A Horse Is A Horse . . .

momlogolihLiving in Lexington, Kentucky, my husband and I see horses all the time.  We were driving down New Circle Road the other day, not paying attention to anything, when a truck with a horse trailer pulled up next to us. The horse neighed at the top of its lunghorses backyard smalls and startled us both.

My husband, being a bit of a comedian, started singing the Mr. Ed Song. That led to all sorts of trivia questions about the old show. It also got me thinking about famous songs about horses.  The “Mr. Ed Theme Song” is on the list, of course, of course,  but it’s not exactly a personal favorite. 

Just for fun–and because I’m still up to my chin in revisions due May 30th–here are some of my favorite songs about horses:

No. 1 on my list is Strawberry Roan by Marty Robbins.  You’ve got to love a horse that can “turn on a nickel and give you some change.”  The song is about a horse no one can Strawberry Roanride. Right away, I’m thinking about putting that horse in a book and pitting him against a hero with a lot of patience and a lot of love.

No. 2. is Silver Stallion by the Highwaymen.  You probably know this group is made up of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.  Talk about the Mount Rushmore of country music!  This song is full of romance and adventure. When I need inspiration, I play it.

No. 3 always makes me laugh. It’s Beer for My Horses by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson.  There’s something wonderfully outlandish about the whole picture. I’m not the only person who likes this song. In 2003 it spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts. 

No. 4 on the list is a Golden Oldie from 1948.  Ghost Riders in the SGhost Ridersky is a folk tale about a cowboy who envisions red-eyed, steel hoofed cattle being chased across the sky by doomed cowboys. He takes it as a warning to change his ways.  I love the drama in this song.  It’s been recorded many times, but the version I remember is by Frankie Laine. Bing Crosby sang it, too. I can’t quite imagine that! I’ve also heard the Johnny Cash version. Very cool!

No. 5 on my list is a song that sometimes I like, and sometimes I don’t. I’m not generally a Rolling Stones fan, but their Wild Horses is classic.  Susan Boyle just remade it. She put a whole new spin on it.

That’s my list.  I know there are others . . . Garth Brooks has some horse songs.  The group “America” did A Horse with No Name. That song always bothered me.  I wanted to name the horse, of course, of course! Anything but Mr. Ed!  That’s my list.  Does anyone have titles to add?

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Victoria Bylin is under contract with Bethany House Publishers for two inspirational contemporary romances.Prior to jumping to the present day, she wrote westerns for Harlequin Historical and Love Inspired Historical. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons. You can learn more about Vicki at www.victoriabylin.com

31 thoughts on “A Horse Is A Horse . . .”

  1. I don’t listen to CW music much anymore – mostly Christian, but I do enjoy Garth Brooks “Wild Horses (keep dragging me away)” I can picture the lonley lover & the cowboy. Of course in MY story, the cowboy realizes nothing takes the place of a good woman – especially wild horses LOL!

    As a horse lover I admire the grace & beauty of ALL horses.

    Great post.
    PamT

  2. Hi Pamela, Your story sounds great! Your cowboy is a smart man to pick a good woman over his horses. I generally switch radio stations from Country to Christian and back about 10 times a mile. Drives my husband nuts!

  3. Hi Victoria
    I never really thought about horse songs before, didn’t realize there were so many.
    I would have to add a couple to your list:
    Wildfire – so haunting, and another Golden Oldie, The Tennessee Stud.
    The Tennessee Stud was long and lean,
    the color of the sun and his eyes were green
    Now that’s going to be running through my mind all day! LOL

  4. Hello Judy H, Didn’t Johnny Cash do “Tennessee Stud”? I remembered it when I saw the lyric you put up.

    I got started on horse songs because of the horses that come to our back fence for carrots. The first picture was taken last November. We’ve named the gray one “Smoke” just for fun.

  5. These aren’t realy songs about horses, but I have the soundtrack to A Man From Snowy River, and whever I hear those violins and horns, I picture the wild mustangs splashing across the river, or the unbroke stallion testing the hero’s mettle. Love that music.

  6. Johnny Cash did record Tennessee Stud, but I first heard the earlier Eddy Arnold version. Apparently there are quite a few recordings of that song by different artists.
    I’m jealous that you have horses at your back fence! I can see how they could inspire some great stories, and what a peaceful,lovely view!

  7. There is a song called “WildFire”.. but I can’t for the life of me remember who sings it..and also a “The Run for the Roses”.. both about horses..

  8. “…the Highwaymen. You probably know this group is made up of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Talk about the Mount Rushmore of country music!”

    They certainly were, Vicki. Thanks for a great post.

  9. Hi Karen, I really enjoyed “A Man from Snowy River.” Haven’t seen it in ages. Early in my writing career, I’d play music whenever I sat the computer. Movie soundtracks are great background music.

