Runaway Nell 3:110:00/3:11
RUNAWAY NELL - Song Page
© words & music by Annie Wilson
from CD Clean Curve of Hill Against Sky
Album note: Based on a true story from my childhood, and told in the voice of a kid who wants so much to be helpful and grown up, this describes the terror and exhilaration of riding a horse that takes complete control of itself. Though Nell probably wasn't really going that fast, I remember it as pretty close to flying!
This song received a First Place in Children's songs in the 2021 Walnut Valley NewSongs songwriting contest.
Here is video ofCarl & Annie's live performance of this song at Winfield 2021 .
Click below to LISTEN FOR FREE (to purchase go to STORE)
The cowboys finished workin calves
down by the west corral.
"Somebody has to ride Nell home,"
old Windy hinted loud.
He looked at me and I piped up,
"I'll ride her home, for sure!"
At ten years old I'd finally earned
the trust to help that crew.
He said "I'll need my saddle.
Can you ride her bareback home?"
I said, "You bet," they helped me up,
we started down the road.
Nell had just seemed tired at first
and started out real slow,
But once we got around the curve,
then she began to go
They said) She's no kid horse, but you'll be fine.
Just let her trot and hold on tight.
You're old enough to go alone.
It ain't too far; ride Nellie home.
Her trottin' speeded up until it
shook me like a sack,
My sixty pounds were nothing
like a fly upon her back.
My legs were just too short to grip;
I bounced from side to side,
Then grabbed more handfuls of her mane
and tried to hold on tight.
Her hoof beats drummed the hollow bridge;
we started up the hill,
And though she moved at quite a clip,
I hung onto her still.
Once we passed the hilltop,
she broke into a run.
She was glad her work was over,
headin home to have some fun.
Her feet were solid thunder;
those trees were whippin by.
The wind was tearin at my hair,
I thought: She's gonna fly!
Then everything became a blur;
I knew I'd lost control,
And as she made the driveway turn,
I felt myself let go.
Those rocks gave me a beatin
when I landed hard and rolled,
But once I stopped, I realized:
I'd almost made it home!
I walked on up the driveway
and let Nell in through her gate,
Slipped off her sweaty bridle,
let her roll and eat some hay.
I never told about my fall
and hoped no one had seen.
Changed out of my torn up shirt
and washed 'til I was clean.
No one ever asked me 'bout
my bruises and my nicks.
They just knew I'd rode Nell home
and got there mighty quick!