Tag Archives: Dancing Nancies

Under the Table and Dreaming, Part VI: Dancing Nancies

Could I have been… a more successful blog writer?

“Dancing Nancies” is one of the songs in the DMB catalog that every fan likes (and if there’s a fan that doesn’t… well then I don’t know what to say). I will say right off the bat, I like this song a LOT better live than I do on Under the Table and Dreaming, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the song. I just think it’s one of those songs (especially a DMB song) that is so much better live. Anyway…

The song starts out with a little intro with Dave strumming his guitar and Carter with a few snare rolls. Dave asks a series of questions about what he could have been. I’ll leave that for you to read in the lyrics. Dave asks questions like, “Could I have been a parking lot attendent?” and the like. Basically making a point that when you think about it, your life could have gone so many different ways. The final question he asks is, “Could I have been anyone other than me?” That pretty much sums it up. That’s the basis of this song.

Now… in live versions, the intro varies. Often times he will insert different locations in the line, “Could I have been lost somewhere in Paris?” My favorite was when I saw DMB at Fenway Park and Dave changed it to, “Could I have been lost somewhere in Boston?” Crowds always get a rise out of that when he changes the location. It’s good stuff. Also… in the Central Park concert, he changes the line, “Could I have been a millionaire in Bel Air?” to… “Could I have been a millionaire up there on Fifth Avenue?” It’s just awesome. Case and point.

Now… after reading the lyrics… it shouldn’t be too hard to comprehend why Dave wrote this song… or how it came to be. According to AntsMarching.org, Dave came up with this song on a trip to Zimbabwe. Being out in the middle of nowhere, in Zimbabwe, got him thinking about who he was and who he could have been. Pretty understandable. Well, it’s nto a stretch, at least.

Now that we have the basics of the song out of the way, let’s get to the execution. The music of this song is just so exciting and uplifting and fun. The verses are a little slow and quiet, but the bridge and chorus really get you going. One of my favorite things to do at a DMB concert is to yell (along with the rest of the crowd… and Dave), “I look up at the sky… my mouth is open wide…” Usually at concerts, everyone tends to actually look up at the sky as they sing that as well… which makes it fun. Any time the entire crowd says something in unison at a concert, it definitely makes it better (see Ants Marching review coming up soon).

As for the studio version, however, it is much of the same. The bridge and chorus are fun and uplifting. The music isn’t very complicated, pretty straightforward. Boyd also has a pretty killer solo which is always fun. Never gets old watching that guy tear it up.

Enough of me trying to explain the song entirely. I feel it’s appropriate to give you enough background to understand the song, appreciate the song, acknowledge the song and know the song before I show you the video clips.

Now, I don’t know what it is about the videos I find, but I’m just glad people like to use DMB songs to put along to their home videos. I guess I’m just lucky. Try not to pay attention to the actual video (even though this guy does a great job putting the video of his kid to the song). This is all about the music.

Now, the studio version is good and all, but like I’ve said… I LOVE the live versions of this song. This is from the Central Park concert, one of my favorite live concerts by DMB. This song has an extended intro, as well (more so than the usual song). Dave talks about a bartender, and how he wants said bartender to ‘hook him up’. It’s very entertaining. Enjoy…

I hope you’ve enjoyed these two videos. I know I do. Dancing Nancies is just such a great live song to hear. It’s so fun. Now, before I get to the rating there are two more things I want to tell you about this song. First, this is one of my Top 10 favorite DMB songs. I’ve been meaning to make a list of my favorite songs (top to bottom) for some time now, but it’s so time consuming and tedious, but I’ll get to it eventually. And mind you, this is one of my Top 10 favorites not because of this studio version, but because of all the live versions I’ve heard.

Second, you might be asking yourself, “What’s a Dancing Nancie?” Well, lucky for you I (and AntsMarching.org) know what it is. To quote to¬†fan-site, “A Dancing Nancie (or more accurately Nancy) is a slang term for a transvite prostitute in parts of France, Belgium, and Spain.” Yup… that about sums it up. Good stuff.

Alright, I want to remind you again, the following rating is based off of this studio version of the song. This is one of my favorite songs, but that’s based off of all the live versions there are. I’m one of those proponents of live is better.

Song Rating: 4/5

Next Song: “Ants Marching” (2.0)