  10. Hi Judy! I know who Eddy Arnold is 🙂 He had a beautiful voice. Our backyard view is why we bought the house. I was just out there having coffee with my hubby. No horses today, at least not yet. They wander this huge pasture, so we see them 2 or 3 times a week.

  11. Hi Kathleen! I haven’t heard of “Run for the Roses.” Sounds like a great Kentucky Derby song. Kentucky really does go crazy at Derby time…everyone talks about it. Same with Keeneland, the local racetrack.

    Hello Tracy, The first “Highwaymen” CD is still one of my favorites. Love the whole thing 🙂

  12. ooooooooooh, i so love horses!
    we have two standardbreds adopted after their harness racing career was over and they are real sweethearts…i love just petting them, hearing them crunch on hay and smelling that sweet horse smell
    i like pam tillis’s “let that pony run” though it’s not really about the horse..but it captures the freedom horses bring us–“she got a divorce and a chesnut horse….”
    i also loved the lullaby, “all the pretty little horses”
    i did a search to help me remember others
    evidently rascal flats has one out called “no reins” i need to check out
    “Commanche the brave horse” johnny horton
    “heavy horses” jethro tull
    “pony boy” bruce springsteen
    i’ve heard none of those but will be looking them up
    here’s a list of the top 30-
    http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-fun/30-best-horse-songs.aspx

    i also enjoyed highyway men-“silver stallion”
    chris ledoux was one of garth brooks inspirations and has a lot of real good ol cowboy songs that talk about rodeo riding and are mostly fun upbeat numbers…i used to listen to “cowboy cadillac” to pump me up when i’d head out to break in my mustang
    and i really loved “riding for a fall”–though not really about horses–the songs are about real cowboys 🙂

  13. Hi Tabitha! Thanks for the link. I didn’t find that one in my internet travels. That’s so cool that you’ve adopted retired standardbreds. The horses behind our house are up for adoption, or we could sponsor one. We want to do it, just have to make the phone call.

    Some of the horse are young and look like they could run forever. Others are older and you can see the cost of a racing career in swollen joints. One of the grays is the sweetest thing. She takes carrots so gently… I named her Granny because she seems much older than the others.

  14. Great post Victoria,I love horses also but have never been around them much! A few times I have seen people out riding on the side of the road! KY is horse country so you do see them often! If you go on the country around Stanford you will see a lot of the Amish out on Sunday’s with their horse and buggies! I loved a lot of the songs you mentioned!

  15. Hi Quilt Lady, My husband and I will to take a ride out that way. We went down to Tennessee last week. Kentucky is a beautiful state, especially this time of year.

  16. Vicki, great list of horse songs! Most of them are my favorites as well. I really had a thing for Marty Robbins back in the day. I think he was a real cowboy at heart. And his voice! *sigh*

    Good luck with your revisions. 🙂

  17. My favorite, George Strait, has a song called “If Heartaches were Horses.” It’s a sad one about a cowboy’s woman leaving him. “If heartaches were horses and hard times were cattle…”

    Horses are like potato chips: you can never have too many. We only have two at the moment, but my hubby emailed me this morning with a video of a horse he wants to look at on Saturday.

  18. hi Vicki, great pix and post. How about Big and Rich “‘Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy” LOL. Seriously, I love Wild Horses and Wildfire. Snowy River is a movie I can’t watch again beautiful as it is, my heart broke when the bad guys shot the mountain horse. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

  19. Hi Stacey! LOL to horses being like potato chips! Sounds like your stable of two horses is about to become three. I haven’t heard the George Strait song. It sounds great!.

  20. Howdy, Tanya! The video for that “Big and Rich” song is crazy! John Rich is doing a lot for the people of Nashville with the flooding, trying to raise money, etc.. That town took a terrible hit.

  21. Vicki – I loved Wild Horses by Faith Hill (I think she remade it) Can’t remember the original artist. Beer for My Horses is also a fun song. I listen to country music mostly so these come to mind first!
    Good luck on those revisions!!

  22. My favorite is also Strawberry Roan. I don’t think anyone can sing like Marty did.
    I listen to country only and can’t think of any horse songs not mentioned.

  23. I heard once, that in the song, A Horse with No Name. Horse was a slang term for heroine.

    I also think that a true sign of a well educated mind is someone who can here the William Tell Overture and NOT picture the LONE RANGER galloping along on SILVER.

    Also, though this isn’t horse related, another sign of a cultured person is someone who hears the word Chippendale and thinks of lovely furniture. Not male exotic dancers…or two cartoon chipmunks.

  24. Ghost Riders is my all time favorite. Have one of the earliest versions by Sons of the Pioneers. It was one of the first records I ever bought (yes, back in the Dark Ages of the 60’s).
    I always liked Horse With No Name.

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