The meaning behind the song “Wild Horses” by Rolling Stones

The meaning behind the song lyrics "Wild Horses" by Rolling Stones songs

“Faith has been broken, tears must be cried.” This is the type of song that knocks your bones, chips the heart, and cracks the soul. “Wild Horses” is among the few tracks that truly stir real emotions!

Recorded in 1969 and released in 1971 due to the band’s legal issues with the rolling Stones’ manager. The track “Wild Horses” was worth the wait.

What does the song “Wild Horses” mean?

Ideally, the song “Wild Horses” was written by the Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards about how he missed his son. But the song’s theme was later changed by the lead singer Mike Jagger to portray what a burned-out relationship felt like.

 Brain Jones, the band’s piano player, quit the Rolling Stones band because he didn’t like the direction the band was taking. For The Rolling Stones, such instances had always been part and parcel of their career. They overcame all the drama that was happening then and instead produced a rare gem called “Wild Horses.”

It was in December 1969 when the Rolling Stones camped at Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama for three days to produce “Wild Horses” and two other songs, one of which was “Brown Sugar.” 

As stated earlier, Keith Richards wrote the original lyrics using his acoustic guitar, which drew out the melancholy in the “Wild Horses” chords and the chorus. He then handed the song off to Mick Jagger, who was also a good songwriter, to complete the song’s lyrics.

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 Mike Jagger changed the tracks title from Marlon, named after Keiths Richards’ little son, to “Wild Horses,” depicting Jagger’s on and off love affairs at that time with Marianne, his mistress who was falling apart.

What is the meaning behind the song “Wild Horses”?

The song “Wild Horses” addresses all the people in broken relationships, divorced people, people grieving a spouse, and tired souls generally.

In the line: “No sweeping exit Or offstage lines. It could make me feel bitter. Or treat you unkind” Portray the deep love expressed by the lead singer Mike Jagger. A familiar feeling experienced by everyone who loses a dear one with whom they once shared deep feelings of affection and love.

With tears and a broken heart, the line: “Wild, wild horses. We’ll ride them someday.” Insinuates the act of moving on with the hope that although people bear the pain of losing their loved ones, everything will be better.

Who Are The Rolling Stones?

The Rolling Stones is a London-based British rock band that was formed in 1962 and has been active till date. The band was born out of the hard, taunting cold war times that ended in 1991.

 The original founders of the Rolling Stones band were:

  • Mick Jagger
  • Keith Richards
  • Brain Jones
  • Bill Wyman
  • Charlie Watts

Fifty years down the line, the Rolling Stones band is still active and kicking. Apart from the “Wild Horses” track, other famous songs by the rolling band include:

  • Angie
  • Tumbling Dice
  • You can’t always get what you want
  • Cant, you hear me knocking
  • Paint it Black
  • Gimme Shelter
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What is “Wild Horses” about 

“Wild Horses” is a profound song sung perfectly for the loss of a loved one. In the modern 21st century times, this song can be categorized into the “Heartbreak” Genre.

Soft and slow this track for sure can stir up emotions as the words sink deep into the heart and mind. Despite this, however, there is always hope that things will get better at some point in time.

The original songwriters of ‘Wild Horses,” Keith Richards, were dearly missing his newborn son, and Mick Jagger, who was undergoing a turmoil of love issues, wrote what they felt down and expressed it in a beautiful masterpiece.

It is always good to sit back, reflect on our brokenness and write down what we feel. It might not turn out like the famous “Wild Horses” track, but it helps a lot. Life is full of challenges, and our tiny hearts cannot hold everything is happening simultaneously.

Just like Mick Jagger says in the line: “Faith has been broken. Tears must be cried,” it is critical to allow emotions to manifest. It is powerful to let it all out and let it go because, in most circumstances, there is nothing we can do apart from sitting down and just grieving our loved ones.

The “Wild Horses” track is a gentle reminder that we all burn out, get tired, and experience the brokenness of losing a lover, but despite all this, life must go on. Life must continue, even if it means carrying our loved ones at the bottom of our hearts everywhere we go.

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Only you know the weight of the heaviness you carry in your heart, and that painful turmoil too shall come to pass eventually.

Lyric “Wild Horses” by Rolling Stones

Childhood livingIs easy to doThe things you wantedI bought them for you
Graceless ladyYou know who I amYou know I can’t let youSlide through my hands
Wild horsesCouldn’t drag me awayWild, wild horsesCouldn’t drag me away
I watched you sufferA dull aching painNow you’ve decidedTo show me the same
No sweeping exitOr offstage linesCould make me feel bitterOr treat you unkind
Wild horsesCouldn’t drag me awayWild, wild horsesCouldn’t drag me away
I know I’ve dreamed youA sin and a lieI have my freedomBut I don’t have much time
Faith has been brokenTears must be criedLet’s do some livingAfter we die
Wild horsesCouldn’t drag me awayWild, wild horsesWe’ll ride them some day
Wild horsesCouldn’t drag me awayWild, wild horsesWe’ll ride them some day


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  1. Kimberlie Kae Harper

    tihis song i never knew the meaning or actually the lyrics to wildhorses, buti first heard it,& was with my true love that inever knew was my true love all of these years,Till i heard s& read the lyrics , that he(Douglas Ray Dodson jr ,) that ive come to love over the 35-40yrs. now we are in owr 50’s . we were only in our 20’s.. at the time .. i realize he was trying to. tell me….? (Graceless lady)..the love he had for me… I Love you ! forever and A Day!