"He Lays in the Reins" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
One more drink tonight as your gray stallion rests
Where he lays in the reins
For all of the speed and the strength he gave

One more kiss tonight from some tall stable girl
She's like grace from the earth
When you're all tuckered out and tame

One more tired thing the gray moon on the rise
When your want from the day
Makes you to curse in your sleep at night

One more gift to bring we may well find you laid
Like your steed in his reins
Tangled too tight and too long to fight


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

"He Lays in the Reins" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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He Lays in the Reins song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentthe spanish part is such a sharp contrast from the normal lullaby iron and wine i'm used to

    it kind of offsets the whole mood, but whatever.
    Murphy McManuson January 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have no idea when this song was written, but after reading & seeing Brokeback Mountain, I can't help but have a different idea about what this song is about than before. "We may well find you laid like your steed in his reins"...? hm. The album came out before the movie, but the Annie Proulx story was published a few years before that.

    but more likely, the last stanza is about death of this cowboy. we are bringing him gifts one last time, he's laid out for the funeral. and "in his reins" refers to God. like your steed in god's reins, tangled too tight and too long to fight. wow, what an amazing song.

    but still, post-brokeback, it acquires another great meaning.

    Can anyone translate the Spanish? In the liner notes, it's written:
    "Nunca pense que jamás
    Tener la oportunidad de reencontrar el camino de nuevo
    Para formar un mundo mejor"

    my weak spanish skillz say something like:
    "never think it's too late
    to take the opportunity to meet again the road
    to make a better world."
    roglewison February 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is a great new direction for iron and wine. it is a bit different from the norm, but it's still just as beautiful, at first i didn't like the spanish opera sound, but now i can't stop listening to this.

    i can't really put into words what this song means to me. it's almost like someone who is tired out from life and even though they want, they can't keep fighting, they have been too tangled for too long
    sortileguson February 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbeautiful song. not so sure about the Brokeback Mountain background though I see the point you make, think it's more general Cormack McCarthy territory - the plains are bleak and a cowboy's life is nasty, brutish and short
    stevenson.tonyon February 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe the spanish in this song is translated as

    "I never thought I would
    Have a chance to find the road again
    To make a better world "

    I'm not 100% sure though.
    IAmABananaon March 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGorgeous. Amazing band.
    Rogue Wave/Iron & Wine/The Shins... in perfect relation. If you don't know any one of those bands, you must! lol. oh, also Sufjan Stevens.. need I say more? Indie rules.
    Less Than Sevenon October 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentjust listen to the goddam record without bearing anything in mind
    SofiaOon January 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHey!
    You guys completely miss the overall meaning of the song. Its about a conquistador at the end of his life. The clue is his "steed." the Spaniards introduced Horses to the Americas. They are what enabled the Spaniards to conquer the Aztec and the Incas. The horse is a metaphor for the Spaniards power.
    "Laying in the Reins" is a metaphor for the waning power of the Spanish Empire.
    Read some history. For your sake.
    skippybangbangon January 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe laYS in the reins

    great song, the spanish part is great too
    psychobainon July 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful :)
    lethologicalon October 23, 2005   Link

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