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Black Horse

Updated on August 12, 2009
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My Top 3 Misunderstood Songs

The black horse, a thing of beauty right? However, musician, KT Tunstall, has managed to take this majestic beast, couple it with a Cherry Tree and completely confuse me with just what her song means! She is not the only culprit. I have 3 such dilemmas. I'm sure I am not alone. Many people have songs they love to listen to, but have little or no understanding of what the lyrics mean. Of course, there are others who think they know the lyrics of a song only to find out they were way off. That's another discussion for another time. Right now I would like to share my views on my most confounding favorites. Maybe they make your list too. if so, please leave me a comment and commiserate with me. Or if you understand the songs, better than I do, I'd love to hear from you as well.

Here's the songs:

Black Horse AND the Cherry Tree

As mentioned, I love this Pop song, it was released in 2006 and the guitar and rhythm sections are unique and lively. However the lyrics have me totally baffled. If you are familiar with the song, then you can relate to the questions stated below.

What happened to her heart and how did it get ruined by the big black horse and the Cherry tree? Obviously the black horse didn't really ask her to marry him, did it? And what cord did she cut that stopped her heart from forgiving her. Frankly, if she sent my heart to a big black horse and a cherry tree, I'd have trouble forgiving her too.

Now I totally agree with her, when she says, "noooooo, noooo, you're not the one for me" as it isn't legal to marry a horse, not to mention the moral outcries of depravity if she tried. But she can't quite get there because her heart has forsaken her? Really? Well maybe it should have if she wants to marry a black horse.

Obviously I'm missing a thing or two. I assume the song really has to do with falling in love with someone, but not istening to her heart which caused her heart to close up shop and now feelings of love will not return even though she has seen the error of her ways.

Maybe the black horse is symbolic of death, maybe death is symbolic of loss, maybe loss if symbolic of a break-up. Or . . . maybe she just stumbled upon a big black horse by a cherry tree and fell in love with its beauty, I can't be sure.

Hotel California
Hotel California

Hotel California

My next beloved, but totally misunderstood song is, Hotel California, by the Eagles, released in 1976. Who hasn't fallen in love with the guitar solo and the melody of this song. But, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? I'm dying to know.

I'm glad the hotel is friendly and welcomes any and everyone, but how come you can check out but NEVER leave? What, do they go through the motions of checking you out and then rip up the receipt? What kind of hotel stays in business with full occupancy and no one paying? How did he get a room to begin with if no one ever leaves? Or maybe its a big SCAM, they get you to check-in, they make you think you are checking out, which requires payment, but then they tell you, "you can neverleave" The longer you stay, the more you owe, but every time you try to check out they take the money and forestall your locking the doors.

I go round and round with trying to make something illogical, logical in my mind. I feel like I'm asleep and dreaming. You know how your mind will try to make your dreams have some type of order and logic, even with the most random thoughts? Well that's where I am with understanding Hotel California.

I actually think I have OVER thought the song and the meaning is probably much more simple and staring me right in the face. Either way it is lost to me now, I'm left with just enjoying the song while being glad I will never check in to that particular hotel.

A Beautiful Sunset
A Beautiful Sunset

Don't Let the Sun Go Down on You

Last but not least, is the Elton John and or George Michael song, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on You. It was released in 2002 and I have to confess I prefer the George Michael/Elton John duet, the live performance version of this song, over the Elton John single version.

Yet, once again, I find myself defeated when I try to understand why he doesn't feel the sun's setting to be a good thing. Of course time stands still and is frozen, he doesn't let the sun set so it can rise again.

While it is good he took a chance, it doesn't seem it was a good decision since he was blinded by her light. And he sure shouldn't have changed her way of life, that can never be healthy in a relationship. So now he doesn't want the sun to go down ever again, a little extreme isn't it? Emotionally that can't be healthy can it?

By the time, Sir Elton John chimes in, I'm even more confused. Evidently they have this girl thinking they mean her harm, because they've cut themselves, apparently a reaction to the fact they did indeed lose the girl.

In retrospect, I suppose they explain it well enough in the chorus when they refer to losing everything being like the sun going down on them. If I am correct, then perhaps the song makes a little more sense to me.

