Song Lyric Sunday — No Name

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us Cowboy, Gun, Hat, Horse, and Western. For me (and probably a few others, as well), the first song that popped into my head was “A Horse With No Name” by America.

Recorded in 1971 and released in the U.S. in early 1972, the song was written by Dewey Bunnell, lead singer for the folk rock band America. It was the band’s first and most successful single.

The song was commonly misinterpreted to being about drugs, given that “horse” was often used as slang for heroin. It was even banned from being played by some radio stations in the U.S. because of its alleged drug references. But according to Bunnell, the song’s original title was “Desert Song,” and it was written about the desert scenery and images he encountered when he was visiting his father when he was stationed at an Air Force base near Santa Barbara, California.

According to Bunnell, the “horse” represents a means of entering a place of tranquility, and this tranquil place was best represented by the desert. As to why the horse had no name and why it went free after nine days, Bunnell doesn’t have any answer.

Personally, I’ve always thought that the lyrics to this song, as is the case with the lyrics to many of America’s songs — the group, not the country — were written under the influence of pot or acid, but the band members strongly deny that.

Here are the lyrics to “A Horse With No Name.”

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

Weekend Writing Prompt — Vulnerable

43A715BB-C3E8-4320-A5E9-B46D18F6F3BEI never thought I’d see the day when America would be vulnerable to becoming an autocracy.

Then along came Donald Trump.

(21 words)


35CBBA8C-02CC-40E2-8249-E6BB3707BA14Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “vulnerable” in exactly 21 words. Photo credit: Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post.

In Other Words — Madness

89C6160C-121F-4C9B-BC09-1EF78F9468DBThis is America in the age of Trump

This is crazy

This is scary

This is dangerous

In other words, this is madness


In other wordsThis post was written for the In Other Words prompt from Patricia’s Place. The challenge this week is to write a story or poem of five lines or fewer using the word “madness.” Image credit: Michael Vadon’s Flickr photostream.

Let It Bleed — The Down Side of Magic

9424D891-551E-4F48-BDA7-09EB45860D0FKyle was a skeptic when his best buddy told him about the spellcaster. “I’m a stock broker, right? But truth be told, I didn’t know what I was doing and my clients weren’t at all happy with me,” his friend told Kyle. “I was probably days away from getting canned so I asked her if she could help.  She recited some sort of incantation over me and within a few days I became a wizard at my job. Now I’m taking in the boatloads of cash and have a stable full of wealthy clients. It was like a freakin’ miracle.”

After hearing this tale, Kyle, who was unlucky in love, decided to see if there might be a spell to help him be attractive to beautiful woman. So he went to see the same spellcaster, told her what he was looking for, and asked if she had a magic spell that could work for him. She said she did.

And boy did it work! Suddenly Kyle was in demand and he could pretty much take his pick of the most beautiful women around. And then he found the woman of his dreams and Kyle still couldn’t believe that he was actually dating her.

When they first started going out, every time he looked at her, that old song by America, “Sister Golden Hair,” came to mind. Especially the verse that goes “Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, sister golden hair surprise / And I just can’t live without you, can’t you see it in my eyes?”

But after a while Kyle began to feel that there was trouble in paradise. Sister Golden Hair was a jealous bitch. Despite her incredible beauty, her jealousy was driving Kyle crazy.

Kyle decided to pay another visit to the spellcaster to see if she could do anything to rectify the situation. She told Kyle that all she could do was reverse the original spell, and while he was reluctant to lose his sway over the most beautiful women, he asked the spellcaster to remove her spell.

The next time Kyle saw Sister Golden Hair, things between them got awkward quickly. After a few moments together, she reached out and held both of his hands and, with tears streaming down her cheeks, said, “Kyle, we need to stop seeing one another. Suddenly the magic is gone.”

“Yes, I feel that way, too,” he said, barely able to hide the look of relief on his face.


Written for this week’s Let It Bleed Challenge, where the prompt is the word “magic.”

And in case you’re not familiar with the song I referenced in this tale, here it is:

Genocide

“Wow,” Sandra exclaimed. “This was built before our country was even discovered.”

“Yes it was,” answered Sandra’s mother. “A lot of structures in England were built long before America was discovered. But did you know that America existed before it was discovered by Europeans?”

“But how can something exist before it’s been discovered?” Sandra asked.

“That’s an excellent question,” Sandra’s mother said. “The land existed and people who we now call ‘Native Americans’ lived there. But the Europeans thought they were uncivilized and primitive, so they didn’t really count, and then the white descendants of the Europeans nearly wiped them out.”

(100 words)


Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.