All the Pretty Horses (WBR 36) by Three Is a Green Crown
We begin with a babe who must be crying--an echo of another babe in the distance. "All the Pretty Horses" is one of America's many horror-tinged folk musical creations. While one tradition calls joyfully to Michael to row the boat ashore, another speaks to the simple tragedies of a nation at birth. Look and you'll find them: dust bowl ballads, mortality meditations, strange and sweet melodies born of hardship and sacrifice. In this song, a slave mother who can't care for her own infant sings the master's fractious child to sleep... a child, of course, who only pines for his own mother.
Falling asleep can feel like death. In it we disappear, we lose control, exhausted. The process is not always restful. Is it, as James put it to me the other day, a threat of eradication? Why else do children who hear the "bed-time" call run from their parents? And why do grown insomniacs stare at the ceiling, unable to relinquish the day, give in and let go? We soothe our children, and sometimes at night we must soothe ourselves. Sometimes, as here, we do it with promises of heaven. But the world waits, the next great fear lurks, tomorrow's troubles wait patiently within tomorrow for us to find. I myself can only sleep lightly, treading the surface. I know this world of beauty and horrors has more time than I do. --Anne DeAcetis
All the Pretty Horses (WBR 36)
All the Pretty Horses (WBR 36) by Three Is a Green Crown is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.