"Born on a Horse" as written by and Simon Alexander Neil....
I pronounce it aluminium
'cause there's an I next to the U and M
Now write it down slowly
And read it out fast

Shes got eyes
Propostrious eyes
I've never had a lover who's my sister or my brother before

I've been counting on the wrong things
To make life feel alright
You can be
My icy queen
'till the end of time
You can have it all
You're stuck in the middle
Reason one and all
I was born on a horse thats all

I like to think im just a thorough bread
Open name with no horses flesh
We're galloping slowly
Through this broken glass
Shes got hoofs
Proposterious hoofs
Ive never had a lover who's my sister or my brother before

I've been counting on the wrong things
To make life feel alright
You can be my icy queen till the end of time
You can have it all
You're stuck in the middle
Reason one and all
I was born on a horse thats all

You can have it all
You're stuck in the middle
Reason one and all
I was born on a horse thats all


Lyrics submitted by darenf, edited by Mellow_Harsher, xantham74

"Born on a Horse" as written by Simon Alexander Neil

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Born on a Horse song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI've been counting on the wrong things
    to make life feel alright
    you can be
    my acid queen
    'till the end of time


    Reference to drugs??
    calpolsixplus1on December 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIncest.
    replacementson December 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI thought I’d do my own interpretation of this song — being a scot myself if there’s anything that I might understand more than some of our American cousins I will mention it. Anyway, before I get started I just want to say that my opinion of this song is not that it’s against America in any way, but leaning towards a bittersweet rivalry between the old and new world.

    ‘I pronounce it aluminium
    Because there’s an I next to the U and M
    Now write it down slowly
    And read it out fast’

    To begin with, this is definitely an opening dig to establish a connection between America and the UK — with the Americans pronouncing it more like ‘aloominum’ than the brits who pronounce it ‘al-you-min-ium’. In school, we were always made to write things down repetitively so we were able to pronounce them clearly but our dialect (especially the scots) is quite quick. In a way any slur on the English language is a pet peeve of the English themselves — hence why this is a ‘dig’ but not a nasty one because everyone with an accent speaks differently.

    ‘She’s got eyes
    Preposterous eyes
    I’ve never had a lover who’s my sister or my brother before’

    The eyes are mentioned a few times throughout the song. This could be in reference to America seeing all/being involved in the affairs of England even if it’s not directly. To watch something is not necessarily to get involved with something which is a common misconception about the Americans who are stereotypically the first to jump in on any situation — but the point is, the Brits know they are there watching their moves. This is not intended to be used in a negative way as the next line shows. The mention of siblings as lovers in this context is used to describe the relationship because of this — that America and the UK are close like siblings but embrace each other’s cultures more so than any other nations giving them an intimate connection. Language, history, culture — all too intimate to be described only as a sibling relationship.

    ‘I’ve been counting on the wrong things
    To make me feel alright
    You can be
    My acid queen
    Until the end of time’

    I was a little confused until I really thought about the first two lines and how they could be used together. I think as a nation this is the acknowledgement that we have spent so much time and effort trying to separate our cultures and remain ‘British’ because we have been so fiercely independent until recently but as we’ve opened up an embraced the American culture a little we’ve realized that it could actually be beneficial. So, even if America acts ‘icy/acid-like’ towards us (After all, we’ve had bloody battles and they are a well-established country) because we have spent to long looking down our noses at them — we will always see ourselves as connected to them. The UK referring to them as the ‘Queen’ which is a highly respected position… but still beneath a ‘King’.

    ‘You can have it all
    You’re stuck in the middle
    Racing one and all
    I was born on a horse that’s all’

    The first line refers to America’s potential to keep expanding and becoming more powerful but the second line is used to bring them down a peg, to remind them that their roots will always be with the UK and so long as the UK is recognized as one of the more well-known nations in History, America will never be able to escape their shadow. This hold true in the next two lines — ‘Racing one and all’ — There’s only one reason America can’t escape the UK’s shadow (Or outrace it). ‘I was born on a horse that’s all’ — the UK has been longer established as a power (Being ‘born’ on a horse) whereas the US was ‘taught’ to ride the horse (Also in reference to the ‘born’ part). The statement alone isn’t powerful but the ‘that’s all’ at the end is what makes the dig more personal — ‘that’s all’ being used here to brush off something in an arrogant way… in this case, pointing out that the US will never achieve the historical value that the UK has because they ‘did all the hard work’.

