Bring On The Dancing Horses

Album: Songs To Learn & Sing (1985)
Charted: 21
  • The dancing horses, "headless and all alone," are statues. In a Songfacts interview with lead singer Ian McCulloch, he explained: "It's about the way people would sooner look at statues than themselves. We revere things that tell us about ourselves. It's that thing of how we think art is very important. A life without art, who knows what that would be like? We think the Mona Lisa is this thing that's valuable, when something else isn't."
  • This song first appeared on the Echo & The Bunnymen compilation album Songs To Learn & Sing in 1985, where it was the only new song on the track list. The following year, it was used in the movie Pretty In Pink; it plays in a scene where Molly Ringwald's character shares some banter with her love interest, played by Andrew McCarthy, while she's working in a record store. It's a fitting placement because in America, Echo was a very niche group, known mainly among those with eclectic (some would say pretentious) tastes, including record store employees.

    In the 2000 film High Fidelity, Echo is part of some dialogue that takes place in a record store. When a customer comes in looking for "The Killing Moon" EP, he tells Jack Black's character (an obnoxious clerk prone to upbraiding customers for their tastes in music) that he owns all the other albums by the band. Black then pushes the Jesus And Mary Chain album Psychocandy on him, saying, "They picked up where your precious Echo left off, and you're sitting around complaining about no more Echo albums. I can't believe you don't own this f--king record."
  • Three different characters are named in this song: Jimmy Brown, Charlie Clown and Billy. Ian McCulloch told Songfacts: "It's about, are we statues or are we human? Not like The Killers' thing but it's about heart and soul: 'Jimmy Brown, made of stone.' I'm not Jimmy Brown, I'm someone else. I'm the one who's just shivering and saying 'the words of every lie I've heard.'"
  • Anton Corbijn directed the video, which contains many abstract images, including an anthropomorphic unicorn. Corbijn also did the videos for "Lips Like Sugar" and "Bedbugs And Ballyhoo."
  • Echo & The Bunnymen released a new version on their 2018 album The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon.

Comments: 1

  • Tony from San DiegoSeriously how am I the first person commenting on this incredible song? One of the alternative 80s classics. Oh, this and The Furs, The Cure Oh, Yaz...
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