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Nellie Kane

Nellie Kane has not been seen in 9 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2019-12-07.
It was played at 3.87% of live shows.
It has been performed live 72 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Tim O’Brien

Original Artist: Hot Rize

Original Album: Hot Rize (1979)

Vocals: Mike

Debut: 1993-02-23

Historian: Dan Mielcarz (ColForbin)


First appearing in February 1993, “Nellie Kane” added to the pantheon of Phish bluegrass tunes. The traditional song – originally by Tim O'Brien and Hot Rize – tells an earnest story of a cowboy who falls for a single mother and decides to settle down with her. “Nellie Kane” was in heavy rotation through 1994, and played acoustic for most of those appearances. After a final acoustic performance on 12/8/94 in San Diego, Phish dropped “Nellie” from their repertoire for the next four years. Since her welcome return in 1998, “Nellie” has been performed exclusively electric, and far less frequently. The song seemed to be shelved for good once again following the 7/1/00 show, but is back with Phish 3.0 as a rare first set bluegrass interlude.



Watch Nellie Kane on YouTube Hot Rize – "Nellie Kane"



In the bluegrass tradition, "Nellie Kane" doesn’t differ much from one version to the next. But some notable versions from the past include special guests: 8/21/93 and 10/18/94 with Béla Fleck; 5/27/94 with Morgan Fichter; and 10/10/94 with Steve Cooley. A fine electric version can be found on Hampton Comes Alive from 11/21/98, or check out the excellent 10/19/10 Augusta gig for a more recent offering. While “Nellie” almost always stands alone in a set, on 6/8/12 in Worcester she emerged from a smoking “Sand” jam with a smooth as silk segue, surprising everyone in the building – definitely worth a listen! 



Watch Nellie Kane on YouTube Phish, "Nellie Kane" – 6/8/12, Worcester, MA


Recommended Versions: 1993-07-24, 1993-08-21, 1994-05-27, 1994-10-10, 1994-10-18, 1998-11-21, 1999-12-07, 2010-10-19, 2012-06-08

Albums: Hampton Comes Alive

Lyrics:

(O'Brien)
© Flying Fish Music (BMI)

As a young man I went riding out on the western plain
In the state of North Dakota I met my Nellie Kane, I met my Nellie Kane
She was living in a lonely cabin with a son by another man
Five years she had waited for him
As long as a woman can, as long as a woman can

I don't know what changed my mind
'Til then I was the ramblin' kind
The kind of love I can't explain
That I have for Nellie Kane

Well she took me on to work that day, to help her till the land
In the afternoon we planted seeds
In the evening we held hands, in the evening we held hands
Her blue eyes told me everything a man could want to know
And it was then I realized that I would never go, I would never go

I don't know what changed my mind
'Til then I was the ramblin' kind
The kind of love I can't explain
That I have for Nellie Kane

Now many years have gone by, her son has grown up tall
I became a father to him and she became my all, she became my all

I don't know what changed my mind
'Til then I was the ramblin' kind
The kind of love I can't explain
That I have for Nellie Kane

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