The river of doubt gave birth to a beautiful stone
And in my hands i held it and i knew i was on my own
So I picked it up and i held it to the sky
And in my reflection, i knew i was all alone
Then i saw this girl with the most beautiful hair
She had it wrapped around her for clothes she did not wear
I asked her for a lock and she complied, after leaving
Georgeous footsteps in the sand as if she didn't care
She was the prettiest girl i ever saw
The stone lay still without a flaw
The feeling i had defied the law
As i came to, I went to
And i took a look, a look down the road
To see a badger and a one eyed toad
they didn't say a word, they just looked at me
With that wise old look of the old
Then i went down to town
To my favorite merry-go-round
To the place where the magic horses fly
And you seldom see a frown
but then i stole a ring from the flying horses
and i can't begin to explain how
I stole a ring from the flying horses
and it's all rusty now
I stole a ring from the flying horses
and i can't begin to explain how
I stole a ring from the flying horses
and it's all rusty now
You see 'cause that stone fell through my pocket
And that lock of hair flew away with the wind
If you chance to meet upon either
Well you know where they've been
But don't pick them up or try to find me
They're much happier on their own
Beauty like that knows no home
And then if you take a look, a look down the road
You'll see a badger and a one eyed toad
They won't say a word they'll just look at you
With that wise old look of the old

Chorus


Lyrics submitted by dragonflower44

Flying Horses song meanings
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70 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentFirst of all, I love this song. I really think the badger and one-eyed toad refer to the children's classic book, "The Wind in the Willows". In the story, the Toad was a daredevil who kept seeking thrills despite the fact that he was repeatedly injured. The badger was the wise old one who kept warning him. I think it just means that whether or not you warn someone, they're not going to learn unless they make the mistake themselves. This relates to the girl in the song and how she was only temporary. But according to the lyrics, I think they're saying that it is selfish to try and keep a treasure to yourself. Just be glad you came across it at all. =)
    MollDollx13on February 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with Elizabeth on this one. I think that it is about how beauty can not be captured. It's something that needs to be open and shared so that everyone can know it. And once you try to entrap it, the beauty is lost..
    "I stole a ring from the flying horses
    and it's all rusty now"
    anna118kon February 28, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't believe this song is just about beauty. I think that when you look at all the references its about childhood and more specifically the experiences people have when growing up. Like someone said above the badger and the toad are references about to a childrens story in which one, (the toad I think) is wild and the badger is controlled. The toad ends up getting hurt a lot for his recklessness. In the song I believe these references are the narrators parents or someone he looks up to who always have that wise look of the old, something that most kids don't accept and ignore as this narrator did which ended up getting him hurt as well. The parent figures didn't try and shelter him so it seems and the narrator had to experience everything on their own. The three experiences he mentions are finding a beautiful stone, getting a lock of hair from a beautiful girl and getting a ring from the wild horses. The stone seems an odd reference that I can't place, maybe a materialistic thing he loved like a ring or trinket or simple a "lucky stone" he found in youth. The girl is a first crush it seems, and the ring from the wild horses implies a reference to The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caufield (or however you spell that lol) in his travels goes to the Coney Island Fair and rides the Carousel. There was a game on carousels back then in which you had to lance a ring as you went around. Since the narrator mentions a fair I assume this is a similar game that he is references. In order to get to that ring it was a great accomplishment and while it may have made him SO proud when he was younger, he is older now and the ring, and its meaning, is rusty. All these things, the stone the girl and the ring have fallen into his past as the wise badger and toad look on giving their wise old look of experience.
    JackofallHeartson January 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song gave my friends and I the hardest time! One of them said it doesn't have any meaning at all, but I completely disagree. This song is about beauty being impossible to cage or otherwise contain. When you try, it "falls through your pocket" and "flys away with the wind." "Beauty like that knows no home." No, I can't explain the badger and one eyed toad...
    Elizabethon February 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat Song. I too agree with Elizabeth. Maybe this is just my brain- but has anybody read Catcher in the Rye, ya know the end where Holden is watching Pheobe on the carosel? I think the "stole the ring from the flyign horses" is a reference to that. Cuz Pheobe was reaching for the ring on the carosel and that's when Holden had his epiphany.
    Lissy Ratzon April 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a merry go round in Martha's Vinyard, where the object is to catch a ring while on the ride. I'm sure the other parts of the song have deeper meaning, but they all relate to experiences around that merry go round.
    TheNakedTruthon April 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe ring is from the flying horses, the flying horses are part of the carousel, and the ring is all rusted now. The song is about losing innocense (the ring is all rusted now). The woman wearing only hair is a virginal abstraction from a dream like the Venus de Milo and the old men are time expanding his reality beyond what he can only see through child's eyes.
    Fredodoon April 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI totally agree with the Catcher in the Rye interpretation of the horses and the ring, it's dead-on, same for the wind in the willows toad and badger and the virgin figure. What I was wondering about though was "the river of doubt" in the beginning. I looked it up and all I found was that Teddy Roosevelt led an expedition down the previously unmapped "river of doubt" in Africa -- nearly losing his life -- in 1909. Roosevelt once said that "I am always willing to pay the piper when I have a good dance; and every now and then I like to drink the wine of life spiked with brandy in it." Perhaps an icon for us to attach to the "toad," Roosevelt's life is full of adventure -- consequences be damned.
    FarmerJoe32on April 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI totally agree with the Catcher in the Rye interpretation of the horses and the ring, it's dead-on, same for the wind in the willows toad and badger and the virgin figure. What I was wondering about though was "the river of doubt" in the beginning. I looked it up and all I found was that Teddy Roosevelt led an expedition down the previously unmapped "river of doubt" in Africa -- nearly losing his life -- in 1909. Roosevelt once said that "I am always willing to pay the piper when I have a good dance; and every now and then I like to drink the wine of life spiked with brandy in it." Perhaps an icon for us to attach to the "toad," Roosevelt's life is full of adventure -- consequences be damned.
    FarmerJoe32on April 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsince all the band members went to UNH and met there this song is about a merry-go-round in martha's vineyard called the "Flying Horses." The object is to get as many metal rings as you can when you go go around. if you get "the golden ring" you get a free ride. and if you steal the rings like this guy did, they get rusty. (i.e. "i stole a ring from the flying horses, and its all rusty now.")
    rugger854on May 04, 2002   Link

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