A Horse With No Name (Redux)

The folk/rock group America originally consisted of three members: Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek.  They were all U.S. Air Force brats whose fathers were stationed in the UK.  A Horse With No Name, went on to top the American singles chart for three weeks in early 1972 and reached No.3 in the UK.  I like the song, and can actually remember most of the lyrics, but I have one question:  why didn’t the dude give the horse a name???

A Horse with No Name
America

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

Songwriters: Dewey Bunnell
A Horse with No Name lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

33 thoughts on “A Horse With No Name (Redux)

  1. Pingback: A Horse With No Name (Redux) — Filosofa’s Word | Ninny's Nest

  2. I luv the folksy vibe of this song, great lyrics, a classic. This line is sobering:
    ♪The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
    And a perfect disguise above
    Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
    But the humans will give no love♪

    Like

  3. I loved this one. It was released earlier here than over there, so charted sooner too. The original album version here didn’t include this, making us buy the single too. Fortunately, those marketing cons soon died away. Looking back on those lyrics, without hearing the tune, they do look pretty childlike don’t they! That album and their next two were a huge part of my uni years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You ask why the horse was not given a name? Embarking on such a journey, it is not a sure thing that either of you will come out the other side. Could a human kill a named friend if it became necessary to drink its blood to survive, or eat its flesh. All food producers know, never let a potential meal become a pet–under no circumstances do you let you or your family give it a name, for that will just make it so much harder to kill it if necessary.
    Now, I am not in the writer’s mind, I do not know this to be true. But I feel it probably was at least in his subconscious when he settled on the title, and the main line of the chorus. I think it makes perfect sense.
    But I’m biased.
    Now, please don’t ask why the abandoned Hotel California still had spirits keeping it inhabitable. They were just trying to find souls to eat. Fortunately for me, I do not have a soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can actually relate to what you say here, for way back decades ago, we had a friend who was raising a pig, with the intention of killing it for the meat. Well, her son Craig was 16 at the time, and it was his job to feed the pig every day, so naturally he bonded with it and gave it a name. Come time to kill the pig … NO WAY! Craig was so attached to it that the pig lived on. Craig has since died, and I assume the pig has too.

      No, I shan’t ask you about the Hotel California, but you told me anyway!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s