Some how one or both of them managed to find a wonderful girl, decided to completely change the very things that drew them to her and when she rebelled and ended the relationship they felt she let THEM down and decided to act like children, blaming her for their mistakes. Crying the blues that the light that was her love for them was extinguished forever. Goes to show you should always think twice before trying to forcibly change a person. Or so it seems, if I get this song at all!

View the Music Video for Understanding?

My list is not shabby when it comes to talent and ability, no question about that. However I find myself amused by my fixation at understanding the songs I love so much.  I suppose I should watch a music video so I could have closure of some sort, but actually I'd rather be in the dark over superimposing a video image that may or may not be what the artist was actually thinking when the song was written. Videos are produced to make money, not to relate the artist's vision. I think I will just keep on thinking about it every single time I hear the songs on my MP3 player, enjoying the music but wondering what on earth possessed the lyricists who wrote them.


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    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks MFB, great point about Hotel California too. Fits the song very well. I was wondering if the Cherry Tree has some significance in another culture that corresponds with death in some way, but it is just conjecture at this point.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 8 years ago from United States

      Loved this, thoughI cvan't explain the black horse and the cherry tree, even though I love the music, Hotel California is to me what happens when you become famous. "You can check out any time you like but you can never leave," like Marilyn, Elvis, Belucci, Janis, Hendrix and so many more. It sounds like a nice place to be but it sucks to be you if you arer there, even with all the wonders it offers. ~~~MFB III

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi DoodleLyn, glad you could relate to this hub. I have found the comments most insightful. Good to hear from you!

    • DoodleLyn profile image

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Hi Jen,

      I really could relate to this hub. I have difficulty with understanding hidden meanings, in songs, and in writing. Some of the great works of literature are filled with difficult to grasp concepts, and take a lot of thought for me to grasp their full meaning. I like what you said, emohealer, the song is designed to have multiple meanings....that makes me feel better. Thanks for sharing, Jen. Glad you're feeling better. You are an inspiration!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks emohealer, I always appreciate hearing from you! :)


    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 8 years ago from South Carolina

      Very nice is a song designed to have multiple meanings, imagery with no defining. I like that, anything that is mind provoking in this way. Very nice presentation and thought provoking. Thanks!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Ladybird33, now you've got me all curious, what is your full take on the song? Remember there are no wrong answers. :)


    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      This is a great article. I do love the Black Horse and Cherry Tree but never thought about it the way you did, I do think the black horse represents death.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Nick, thanks for sharing your thoughts, I totally forgot about, Michael/John, therefore the meaning could be totally opposite of my thoughts. Appreciate you stopping by.


    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 8 years ago from Normandy, France

      I thought Black Horse And The Cherry Tree was Annie Lennox at first. It must have been the "Woo-Hoo" bits, very reminiscent dontcha think?

      David Bowie used cutups to write Moonage Daydream on Ziggy Stardust and if there is a meaning to "I'm an alligator, I'm a mamma-pappa comin' for you..." I'd be very surprised. Procul Harem's Whiter shade of pale has no meaning, though there are many people of that era that swear the meaning of life is hidden within.

      As far as Hotel California is concerned, perhaps it's because when one does drugs (the harder stuff) it can have a marked effect and never permanently leave you or it can do damage that cannot be fixed.

      That could explain the line "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave".

      I have no idea about don't let the sun go down on me. With George and Elton both being gay, could the sun be a metaphor...

      no Nick, don't go there...

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Yeah, I read that too Connie, sort of fit but wow what imagery, to say the least. lol Missed that Jumping Jack Flash scene, or either can't recall it off hand. I do know it is funny when you search what lyrics actually are as opposed to what folks think they are. Thanks for the comment glad to report I am feeling much better today. :)

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      According to a google search, Hotel California is about excess in America. Okay, but they were probably also having an excess of something when they thought of those lyrics, don't cha think?

      Though this hub is about understanding the MEANING of the lyrics, when I first started to read it, I just couldn't help thinking of Whoopi Goldberg in Jumping Jack Flash where she was just trying to understand what the heck the actual lyrics were that the Rolling Stones were singing. I thought it was a hilarious scene.

      Love the Elton/George Michaels version of that song, too. Glad you felt good enough today to write!


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