Judy wrote the saddest song
She showed it to a boy in school today
Judy, where did you go wrong?
You used to make me smile when I was down
Judy was a teenage rebel
She did it with a boy when she was young
She gave herself to books and learning
She gave herself to being number one
Judy, I don't know you if you're gonna show me everything
Judy, I don't know you if you're gonna show me everything

Judy got a book at school
She went under the covers with her torch
She fell asleep till it was morning
She dreamt about the girl who stole a horse
Judy never felt so good except when she was sleeping
Judy never felt so good except when she was sleeping

Judy, let's go for a walk
We can kiss and do whatever you want
But you will be disappointed
You will fall asleep with ants in your pants
Judy, you're just trying to find and keep the dream of horses
And the song she wrote was Judy and the Dream of Horses
Dream of Horses, Dream of Horses
You dream of horses

The best looking boys are taken
The best looking girls are staying inside
So Judy, where does that leave you?
Walking the street from morning to night
With a star upon your shoulder lighting up the path that you walk
With a parrot on your shoulder, saying everything when you talk
If you're ever feeling blue
Then write another song about your dream of horses
Write a song about your dream of horses
Call it Judy And The Dream Of Horses
Call it Judy And The Dream Of Horses
You dream of horses

Lyrics submitted by ReActor, edited by mdznr

Judy and the Dream of Horses Lyrics as written by Isobel Campbell Christopher Geddes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Judy and the Dream of Horses song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +8
    General CommentThis song is freaking awesome, so understated and underrated, typical B&S.

    It's about a girl who hasn't Orgasmed yet, and ofcourse desperately wants to. Judy did it with a boy when she was young, but it didn't do anything for her, so eventually she finds this book at the libs about a girl and horses. Judy dreams about stealing a horse, and you know how in dreams you can feel whats happening, so imagine what its like to ride a horse, where she is sitting on, riding.

    unfortunately, she never feels so good except when she is sleeping, the sex-dream is better than her real sex. she still goes out with boys, but even though they kiss and talk, she's disappointed that it never lives up to her dream with the horse. So she goes to sleep anxoius and in tension, with ants in her pants.

    I hope it happens for her one day!
    dontmatteron December 18, 2006   Link
  • +6
    Song MeaningNow that I read some of your comments, I'm starting to think that a sexual interpretation makes sense... But I still think this song is about freedom of society's patterns. I mean, "the saddest song" is about her life, how bad Judy wants to be happy and free of all of that.

    She used to be a happy little girl, but then "she did it with a boy when she was young" (abused, maybe?) and got punished. For that, she had to dedicate her life to be an excellent student and had to study a lot. Maybe she did it to forget about what happened or because the society (religious?) forced her to do that. She had to 'compensate'. Anyway, she got stuck inside herself - almost like she had a shell -, she wasn't happy anymore.

    Like MindChild said, horses represent freedom. So the dream of horses represent her wish of freedom. The girl on her dream is Judy and she is the one who stole a horse (her freedom). She wants to get free of all that pressure because it's making her sad ("Judy never felt so good except when she was sleeping").

    She goes out with boys like an attempt to feel unattached of those patterns, but she doesn't feel good. Maybe she remembers about that time with that boy when she was young, maybe she doesn't like boys, or maybe she's just not trying to get laid... maybe she realised that sex is not the answer for her problem. She's just tired of that pressure on her. When she's sleeping, she can be loose, she doesn't have to be forced to study her arse off, she's just her. So she wants to find something special that makes her happy/loose and keep it ("Judy, you're just trying to find and keep the dream of horses").

    "Walking in the street from morning to night" represents her search. In the meantime, she keeps pretending to be the girl she isn't, getting brilliant grades and being successful ("with a star upon your shoulder, lightning up the path that you walk"), and saying whatever society wants her to say, just repeating the pattern ("with a parrot on your shoulder, saying everything when you talk"). And the only way she has to express herself and actually feel alive is the dream of horses and the song she wrote about it.

    It's just a theory, but I think it makes sense.
    giologiaon May 16, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Commenthaha, the orgasm theory makes me laugh, but i think it's more about judy being unable to find a decent boy (or girl for that matter) but i'm sure her idea of a perfect lover involves someone who can give her an orgasm.


    i'd like to think the book that judy reads is a horse and his boy by c.s. lewis. it's primarily about a boy who steals a horse, but another major character is a girl who steals a horse. of course that's just because that was my favorite book when i was a little girl reading under the covers with a torch... so that's probably why i think of it whenever i hear this song.

    such a beautiful song too. one of their best in my opinion. gives me a warm sunny feeling.
    sharkswithkniveson January 26, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn my opinion, the song is about a girl that is trying to 'fit in'. She is trying to show her schoolmates that she is 'cool'. She is doing this by having sex when she was to young an acting as a teenage rebel. I think the sentence "With a parrot on your shoulder, saying everything when you talk" means that she is copying the populair girls.

    But while she is trying to be the populair girl, she actually wants to be the small sweet girl she was before(Judy, where did you go wrong? You used to make me smile when I was down) and dreams of the times she was just riding horses and didn't have to think about her image.

    BTW, it is a beautifull song.
    GeraldWon March 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentalso, "Judy I don't know you, if you're gonna show me everything" adds further credit to my theory, He is telling her that it is not the way he wants to get to know her, that he cares about her for what she is and not her body, which she has been using to get the attention she needs in her broken life.
    mothmeetsclothon March 01, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always thought it was about prostitution. About the sweet girl he knew who made him smile in the past> He's trying to understand where things "went wrong", and I believe it's probably rape or some sort of sexual abuse.

