Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And did it feel good to be out of the rain?

I have but one question for you today, and it goes like this: Have you ever been through the desert on a horse with no name?

America is one of those bands that was hard to dislike. First off, it would be, well, un-American. Second, the three-part harmonies were actually very good. So even though many of the song lyrics were, shall we say, less than sophisticated, the folksy tunes were -- in words my artist friend Rick reserves for very special occasions -- pretty OK.

America's first hit, "A Horse With No Name'', was actually written and recorded in London, where the band members were attending high school while their fathers served in the U.S. military. They hadn't even set foot on U.S. soil as the group America until the song was released and quickly shot up the Billboard charts.

It reached No. 1 on this day in 1972.

Not ALL of America's lyrics were dreadful. The words to "Sister Golden Hair'', for example, were better than the song title:

Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain't ready for the altar but I do agree there's times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Don't you know it, brothers.


  1. "America" trivia:
    What character in a book by an author previously mentioned in Six String Sanctuary once spent a year following the band on its U.S. tour?
    Hint: It wasn't Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.
    Unlike Strumbum, this character saw great depth in the lyrics to "Horse With No Name."

    "The ocean is a desert with its life underground
    And a perfect disguise above
    Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
    But the humans will give no love"

    The Master gets it! Don't you????

  2. I have no idea. But I do agree with your assessment of America. There's not much more to say. Another band with the same stigma was Pure Prairie League. Their harmonies, instrumentation and songs all still make me smile a good smile. Lots of talent...very little acclaim. Or, "For a while, maybe longer..."

    Let's here some upbeat blogging because life isn't really a drag unless you let it be. I've been down that hill and am climbing back up.

  3. "There were plants and birds and rocks and THINGS."

    Dylan weeps.

  4. Vince Gill was in Pure Prairie League.

    He doesn't suck.

  5. And the answer is ....
    Tomlinson, close friend and confidante of Doc Ford in Randy Wayne White's series. (I don't recall which book, and my RWW collection is not close at hand at the moment.)
    If you think about it, it's a natural connection - a strung-out, drug-addled Tomlinson is the perfect spirit to find deep meaning where everyone else sees nonsensical lyrics.