Song of the week - A Horse With No Name - America

A Horse With No Name is a song written by the American folk rock band America. Released in 1971, the song was immediately a hit and fast-tracked the band in the top of the American charts.

  • A Horse With No Name deals with the story of a man who went through the desert riding an anonymous horse. He tells about what he’s seeing around him, how he feels... He sings his journey like a private diary, starting the verses by indicating the different steps of his adventure —> “On the first part of the journey...”,”After two days...”,”After nine days...” It makes the song veryThe song is divided in 3 verses and 1 chorus. Throughout the verses, we can see the evolution of the singer’s state of mind :

  • On the first one, he is principally watching around him. Rather than thinking, he seems to say banalities such as “the heat was hot and the ground was dry”.

  • Then, the chorus comes and we learn that the desert is a kind of shelter for the singer to protect him from “the rain” which is probably a metaphor of his daily life. The desert is here a painless place when he can be quiet and “ remember [his] name”. As for the horse, Dewey Bunnell, the songwriter told it was a “ vehicle to get me away from all the confusion and chaos of life to a peaceful, quiet place”.

  • The second verse shows a change in the singer’s mind. We can notice a physical change “ My skin began to turn red “ but especially a psychological one when the singer catch sight of a river and “ the story it told “ made him sad to think the desert was dead.

  • Finally, in the last verse, the singer’s state of mind has radically changed. He looks insane and is clearly another person than the one he was in the first verse. Indeed, after nine days, the singer seems to have learnt a lot about humanity . —> “ Under the cities lies a heart made of ground but the humans will give no love”. He compared the desert with the ocean saying that it has “its life underground and a perfect disguise above” as a denunciation of the fact that our life is just a big lie.

  • Thus, A horse with no Name is a song that echoes to loneliness and self-discovery. Here, it’s the journey through himself that the singer lives. What I understood in this song is that even if the territory where we are looks endless (a desert here), the frontiers that separates us from craziness is thin and sometimes, the journey only lead us to disorientation which brings us to a new vision of the notion of JTF. A Horse With No Name is a song written by the American folk rock band America. Released in 1971, the song was immediately a hit and fast-tracked the band in the top of the American charts.

  • A Horse With No Name deals with the story of a man who went through the desert riding an anonymous horse. He tells about what he’s seeing around him, how he feels... He sings his journey like a private diary, starting the verses by indicating the different steps of his adventure —> “On the first part of the journey...”,”After two days...”,”After nine days...” It makes the song veryThe song is divided in 3 verses and 1 chorus. Throughout the verses, we can see the evolution of the singer’s state of mind :

  • On the first one, he is principally watching around him. Rather than thinking, he seems to say banalities such as “the heat was hot and the ground was dry”.

  • Then, the chorus comes and we learn that the desert is a kind of shelter for the singer to protect him from “the rain” which is probably a metaphor of his daily life. The desert is here a painless place when he can be quiet and “ remember [his] name”. As for the horse, Dewey Bunnell, the songwriter told it was a “ vehicle to get me away from all the confusion and chaos of life to a peaceful, quiet place”.

  • The second verse shows a change in the singer’s mind. We can notice a physical change “ My skin began to turn red “ but especially a psychological one when the singer catch sight of a river and “ the story it told “ made him sad to think the desert was dead.

  • Finally, in the last verse, the singer’s state of mind has radically changed. He looks insane and is clearly another person than the one he was in the first verse. Indeed, after nine days, the singer seems to have learnt a lot about humanity . —> “ Under the cities lies a heart made of ground but the humans will give no love”. He compared the desert with the ocean saying that it has “its life underground and a perfect disguise above” as a denunciation of the fact that our life is just a big lie.

  • Thus, A horse with no Name is a song that echoes to loneliness and self-discovery. Here, it’s the journey through himself that the singer lives. What I understood in this song is that even if the territory where we are looks endless (a desert here), the frontiers that separates us from craziness is thin and sometimes, the journey only lead us to disorientation which brings us to a new vision of the notion of JTF.

  • If you loved this song , we recommend you “Sultans of Swing” by the band Dire Straits who also plays the same genre of music.


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