Ruby’s husband’s defense, he’s far beyond paraplegic and PTSD. The man can’t move at all, nor can he even speak. He can, however, see and hear, and understand what’s going on around him. And what’s going on is that Ruby is getting all dolled up to cheat on him, in the very bedroom where he is dying.

    Sure, it’s terrible when he says he would put her in the ground if he could move. But he’s just spent the past several years putting people in the ground. It’s all he knows. He’s mentally as fucked up as he is physically, and it’s not his fault. (“It wasn’t me that started that old crazy Asian war.”)

    Ruby should put him in a home or something. Her cheating is understandable (even her husband understands her motives) but it’s her methods that are intolerable.

    Lucille’s husband, on the other hand, will be fine. He’s a nice guy. He’ll land on his feet.

    1. Jodi 25.Jan.11 at 1:12 pm

      @Barrett Chase, but what about the children. THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

      You make a strong case for Ruby, but is there any actual proof that he’s beyond paralyzed? And really if his health is that poor and failing why is he at home at all? Methinks the vet is exaggerating a bit.

      For all we know Ruby is going out to prostitute herself to raise money for his medication. Or maybe she’s just going to go have a drink with some friends.

      I stand by my proclamation that Lucille is the biggest bitch in the Kenny Rogers’ oeuvre.

  2. todd 26.Jan.11 at 5:24 am

    “For all we know Ruby is going out to prostitute herself for his medication.” Obamacare at its finest.

    1. Jodi 26.Jan.11 at 9:59 am

      I’m pretty sure Obama cannot be blamed for Korean-war era healthcare.

  3. Doug 29.Jan.11 at 7:57 pm

    Dolly Parton’s Jolene would take ’em both.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.