American Horse

Album: Sonic Temple (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • The Cult's front man, Ian Astbury, explains the inspiration behind this song: "When I wrote 'American Horse,' I had an image in my mind of a black stallion with an American flag draped over his back, being whipped by some kind of dark figure. The horse and his mane have an eagle feather, and Indian beadwork, so I kinda took this to represent the American Indian nation."

    Astbury is fascinated by Native American culture and has been known to wear feathers in his hair on stage in nod to the culture. When Astbury was boy, he moved to Canada from England, and it was here that Astbury was introduced to Native American culture first-hand: "I travelled to a six-nation reservation and there I was exposed to a native people in their own environment. I later became fascinated with Native American Indian religious and political systems. I saw a whole lot more truth and wisdom there than in what I was being taught by my white schoolteachers." Astbury's interest would manifest itself most prominently on The Cult's fifth album, Ceremony, which was highly influenced by Native American culture.

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