Dancing Nancies

Album: Under The Table And Dreaming (1994)

Songfacts®:

  • This fan favorite has Dave Matthews thinking about all of the roads he could have taken in life - a flight attendant, a millionaire in Bel Air, a wanderer in Paris. "Could I have been anyone other than me?" he wonders. At a concert in Deer Creek, Indiana, on June 19, 1996, Matthews explained how the song's concept came to him during a laborious trek through his homeland of South Africa:

    "It was a long f--king way. Well, I was actually hitchhiking, which you can do sometimes there, and be successful. And I was unfortunately not successful, and I walked my skinny chicken legs off, and I thought to myself... I thought to myself, what the f--k am I going to do with my life? Walking around in the middle of Africa with nothing to do? What am I going to do? What am I going to do? I said, well, hey, I could be an accountant, I could be an explorer, I could be myself, could I be... somebody else?"
  • During his VH1 Storytellers special, Matthews said the song title was inspired by a conversation with a cab driver in Spain. After spying a group of women in a park, Matthews said, "Look at all those beautiful women in the park. They must be prostitutes." The cab driver replied, "They're not women, but they sure are prostitutes," and clued him into the fact that a "dancing Nancy" was a slang term for a cross-dressing prostitute.
  • At DMB concerts, fans point to the ceiling when Matthews sings the line, "Look up at the sky."
  • This features backing vocals from Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan.

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