    She did it with a boy when she was young, which is common for women who have been sexually abused. Murdoch wants to rescue her from her pain, "Judy let's go for a walk, we can kiss and do whatever you want." He will let her express her sexuality but he doesn't want to use her for sex because it is what has been happening to her her whole life, so "you will fall asleep with ants in your pants" IE sexual desire.

    The dream of horses is symbolic of a simpler time in her life where she was innocent, and Stewart wants her to go back there as often as she can so she can feel like the young girl she was before being robbed of her innocence.

    "All the good looking boys are taken, the good looking girls are staying inside." She doesn't have any peers who want anything to do with her in any sort of real way, and tragically she turns to prostitution. "walking the street from morning to night" and because Stewart is a Christian, he believe god is protecting her still "start upon your shoulder lighting the path as you walk." and the parrot on her shoulder is her excuses and denial of her horrible life, in that she keeps repeating the same things when people try to help her, she shuts them out.

    I really love this song, and I feel like he sings it with great emotion, and he really does want to rescue this girl from her future. I could be dead wrong of course, but it will always be what the song means to me. Keep dreaming Judy.
    mothmeetsclothon March 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI agree with MockingSmile about interpretations reaching too far. This song to me seems to be all about innocence. When Judy writes "the saddest song" and "shows it to a boy", the narrator goes on to comment that she used to make him smile when he was young. He's talking about how she's changed, that she now is going about with boys and losing her childhood charm.

    When she "does it with a boy" at a young age, she immediately begins to get lost as to who is is, a girl or a woman, and longs for her childhood back. She withdraws into "books & learning," and takes out a book that really makes here remember how happy she was in a more innocent sort of life. The dream she has is about her childhood, and how the simplest things are amazing when you're young. Has anyone ever seen a little girl who loves nothing more than her first pony because boys have cooties? It's that sort of innocence here.

    And now she's walking the street trying to uncover her identity somehow, and she's not sure where she stands with her cohorts. The song is reminding her that if she ever gets discouraged in her search, she should remember that she came from a happy time and can be happy again. She just needs to find a way to make that happy innocence part of her present life. [The song about the dream of horses.]

    ~Love this song. One of their best <3~
    Fayrlieon April 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJesus, I love the beautiful vignettes that Stuart creates about these young, touching, misfits ad the worlds they inhabit. Across all the B&S album, I find the most moving characters and stories.
    ladygregon February 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment@katzenfreundin

    "Torch" is Brit slang for a flashlight. See Definition 5: dictionary.reference.com/browse/…

    "Ants in your pants" is a relatively common idiom for agitation or excitement about something. Stewart is saying that on their date they go do whatever she wants, and they can kiss, but he will not sleep with her; thus the "ants in her pants". Sexual frustration.

    It is clear that A) Judy is promiscuous and B) that has gone wrong in her life.

    She is trying to FIND and KEEP the dream of horses in her reality.

    She only feels good about herself when she is sleeping. She is able to escape SOMETHING through her dreams.

    She wrote a very sad song early in the lyrics. He wants her to write songs about her dreams of horses instead to ward off depression.

    What went wrong? Is my sexual molestation/prostitution theory so far fetched?

    Personally I have changed my opinion on the relevance of the parrot and believe it to be her pimp, who is constantly on her shoulder (think on her back about...), trying to collect his cut. I still think the star is a reference to Christianity, namely the north star that led the wise men to Jesus, in this case, God's guidance, protection, an a path out of where she has landed herself. The parrot/pimp would be the other side of the shoulder, (think devil on one shoulder angel on the other cliche from cartoons).

    LIke I said three years ago I could be way off. What we know is that Judy is clearly someone Stuart knew in real life, there are many references to her in his songs. There is one in roller coaster ride "Judy with the bow and arrow (cupid) she's a mastermind (books and learning). Too Frumpy (Dictionary: A girl or woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable) for the teenage population of her kind, (best looking boys are taken, girls are staying inside). Judy came looking for boys while you were stuck in various poses.)

    There's even an instrumental song called "Judy is a dickslap"!

    So, she's definitely a girl who was wanting to sleep around a lot, this is well established in our analyses. But what happened to her to make her this way? Why is she depressed and needing to escape to, what I presume, is the fantastical innocence depicted in her dreams? How significant is the reference to her walking the streets? Is she a "street walker" IE prostitute? Or is she simply looking for someone to have sex with because she is "too frumpy for the teenage population of her kind"? Could the fact that she is getting involved with perverts outside her age bracket have something to do with all of this?

    We'll probably never know, but in my opinion any explanation not about some form of tragic promiscuity or at least a central theme of sexuality is flat wrong. And I do not see any reason to believe she is on drugs.
    mothmeetsclothon March 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this is about sexuality. Judy's a "straight" girl who lost her edge from when she was a teenager. "She gave herself to books and learning / She gave herself to being number one" explains this transition IMO.

    When she was "a teenage rebel", she "did it with a boy" probably trying to conform to heterosexual dogma, but then the fact that she dreams about the girl in the book and that's the only time that she "feels good" makes me think that she actually likes girls and is only happy when she fantasizes with one even platonically. The frustration and disillusion from her failure at being "normal" would be the reason why she transitions into a "normal" and "straight" life.

    Then in the "let's go for a walk" part, Stuart says that they can kiss or have sex if she wants but she will be frustrated, because she would prefer to do it with a girl.

    Then the last part would be about Judy feeling lost in her "straight" life, busy from "morning to night" and the "parrot on her shoulder" representing the things that she says to put up a "straight" image of herself. Admittedly I'm still confused about the "star upon your shoulder" part, it doesn't really fit into this interpretation because the star seems to be a guide, which doesn't make sense assuming that she feels lost.

    The dream of horses would represent a fantasy in which she comes out and is free from the restraints of the heteronormative culture that she is surrounded by.
    extinctparton August 09, 2019   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top