    ‘I like to think I’m just a thoroughbred
    In all but name and with no horse’s flesh
    We’re galloping slowly
    Through this broken glass’

    This makes me think of the UK as a retired racehorse somehow — which could be the reference. In his day, the UK was great and powerful but now the name is all it is all it is with only with only the bones of its nation remaining (The United Kingdom) (Open name with no horses flesh) from its previous reign. ‘We’re galloping slowly’ Explains that even though he is ‘retired’ he still is capable of a ‘gallop’ and hasn’t stopped entirely. ‘Through this broken glass’ — could be a euphemism for the broken pieces of it’s nation all over the world or could be used to describe how the UK has to tread lightly in the world due to its uneasy relationship with the other countries it has previously invaded — like the expression ‘walking on broken glass’ — you could get cut if you’re not careful.

    ‘She’s got hooves
    Preposterous hooves
    I’ve never has a lover who’s my sister or my brother before’

    (And final verses)

    The hooves represent the power in a horse so the UK is stating that the US has now grown extremely powerful. At this point you would expect them to leave it at that and walk away while they were still ahead… but we’re far too stubborn for that of course. It may be just me but after the final line the music becomes quicker and more determined as if having one last stand against the changes — repeating lines from before but with less ‘digging’ and more ‘reminding’ that the country they descended from deserves a little more respect as it was powerful for a reason. The song finishes with a final reminder that the UK was ‘born on a horse’ and cuts out as if to let you think about that.

    Phew! That’s finally over. Before everyone starts going ape at me for sounding completely English-siding… I just want to say that this is just MY interpretation as I said and I have a healthy respect for America and all the wonderful things it has brought us today.
    megtheoreoon May 16, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEver heard the saying "Get off your high horse"?

    Born on a horse. Born on a high horse. It's about talking down to people and being patronizing. The opening lines are perfect examples of this. "I pronounce it aluminium 'cause there's an 'i' next to the 'u' and 'm'. Now write it down slowly and read it out fast"

    Obviously specifically targeting Americans there, but it's calling them stupid, as if they can't even pronounce/spell a word correctly.
    jay3on December 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUhm I have no clue. Sounds great though! Really chilled out!
    disasterbuttonon November 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't it,
    "you can be my acid queen"

    and something more like,
    "and all but naming with no horses flesh"?
    Sporkahon November 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSporkah is right, they're the right lyrics.

    and i think it's 'racing one and all' or 'raising one and all' not reason one and all.. :D
    Jemmarshmallowon November 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's hard to read too far into Biffy's lyrics because they're normally nonsensical but i think that this song is about being pretentious and how being pretentious seems like a good way of leading life but inevitably leads you to being alone.
    mogginson December 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about drugs. The lyric is definitely 'Acid Queen', which I would think is a reference to The Who's Tommy (the Acid Queen is a drug pushing prostitute). Horse can be either Heroin or perhaps a Ketamine reference and I also agree that the lyric is 'Racing one and all' - perhaps like chasing the dragon. Having 'preposterous eyes' implies they are unbelievably big, like he's tripping, and if that's the case that can explain a lot of the other imagery, and also the lyric 'I've been counting on the wrong things to make me feel alright'.

    Whatever the meaning, it's a brilliant song!
    ohnoronon April 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI pronounce it aluminium
    'cause there's an I next to the U and M
    now write it down slowly
    and read it out fast

    She's got eyes
    preposterous eyes
    I've never had a lover who's my sister or my brother before

    I've been counting on the wrong things
    to make life feel alright
    you can be my Acid Queen
    until the end of time
    cos you can have it all
    you're stuck in the middle
    racing one and all
    I was born on a horse that's all

    I like to think I'm just a thoroughbred
    In all but name and with no horses flesh
    we're galloping slowly
    through this broken glass
    shes got hooves
    proeosterous hooves
    I've never had a lover who's my sister or my brother before

    I've been counting on the wrong things
    to make life feel alright
    you can be my Acid Queen
    until the end of time
    cos you can have it all
    you're stuck in the middle
    racing one and all
    I was born on a horse that's all

    cos you can have it all
    you're stuck in the middle
    racing one and all
    I was born on a horse that's all
    ohnoronon April 05, 2010   Link

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