Legend of the Nellie Mine

At 10,000 feet forty miles from Durango
Lies a caved-in mine full of timber and stone
In 1880, she lived out her heyday
Ever since the legend has grown.

Only a few came to know her bounty
Only a handful realized her fame
But many a mule ambled down that mountain
Many men still know her by name.


And oh Nellie you caught my attention
that night by the San Miguel
and I’ve thought about you many a time
and now I’m fallin’ under your spell.

You’d take an old cowpoke a rollin’ his smoke
And punchin’ doggies on the Colorado plain
You’d draw him up and over the Rockies
With the tale of your motherlode vein.

Late at night they’d dream around the campfire
Of the dark-haired dancer at the Tincup Saloon
With a look in her eye to make a cowboy cry
For just one whiff of her poison perfume.


The legend tells of an aging miner
Who panned in that river workin’ his claim
And late one night as he loaded his burro
Came a vision callin’ his name.

Out of the darkness floated sweet temptation.
Up to his side with a look in her eye.
She said come with me and I’ll show you treasures
On beyond what money can buy.

But that old miner just stood there in wonder
As the wind swept her into the night
But there in the rock where her form seemed to linger
Glowed a shaft of golden light.


They never could say when that dancer went away
Or why she left just as the rush hit its stride
But the ore ran deep where they laid him to sleep
And they gave her name to the claim where he died.


©1996 base camp music all rights reserved.

Leave a Reply