My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own

Originally Performed ByJimmie Dale Gilmore
Original AlbumAfter Awhile (1991)
Appears On
Music/LyricsButch Hancock
Phish Debut1992-03-07
Last Played2013-10-25
Current Gap265
HistorianDan Mielcarz (ColForbin)
Last Update2018-03-11


More country than bluegrass, “My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own” is a fan favorite. The song was born of the West Texas duo of Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, who along with Joe Ely formed the influential group The Flatlanders. Typically played in the first set, the up-tempo beat never fails to get the crowd bouncing and smiling. 

The lyrics are interesting in that they convey the exact opposite message to that of the Phish original “Driver.” In “My Mind,” it’s the less conscious parts of the brain that cause trouble for the protagonist (taking him to parties that he doesn’t want to attend, etc.); in “Driver” it’s those parts of the brain keep the narrator out of trouble. It also has the benefit of not being overplayed, as Phish is sometimes wont to do with shorter covers.

The first performance at the Portsmouth Music Hall should be sought out, as the show contains several other debuts as well. Another notable version of “My Mind” was played on 2/20/93, sandwiched between “Mike’s Song” and “Kung.” The version played at the Warfield Theater on 5/27/94 was played acoustic and without amplification, and features Morgan Fichter on fiddle. On 11/15/96, “My Mind” was part of the letter ‘M’ themed second set. Trey joked that show was, a la Sesame Street, “brought to you by the letter M and the number 420.” The song remains an enjoyable rarity, with only a handful of appearances post-hiatus. The 12/28/10 performance is worth seeking out, part of a fun first set with two Phish debuts and some entertaining Sarah Palin-related antics in "Alaska."

"My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own" – 11/27/09 Albany, NY

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