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America - A Horse With No Name - Lyrics Meaning

This was English folk-rock band America's first and most successful single, released in 1972.

Despite its age, the lyrics could quite easily be interpreted as a message to mankind in the 21st Century with the lines, `...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.' Could this be an environmental comment? Probably not. It seems the lyrics were written under the influence of LSD and came about through observing a couple of pieces of artwork hanging on the wall, one of which was a desert scene.

The band were often criticised for their bizarre or even banal lyrics and this track, although massively popular, was no exception with lines such as, `...the heat was hot,' and, `...there were plants and birds and rocks and things...'

The track was originally titled `Desert Song' and the suggestion is that the change to `A Horse With No Name' confirms the drug connection with `horse' being a common slang term for heroin. The same supposed drug references saw it banned from a number of radio stations across America.

Perhaps it's the repetitive `la, la, la,' of the chorus, but for some strange reason, the song has been adopted by Liverpool FC fans in England and is frequently heard on bus trips to away matches!

Meanings of other songs by America:
Horse With No Name