What does Black Horse & Cherry Tree mean?

Search Login

KT Tunstall: Black Horse & Cherry Tree Meaning

Tagged:

No tags, suggest one.

Song Released: 2005


Black Horse & Cherry Tree Lyrics

two, three, four

(woo-hoo,woo-hoo)
(woo-hoo,woo-hoo)

well my heart knows me better than i know myself
so i'm gonna let it do all the talking.
(woo-hoo,woo-hoo)
i came across a place in the middle of nowhere
with a big black horse and a...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 9th, 2007 7:40pm report


    I believe that this is a woman faced with the regret of a decision she made in her earlier years. "I cut some cord and I shouldn't have done that and it won't forgive me after all these years" I think is referring to the decision to end a pregnancy -- she has visualized sending the daughter-that-might-have-been to a place in the middle of nowhere -- aka limbo.

    The cherry tree, in American culture, symbolizes telling a truth about a past lie or wrong act - or could be fertility. The Big Black Horse could be a death omen/figure.

    In any event - her heart has lead her to the realization that what has been missing from her life (the hole for the world to see) is the child she could have had. Her heart knows her better than she knows herself -- she may be considering sending herself to that limbo, asking to marry the black horse (aka death) but the death figure denying her - perhaps because her fate is to live with her regret... or because she is not welcome in that limbo (but has another one reserved for her.

    That's one interpretation anyway. ask me again tomorrow.



  2.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 9th, 8:48am report


    I love the various interpretations. That's what creativity and artistic lyrics can inspire....each person projects their own ideas. Better than, "I popped a cap in that ho".

    I read the artist's meaning (so please don't re-post), but I took it as when you give your heart to someone and they aren't really the one for you, but you need someone? Maybe she had to get married anyway, but had a cut off what she really wanted to do? OR, like the Pirates in the Carribean, she cut out her heart and gave it to "the big black horse," in the middle of no where because she kept thinking about a lost potential relationship. Even though she is white, I didn't see/hear that. The lyrics sounded like she was a Black or Cajun lady from the Bayou, maybe voodoo and stuff. Perhaps that's how she dealt with the pain of love/adventure/decision loss.

    RAD LYRICS! A good song out there, finally. So easy to cover, too.



  3.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 18th, 2012 11:09pm report


    Please Update the meaning on this site above:
    In The Guardian newspaper of February 24, 2006, Tunstall explained: "It's a metaphor for good and evil. One summer, I was traveling in Greece on a little moped and this massive black horse had broken free in an olive grove and was going nuts. It looked apocalyptic: a seed was sown. I wrote the song years later in a tiny studio in Shepherd's Bush. I was about to tour Scottish coffee shops and was worried about coming across like Phoebe from Friends. At the same time I saw a brilliant guy called Son of Dave who looked like a ginger nylon 1980s' Elvis: really raw blues with just voice and effects. I got a pedal and one of my techie friends helped me put myself and my guitar through it. It's probably the most scientific I've been, but the song was written in a 10-minute burst. The lyrics where my 'Heart stops dead' refer to a heart murmur I had as a baby. I got into this fantasy that my heart felt betrayed and had decided to stop working. The song is about having to dig incredibly deep to find out who you wanna be."



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 29th, 2012 7:30am report


    There have been so many wonderful interpretations of this beautiful song. I don't think KT was entirely conscious of how deep this song is and what it can represent. Abortion, losing one's virginity, love, loss, irrevocable choices in life. What I believe is interesting is that KT uses the signature Bo Didley rhythm and accents in her structure for the guitar strumming throughout the entire song. A black horse by a cherry tree could clearly be about a southern black man's lynching in pre-civil rights era America. KT certainly wasn't intentionally writing about the demise of an innocent African American, however, there have been documented cases of black men accused of raping white women, and subsequently being hunted down by mobs of hysterical vigilantes, and then hung with a noose over a tree. The "cut cord" could represent the hangman's noose and the regret over rejecting the black horse and the hole in the woman's heart could signify the woman's minor role in the death of the gentle and loving black man that she was once afraid of and foolishly abandoned.



  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 23rd, 2012 1:35pm report


    Its just plain 'ol perfect song..



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 21st, 2011 7:43am report


    it is so true that a song can represent watever u want it to. i interpret it as a woman who is torn between a right and a wrong decision directly relating to a man who is no good for her. she feels her heart has forsaken her because she know she has to walk away but she doesnt want to. that is the cord she cut but feels she shouldnt have because her heart is still attached. a classic case of looking for love in all the wrong places. it never ends well!!



