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Horse with no name

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Uploaded on Feb 6, 2008

Tom Sampson - Lead vocals and guitar
Colin Bidgood - Harmony and guitar

Some information about this song courtesy of Wikipedia

America's self-titled debut album was initially released in Europe with only moderate success and without the song "A Horse with No Name." Looking for a song that would be popular in both the United States and Europe, producer Ian Samwell helped the group to record the song and persuaded the Warner Brothers label to re-release the album with "Horse ..." included

Despite its being banned in some locales including Kansas City because of supposed drug references("horse" is a common slang term for heroin), the song rose to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the album quickly went platinum.

The most common criticism of the song, even addressed in the liner notes of America's box set, was its similarity to Neil Young in sound and style. In fact, "Horse" unseated Young's "Heart of Gold" from the number one spot. In the liner notes, Bunnell says, "I know that virtually everyone, on first hearing, assumed it was Neil. I never fully shied away from the fact that I was inspired by him. I think it's in the structure of the song as much as in the tone of my voice. It did hurt a little, because we got some pretty bad backlash." To this day it remains a common misconception that "Horse" is a Neil Young song, but its success opened the door for other hits from the album, including "I Need You," "Sandman," and "Riverside."

This song has also been ridiculed for the banal lyric, "The heat was hot", and another lyric "There were plants, and birds, and rocks, and things.". Randy Newman once described it as a song "about a kid who thinks he's taken acid". The late comedian Richard Jeni mocked the song's title. "You're in the desert," he said. "You got nothing else to do. Name the freakin' horse!"

Furthermore, the song has been covered by Larrikin Love with somewhat Celtic-sounding instrumentation and style for Q Magazine in 2006.

The song is featured in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on K-DST radio. The song is also featured in the movie The Trip.

Lyrics

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 ...

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