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Country Rewind: The Monkees' Michael Nesmith Goes Country With 'Mama Nantucket'

The Monkees member and music video pioneer Michael Nesmith's impact on country-rock goes well beyond "Different Drum," a composition of his made famous by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys.

For a firmer grasp on Nesmith's place in the history of outsider country music, check out his short-lived project The First National Band. While the band is best remembered for twangy singles "Silver Moon" and "Joanne," Nesmith's finest moment as a West Coast cowboy came with "Mama Nantucket," a yodeling good time found on the group's 1970 debut Magnetic South.

Pedal steel guitarist and Monkees collaborator Red Rhodes' talents accentuate Nesmith's abilities as a country-inspired songwriter and vocalist on not just this deep cut but additional album tracks "Calico Girlfriend," "The Crippled Lion" and "Little Red Rider."

The throwback to yodeling cowboys brings an unshakable Hollywood feel that's driven home by the album-closing cover of "Beyond the Blue Horizon" from the 1930 film Monte Carlo.

Michael Nesmith & The First National Band cut two other albums worth tracking down: Loose Salute (1970) and Nevada Fighter (1971).

"Mama Nantucket" Lyrics:

Whoa, Mama Nantucket, she tried to kick the habit
But she couldn't and she got stung
I tried to relieve her
But she wasn't a believer
Until she found another one

Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed
Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed

Oh, Bobby with a dollar, he was sure he found the answer
But it might take a little time
Playing follow the leader
He was sure would be a winner
But I had other things on my mind

Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed
Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed

Oh, I see all the people running
Coming from miles around
Everybody's singing a different tune
See them all fall down

Well I don't like to quarrel but what about tomorrow
Will it be the same as the past
I keep on hoping that something will happen
And I hope that it happens fast

Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed
Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed

Whoa, li-da-lo-da-la-hee, I love it here on the range
A' oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed
Da-do-da-li-da-lo-da-la-hee I love it here on the range
Oh-my-ty-yi-yippee, I would love it more if it changed

Yes, I'd love it more if it changed! 

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Country Rewind: The Monkees' Michael Nesmith Goes Country With 'Mama Nantucket'