Song: Horses and the Honky Tonk

How a cowgirl and broken-hearted crush wrote a song

She’s thinkin’, as he’s leavin’
“Ain’t it somethin’ this relief I’m feeling”
There ain’t no broken heart in sight

So she saddles up for a midnight ride
Hoof-beats match her heart beat stride for stride
Her life gets a little clearer tonight


Back in 2007/2008 I separated and then divorced from my first wife. Without offering a lot of detail, it sucked! I was sad and angry – blah blah blah. You’ve heard this story before somewhere. “Boo hoo. Cry us a river, Matt!”

Note: This post is NOT about divorce or redemption or seeking sympathy, etc. I’m just letting you know the emotional backdrop.

I had also started playing music a bit more. And Cave Creek was a good place to play. In particular, the open mic at the now closed, Cave Creek Coffee Company, run by Joe Daigneault (Mad Coyote Joe) had a cool vibe and talented songwriters. It is where I started performing out – ultimately playing the wine bar, some other local venues, and even opening for bands a couple times in The Camp, a 250 or so seat outdoor stage where national acts toured through.

Also in Cave Creek, was Harold’s and The Buffalo Chip. Harold’s is a pretty lively honky tonk. I didn’t go there a lot but occasionally I would stop in to see a particular band that played there. There was a vocalist I had a bit of a crush on. I’m not the only one who did, I’m certain. But, I enjoyed listening to her, and watching her, sing. I won’t mention names here. But given the timeframe, it won’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure it out.

I never said anything to her about this – though, on a couple acoustic Sundays, when I had a chance to play some music on the stage at Harold’s, I would dutifully fetch her a beer when needed.

I moved back to California, went through a second marriage and divorce, and the crush faded into a sweet memory.

Then, one day – 2013 – she posted a short message on Facebook. I don’t have it verbatim but basically, she was sick of men and was going to stick to riding her horse and singing.

AND BANG! SONG IDEA!!!

Re-read the stanza I started this article with. Yep. Horses & The Honky Tonk, as it would be called, was written in about 24 hours of her post, minus a line or two that I completed about a week later.

When asked about song inspiration, people are often disappointed when something I’ve written is not directly tied to an auto-biographical moment. Some songs are based on a theme. Certainly, I draw on emotions I’ve felt – but that doesn’t mean each song is a story directly taken from my life.

But, for those purist who want that direct connection – a story = a song, I give you, Horses & The Honky Tonk.

The lyrics are below the video.

Horses & The Honky Tonk

© 2013 – Matthew Moran, Arrogant Sage Music

VERSE

She’s thinkin’, as he’s leavin’
“Ain’t it somethin’ this relief I’m feeling”
There ain’t no broken heart in sight

So she saddles up for a midnight ride
Hoof-beats match her heart beat stride for stride
And her life gets a little clearer tonight
(pre-chorus/chorus)

PRE-CHORUS

She used to wonder what she could have done better
Or if there was something she should have said
She’s put those fears to rest, she’s making plans instead

CHORUS

She’s not waiting for that man in her life
Who knows how hold her tight, but still let her go
So she’ll ride ride ride and put her hands on the mic
Let the music calm the storm in her soul

She holds the key to the dreams only she can unlock
And she’ll trust her heart
To the horses and the honky-tonk

VERSE

She takes the stage, boots hit the floor
The band is tight, the crowd screams for more
And her soul is running wild and free

It’s amps and guitars, it’s saddles and spurs
It’s rock and roll country, it’s all for the girl
And she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be
(pre-chorus/chorus)

Posted in Blog, Life, music, Songwriting and tagged , .

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