Sunday, June 21, 2009

wild horses

In All The Pretty Horses, a 1992 novel by Cormac McCarthy, 16-year-old Texas boy John Grady and his cousin Rawlins ride away to Mexico alone and find themselves breaking wild horses on the 11,000 hectare Hacienda de Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion.
This is the bit where the boys first enter the pen where the wild horses are to handle them and wrestle them and come into that unique contact which inspires so much art...
"The horses were already moving. He took the first one that broke and rolled his loop and forefooted the colt and it hit the ground with a tremendous thump. The other horses flared and bunched and looked up wildly. Before the colt could struggle up John Grady had squatted on its neck and pulled its head up and to one side and was holding the horse by the muzzle with the long bony head pressed against his chest and the hot sweet breath of it flooding up from the dark wells of its nostrils over his face and neck like news from another world...."
"They did not smell like horses. They smelled like what they were, wild animals. He held the horse's face against his chest and he could feel along his inner thighs the blood pumping through the arteries and he could smell the fear and he cupped his hand over the horse's eyes and stroked them and he did not stop talking to the horse at all, speaking in a low steady voice and telling it all that he intended to do and cupping the animal's eyes and stroking the terror out..."

Horse (mp3) by Dirty Three. From the great Horse Stories album, 1996. Phenomenal Melbourne Australia band. Dirt and ecstasy and love masterpiece.

Bandit (mp3) by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. From Greendale. The way the strings rattle is cowboy and pure like Bob Dylan in Blood On The Tracks.

Horse With No Name (mp3) by America. 1972. The ultimate existential cowboy song in which the power and magnitude of the desert engulfs mere human flesh-and-blood so much that the desert becomes a sea. Human form reddens and cracks and dies. Horses are reduced to anonymous carriers; identity is stripped. Dali-esque.

Brokeback Mountain 1 (mp3) by Gustavo Santaolalla. From the soundtrack. Just like All The Pretty Horses, but gay.

White Horse (mp3) by Laid Back. Early 80's electro classic from Copenhagen.

The Funeral (mp3) by Band of Horses. Amazing modern Americana rock with tear-stained cheeks that also brilliantly soundtracks Danny MacAskill's post-modern Edinburgh BMX tricks.

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