Horse with no Name
By Tina Portelli
Not my type of music by any means, yet, this song by America moves me in a
way that no other does. I love opera and classical music, not hippie songs
of the seventies.
When I hear this song, it evokes a feeling of utter utopia in me. I do not
associate this song with romance or a singular event, but a time, a few
hours on any given Saturday.
In 1972 I was a new bride. It was the first time I lived in a place of my
own, first time out of the parent nest. At twenty-two I felt liberated;
to think, this refrigerator was mine, this bed, the towels, sheets, all
mine. (Oh yes, and his.) But this is not about him. This is about my
experience of having my own place and what it meant to me.
After a week of hard work at the office, I would look forward to my weekend
at home. Not because I was going anywhere special, but because Saturday was
my day to clean. I would chase the husband out of the house with
instructions not to return before 4:00. The first thing I would do is open
all the windows and let the summer winds flow through, rip the sheets off
the bed, throw away old food, get my cleaning weapons out of the cabinet
and get ready for action.
I would perk a pot of coffee, which, with my radio, would be my companions
of the day. And then I'd get started. Putting up a fresh sauce to simmer
for hours was my first task. I could then focus and get to the hard labor.
Scrub those floors, shine all surfaces, wash, fold, press, put away the
essence of my week. While some would consider this drudgery, I found it to
be pure pleasure. While enjoying the solitude of the day, I would listen
to the radio, and popular songs would be played over and over and over.
"A Horse With No Name" a song by the popular group "America" was the hit
of the time. I still don't know what the song is about, what messages lie
in those words, but when I hear that tune I immediately feel the wave of
joy that lived in me back then. I am brought back to a time that is
etched in my mind, remembering the newness and pridefulness of having my
own home. I have often heard my old wedding song played, and my eyes do
not blink and there is not a trace of melancholy. But the memory of
those summer Saturdays fill me with pure joy.
I am now single, I still have my Saturday ritual of cleaning my apartment,
with coffee by my side and music I understand. Once in awhile I cheat and
go back for a dose of that horse. I am still in awe of that blissfully
potent effect that old horse song still has on me. And, I am eternally
grateful for it.