Chestnut Mare Lyrics - The Byrds

Review The Song (7)



Byrds – Chestnut Mare Lyrics
Always alone
Never with a herd
Prettiest mare I've ever seen
You'll have to take my word

I'm going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I'll give her my brand

Well I was up on Stony Ridge
After this chestnut mare, been chasing her for weeks
Oh I'd catch a glimpse of her every once in a while
Taking her meal, bathing, fine lady
This one day I happen to be real close to her
And I saw her standing over there
So I snuck up on her nice and easy
Got my rope out
And I flung it in the air!

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I'm going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I'll give her my brand
And we'll be friends for life
She'll be just like a wife
I'm going to catch that horse if I can

And I got her and I'm pulling on her
And she's pulling back like this mule going up a ladder
And I take a choice and I jump right up on her
Damned if I don't land right on top of her
And she takes off, running up onto the ridge
Higher than I've ever been before
She's running along just fine
'Til she stops and something spooked her
It's a sidewinder, all coiled and ready to strike
She doesn't know what to do for a second
But then, she jumps off the edge, me holding on

Above the hills, higher than eagles were gliding
Suspended in the sky
Over the hill
Straight for the sun we were riding
My eyes were filled with light
Behind those black walls
Below was a bottomless canyon
Floating with no sound
Ghosts far below
Seemed to be suddenly rising
Exploding all around

I'm going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I'll give her my brand
And we'll be friends for life
She'll be just like a wife
I'm going to catch that horse if I can

We were falling
Down this crevice
About about a mile down it seem
And I looked down
And I see this red thing below us coming up real fast
And it's our reflection that's
This little pool of water about six feet wide and one foot deep
And we're falling down right through it
We hit, we splashed it dry
That's when I lost my hold
And she got away
But I'm gonna try and get her again some day

I'm going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I'll give her my brand
And we'll be friends for life
She'll be just like a wife
I'm going to catch that horse, I'm going to catch that horse, I'm going to catch that horse, if I can



Click here to submit the Corrections of Chestnut Mare Lyrics
You're being played!! | Reviewer: SJS truckin@twcny.rr.com | 12/7/12

I guess you hopeless Romantics need enlightenment. Here goes. Roger seems to be in touch with his feminine side. Now if a girl wrote about this kind of horse lusting nobody would say boo. All that aside just google his coauthor. He's some kind of a Shrink talking about eating, bathing, a rope she's pulling on, jumping on her, snales, taking a leap and falling into the abyss, the sun & the moon, staring down surroundedby black and crawing to the red, splashing it dry, and finally loosing your rope.
I never met a Shrink that didn't need a Shrink. Shrink's come in two types, Freaudian & Skinnerian. If he/she is a Freaudian they can't help themselves from thinking like this and it's more than probable they never did acid. If he/she is a Skinnerian they can have some fun with this and call the local radio station and dedicate it to their rival Freaudians with the added comment choke on "this"!(not a Freaudian slip) I think that maybe I'm dreaming.......

Sexual allegory | Reviewer: Anony-moose | 9/9/12

I always heard these lyrics as a not-so-subtle allegory for an attempted sexual conquest -- the narrator pursuing a beautiful woman, who is symbolized by the horse. Funny that no one else ever seems to mention this interpretation, which seems really obvious to me.

Chestnut Mare | Reviewer: Richard Niege | 7/31/12

I'm very sorry that some college gave a paper on this an A++ - the music to this song is sublime but the lyrics are woeful. Example: 'she'll be just like a wife' - referring to a horse! I've always loved this song but I suspect the other Byrds were laughing their heads off and just said "sure - that'll be fine". Essentially, if you reject any potential esoteric symbolism, which is really not apparent - a guy falls in love with a horse - end of story.

Byrd Lover | Reviewer: Doug Hood | 10/12/11

It is a beautiful song and you can read into it WHAT YOU WANT. I wrote a paper about it in my Western Lit class in college. I inerpreted as a Roger McQuinn BRYDS eye view of trying to find yourself and your destiny...really has nothing to do about a horse!! I got an A++ for the paper...I looked down and saw this red thing below us...our reflection in a little pool of water...

So Good! | Reviewer: Byrd Watcher | 5/18/11

Don't listen to the other review-this is a true classic. Its a long song because McGuinn originally wrote it for a play that never ending up seeing the light up day, and eventually he decided to record it with the Byrds. If you want to read bestiality into it...well, fine, that's what your mind gets out of, but its really just a beautiful song about a bygone time and the connection between man and nature. Beautiful 12-string picking by McGuinn and acoustic fills by Clarence White.

why?! | Reviewer: Nobody Special | 2/26/08

I grew up digging the Byrds' folk-rock, and their covers of Dylan were ace, but what is THIS? the chorus itself is bad enough but this song is way too long to say way too little (apart from: this guy better not live where bestiality is illegal, until he decides whether he wants to ride that horse or - ahem - 'ride' it).

hmmm .... if a mule is the offspring of a mare and a donkey, what do you call the offspring of a mare and a byrd?

I know a proper review means I should look closer at the lyrics and the song structure and what-not, but when I actually think of the words --!

this song gives a bad name to 'drug-music'.

Why?! | Reviewer: Nobody Special | 2/26/08

I grew up digging the Byrds' folk-rock, and their covers of Dylan were ace, but what is THIS? the chorus itself is bad enough but this song is way too long to say way too little (apart from this guy better not live where bestiality is illegal, until he decides whether he wants to ride that horse or - ahem - 'ride' it).

hmmm .... if a mule is the offspring of a mare and a donkey, what do you call the offspring of a horse and a byrd?

this song gives a bad name to 'drug-music'.



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------ Performed by The Byrds

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------ 10/31/2014

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