My Lovely Horse

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My Lovely Horse is a song featured in the hit television comedy series Father Ted. It was written by Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews and Neil Hannon (of The Divine Comedy), and appeared in the episode "A Song for Europe", in which Ted (Dermot Morgan) and Dougal (Ardal O'Hanlon) sing it for Ireland at "A Song For Ireland", an annual contest to determine who will represent Ireland at the "Eurosong" Contest. There, the song was awarded "0 Points" by the juries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway.

According to the DVD commentary, the video is based on "That's What Friends Are For" by The Swarbriggs, a genuine Irish Eurovision competitor in 1975.

The song, which lasts 1:23, was released on CD as a B-side to The Divine Comedy's 1999 single "Gin Soaked Boy".


My lovely lovely lovely horse.

My lovely horse (my lovely horse), Running through the field (running through the field).

Where are you going, With your fetlocks blowing In the wind?

I want to shower you with sugarlumps. And ride you over fences. Polish your hooves every single day. And bring you to the horse dentist.

My lovely lovely lovely horse.

My lovely horse (my lovely horse), You’re a pony no more (you’re a pony no more). Running around, with a man on your back, like a train in the night…

Like a train in the night. (saxophone solo)


The in-show song history has Ted and Dougal secretly plagiarise the melody from the B-side of a record by Nin Huegen and the Huguenotes (the band who came fifth in the 1976 "A Song for Norway"). Since everyone in any way involved with the original song has perished in a plane crash, Ted decides that he can get away with simply using the rather catchy tune with his own new lyrics entitled My Lovely Horse. Ted and Dougal had previously only accompanied these lyrics with an out-of-tune guitar and an old Bontempi organ. The melody has one change of note, at the very end of the song, which sees Ted pausing to change the fret-board finger position and saying "Hang on, I can get this!"

After making it through to the final stages of "A Song for Ireland", Ted hears the original tune being used as elevator music. Realising that the tune is in fact more widely known than they thought, Ted and Dougal have no option but to resort to "Plan B", namely playing the song in its original format, which, in addition to its poor musical quality, lasts for less than a minute, far shorter than the usual length of a Eurovision entry. This leaves them humiliated, but doesn't stop them winning, because the producers have rigged the contest. They have done this to ensure that Ireland will lose the next Eurosong, as Ireland had won the Contest for the last five years in a row and it was costing them too much to stage each year, perhaps commenting on the fact that Ireland won the actual Eurovision Song Contest three consecutive times. Ted and Dougal end up getting no points.


The Father Ted episode A Song For Europe is often regarded as one of the most popular, appearing on the Best Of video, with one of the most memorable moments being the famous "My Lovely Horse" music video. This is shown as part of a vivid dream that Dougal and Ted have in anticipation of their act.

The video features references to Ireland's 1975 Eurovision Song Contest entry "That's what friends are for" by the Swarbriggs, and includes footage of Ted and Dougal horse-riding, playing table tennis, playing with an inflatable ball in a swimming pool and wearing glittery blue suits. The song includes lines that refer to less-considered aspects of horse ownership such as "I want to shower you with sugar lumps ... and send you to the horse dentist", as well as inaccurate references to "fetlocks blowing in the wind" and the horse being a "pony no more".

The climax of the clip features the sudden appearance of the horse's head to the cacophonous wail of a saxophone, surrounded by a typically 1970s-disco-style burst of multi-coloured lights. Dougal and Ted wake up in horror simultaneously, with Ted panting "We have to lose that sax solo!"

The outdoor sequences were shot in the grounds of the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland. In the background the cascade waterfall in Ennistymon can clearly be seen.


In May 2014 a petition to make "My Lovely Horse" Ireland’s entry for Eurovision 2015 was formally submitted to the government, but was rejected by the Oireachtas petitions committee.[1]


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