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 5th, 2011 7:09pm report


    In The Guardian newspaper of February 24, 2006, Tunstall explained: "It's a metaphor for good and evil. One summer, I was traveling in Greece on a little moped and this massive black horse had broken free in an olive grove and was going nuts. It looked apocalyptic: a seed was sown. I wrote the song years later in a tiny studio in Shepherd's Bush. I was about to tour Scottish coffee shops and was worried about coming across like Phoebe from Friends. At the same time I saw a brilliant guy called Son of Dave who looked like a ginger nylon 1980s' Elvis: really raw blues with just voice and effects. I got a pedal and one of my techie friends helped me put myself and my guitar through it. It's probably the most scientific I've been, but the song was written in a 10-minute burst. The lyrics where my 'Heart stops dead' refer to a heart murmur I had as a baby. I got into this fantasy that my heart felt betrayed and had decided to stop working. The song is about having to dig incredibly deep to find out who you wanna be."



  8.  

    IISS
    click a star to vote
    Aug 19th, 2010 8:15pm report


    Surprisingly the mystery has been solved. The answer comes directly from KT Tunstall herself. She tells the Guardian Newspaper in the U.K. That the song was inspired by an incident that occurred in Greece. She likens the song to "good" and "evil" stating that the incident triggered an apocalyptic impression. She says, " this massive black horse had broken free in an olive grove and was going nuts. It looked apocalyptic..." For some genuine effect she does add a personal note to the song about her heart mummur as a baby. She is quoted as having said, "The lyrics where my 'Heart stops dead' refers to a heart murmur I had as a baby."... when she is relating to the song with her own personal experience she says," I got into this fantasy that my heart felt betrayed and had decided to stop working." She goes on to interpret the song so that we no longer have to wonder what the heck the mysterious symbology means. Tunsatall says," The song is about having to dig incredibly deep to find out who you wanna be." You can read the published article at :
    http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=6459

    As an added note, I did like the interpretations of other posters and I think they have great merit and stand alone with great integrity. That's the beauty of song though. You can relate to words and construct them to fit what you are personally going through so that you can get meaning (your meaning) to fit your situation. It helps to go through what you are going through much easier. Just a thought. However it would be nice to have a line by line interpretation from Ms. Tunstall herself. But then again maybe she was just spinning words as it took her only 10 minutes to create the song.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 23rd, 2009 10:41pm report


    when I hear this song I am reminded that there are loads of pubs in
    britain named "the black horse" and especially loads named "the cherry
    tree". I wouldn't be surpised if this factors in there somewhere in a stream
    of consciousness way...



  10.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 11th, 2009 10:49pm report


    This is actually a parallel to a relative tale like the frog prince. In the story, a princess is playing next to a well, when her golden ball accidentally falls into the well. The well is located near a lime tree. The princes is devastated and is crying, when along comes a frog, and tells her that if he goes and gets the golden ball, she must commit herself to him forever. The princess agrees because she thinks the frog can never get out of the well, but once he has retreived the ball and she leaves him without keeping her promise, he follows her to her castle and her father obligates her to keep the promise she had made the frog. The frog annoyed the princess so much, that she threw him against the wall, and that turned him into a prince. He explained that a evil witch had turned him into a frog, and that now they must get married. The princess agreed.

    KT Tunstall song is a symbol of this. The tree in the song is a cherry tree, and it's parallel to the tree in the story, which is a lime tree.
    The frog in the story is parallel to the big black horse.

    I think that's what it means.



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 22nd, 2006 3:35am report


    It's about a virgin (cherry tree), presumably white, who gets impregnated by an African-American (big, black horse--nice racial stereotype!) so she gets an abortion (cut some cord & I shouldn't have done that). Now "after all these years" she regrets it (a hole in my heart for the world to see & my heart's foresaken me).

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway



More KT Tunstall song meanings ยป


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]





Powered by sweet Captcha

Just Posted

Animals anonymous
Shepherd of Fire anonymous
Get Up anonymous
Hallelujah anonymous
Apologize anonymous
Warriors anonymous
Seven Nation Army anonymous
How Long Will I Love You anonymous
Coffin anonymous
Unchained Melody anonymous
Mandolin Wind anonymous
Don't Stop Me Now anonymous
Why Not Me anonymous
There Is desiree.smith.9231712
Anaconda anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Warriors
Imagine Dragons
Shotgun Rider
Tim McGraw
You And Your Friends
Wiz Khalifa
Lullaby
Professor Green
Blame It On Me
George Ezra
Lonely Tonight
Blake Shelton
Sun Daze
Florida Georgia Line
Arrows
Fences