Reba McEntire’s “Just Like Them Horses” was never intended to be on her record, and she didn’t seem willing to make it a single prior to the album release. As so often happens with songs that cut so deep they bleed, however, an overwhelming response made giving a larger audience a chance to hear it the only option.

McEntire tells ToC that she just wanted to record a semi-acoustic version for her father’s funeral. She found the song prior to his death, but knew his time was near. Producer Tony Brown insisted she include it on the album with a full arrangement.

It was the right choice. Personal attachment isn’t sacrificed by turning “Just Like Them Horses” into a commercial hit. Many will find their story in McEntire’s story, yet aside from a Chockie Mountain reference, there’s nothing that seems exclusively hers. The song is accessible.

Brown’s arrangement is still simple and vulnerable. Fiddle and piano drive the song, but it’s McEntire’s fragile performance — especially during and after the second-to-last chorus — that makes the song so memorable. McEntire’s new song is a moment. "Just Like Them Horses" won’t be a quick No. 1, but it will be a song that lasts for those who’ve lived it.

Listen to Reba McEntire, “Just Like Them Horses”

Reba Talks About 'Just Like Them Horses'

Reba McEntire, “Just Like Them Horses” Lyrics:

“She held him close, then she kissed his face / He said it just has to be this way / Yours is the heart I'll always keep / I'm not gone even if I leave.”

“If you love me, don't you be afraid / To look in my eyes and open up the gate / Then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun / Just like them horses, when it's time to run.”

“He said Chockie Mountain is calling me / Gonna take a walk up where I can sing / Turn and face that western wind / Oh, and I'll be home again.”

“She held his hand, he took one last breath / Then she walked out to the front porch step / Stared at the sky, tears on her face / And she swore she could hear him say …”

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