"Nanci" as written by and Dinning/guss/phillips/nichols....
I can't believe you
You bend your words like Uri Geller's spoons
Not quite safe here
When every judgment
Seems to smack of doom

Are you OK?
I'm just fine
You take Nanci
For me Loretta's fine

A legal precedent
Could set us straight
But no one's brought up suit
And I'm assuming
That if they did
The point would still be moot

And are you just joking?
No I'm just fine
You take Nanci
For me Loretta's fine
No I've changed my mind
I'll take Nanci
For you Loretta's fine

And still we walk without quite seeing things
And I'll admit there's not that much to see
And I will follow through
And expect that you will follow suit

And I can't believe you
You bend your words like Uri Geller's spoons
Not quite safe here
When every judgment
Seems to smack of doom

And Are you OK?
I'm just fine
You take Nanci
For me Loretta's fine
No I've changed my mind
I'll take Nanci
For you Loretta's fine
Loretta's fine [Repeat x3]


Lyrics submitted by rabidpenguin

"Nanci" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, THE ADMINISTRATION MP, INC.

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Nanci song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about a breakup. The two people are dividing their CD collection as they go their separate ways. As a previous poster said, Nanci refers to Nanci Griffiths and the Loretta in this song refers to Loretta Lynn.
    lightnin_sueon March 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIs it possible that the lyrics themselves are a conversation?
    Follow me here...

    "I can't believe you, you bend your words like Uri Geller's spoons" - 1st person, and a derogatory comment at that since Uri Geller, although entertaining was lost from collective popular conscienous after being 'disproven' by various skeptics

    "(It's) Not quite safe here, (and) every judgment seems to smack of doom" - 2nd person - the reference to Geller being a severe judgment and dooming to whatever matter is presented between the two characters

    "Are you ok?" - 1st person - asked after judgment passed, we've all felt that, the 'trying to go back and correct my mistake by being nice way of talking to your loved one' feeling...

    "I'm just fine" -2nd person - curtly and deservedly.

    "You take Nanci, for me Loretta is fine" (referring to Nanci Griffith's songs of despair and longing, and Loretta Lynn's struggle but sunshine songs, and between these two characters, 1st person is saying you take the long road pal to the 2nd person. be as sad as you want to) - 1st person,

    but at the end of the song, the context switches so that the 1st person feeling guilty chooses to let the 2nd person being wronged, in more than one ways now, choose the lighter path of Loretta Lynn rather than the darker Nanci Griffiths to wright the wrongs as the 1st person, the author, is comforted in the self-inflicted punishment that most humans can relate to.

    cesuraon January 31, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about two people (close friends?) who have some ongoing argument or disagreement, but instead of addressing the real, serious issue, they work out their tension by bickering over which country music singer they prefer (Loretta Lynn or Nanci Griffiths). And all the while they have an unspoken agreement that the real issue will remain unmentioned.
    Quonseton July 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about a double date with one guy serving as the wingman who got doubled up with the outspoken one who wants to talk politics, death, and taxes.

    Quonset - I like your post. Song seems a little different to me now. Still a great song by a great band who I got to see live in Boston back in like '98 or something. Great show.
    southardcityon July 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought it was about two parents arguing about their divorce and which child stays with whom. Then when everything is settled they change their mind again.
    mpoertneron August 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentin live recordings there is a code with "Allison's better/Emmylou's almost perfect" - until I heard that it hadn't occurred to me that the song is anything other than two wingmen discussing girls.
    joelfinkleon April 06, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought this song was about a game of bridge. They are deciding on partners (Nanci or Loretta). The singer is trying to parse out what the other players are saying to determine how to bid. Twice he sings "no one's brought up suit", as in which suit of cards to bid with.
    gpchemon December 07, 2016   Link

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