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A Horse with No Name - America

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Uploaded on Oct 9, 2010

America is an American folk rock musical band, composed originally of members Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek. The three members were barely past their teenage years when they became a musical sensation during 1972, scoring #1 hits and winning a Grammy for best new musical artist. Their recording success was almost entirely throughout the 1970s; some of the band's best known songs are "A Horse with No Name", "Sister Golden Hair" (both of which reached #1), "Ventura Highway", "Tin Man", "Daisy Jane", and "Lonely People".
"A Horse with No Name" is a song by the band America. It was their first and most successful single, released in early 1972, topping the charts in several countries. It was certified "gold" by the Recording Industry Association of America.
America's self-titled debut album was released initially in Europe with only moderate success and without the song "A Horse with No Name". Trying to find a song that would be popular in both the United States and Europe, "A Horse with No Name" was originally called "Desert Song" and was written while the band was staying at the home studio of Arthur Brown, in Puddletown,Dorset. The first two demos were recorded there, by Jeff Dexter and Dennis Elliott, and was intended to capture the feel of the hot, dry desert, that had been depicted at the studio fromSalvador DalĂ­ painting, and the strange horse had ridden out of an M.C. Escher picture. Writer Dewey Bunnell also says he remembered his childhood travels through the Arizona and New Mexico desert when his family lived at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Despite (or perhaps, because of) the song being banned by some U.S. radio stations (including one in Kansas City) because of supposed drug references. the song ascended to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the album quickly reached platinum status. The song did chart earlier in the Netherlands (reaching number 11) and the UK (reaching number 3), than it actually did in the United States. The interpretation of the song as a drug reference comes from the fact that "horse" is a common slang term for heroin.
The song's resemblance to some of Neil Young's work aroused some controversy. "I know that virtually everyone, on first hearing, assumed it was Neil," Bunnell says. "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 his voice. It did hurt a little, because we got some pretty bad backlash. I've always attributed it more to people protecting their own heroes more than attacking me." By coincidence, it was "A Horse With No Name" that replaced Young's "Heart of Gold" at the #1 spot on the U.S. pop chart.
The song has also been ridiculed for its banal, oddly phrased lyrics, including "The heat was hot"; "There were plants, and birds, and rocks, and things"; and "Cause there ain't no-one for to give you no pain." Randy Newman once described it as a song "about a kid who thinks he's taken acid". 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!" In 1999 the literary magazine Lamia Ink published a short play by American playwright Meron Langsner entitled The Name of the Horse, in which the problem of the horse's name is explored.
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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