Goodbye Horses

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"Goodbye Horses"
Single by Q Lazzarus
Released1988 (U.S.)
GenrePost-punk, dark wave
Songwriter(s)William Garvey
Producer(s)William Garvey

"Goodbye Horses" is a 1988 song sung by Q Lazzarus. It was written and produced by William Garvey. Three versions of the song exist, which last 3:12, 4:20, and 6:28 (the extended version).

According to its writer, "the song is about transcendence over those who see the world as only earthly and finite. The horses represent the five senses discussed in the Bhagavad Gita and the ability to lift one’s perception above these physical limitations and to see beyond this limited Earthly perspective."[1] The song was featured in the film The Silence of the Lambs.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

In 1996, Psyche's cover version of "Goodbye Horses" was released as the B-side to their single "You Ran Away". This recording became popular enough that the band decided to make an extended version and include it on their album Strange Romance at the end of the same year. When the trailer for Clerks 2 appeared promoting the movie, Psyche entered the Top Ten downloads on iTunes Electronic chart. The song is featured on two best of compilations, Misguided Angels (2000) and Legacy (2004), as well as a recent limited Australian tour CD collection entitled Club Salvation, and remains a staple in the band's live repertoire to this day.

Over the last decade, the song has been covered by other performers including Gil Mantera's Party Dream. In 2009, The Airborne Toxic Event began performing a cover of the song in their live performances. The Whitest Boy Alive covered the song during Lowlands '09. In October 2009, Brad Sucks released a cover of "Goodbye Horses" on his website. At their NYE 2010/2011 show, Snowden debuted a cover featuring Corinne on lead vocals. However, aside from the original, only Psyche's interpretation has maintained its popularity.

Electronic band Fan Death and garage-revival band Harlem have also covered the song, and it is currently being performed at live shows by Liverpudlian band Lovecraft, recently signed to the Probe Plus label.

In 2009, a compilation on Metropolis Records entitled "Until The Shadows" contains Psyche's re-recording entitled "Goodbye Horses (21st Century Version)" which corrects the previously misinterpreted verse "lying over you" to "flying over you".[3]

In 2010, indie band Venus Infers released two different mixes of their version of the song on their album You'll Understand When You're Older. Also, Island Def Jam artists The Airborne Toxic Event released a live CD/DVD, entitled "All I've Ever Wanted", containing a performance of this song

In 2011, Kele Okereke, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of indie rock band Bloc Party, released a cover of "Goodbye Horses" on his EP The Hunter. This cover of the song is 4 minutes and 12 seconds long. It was produced by Daniel Lindegren, with additional production by Fred Falke. A fan made video for the song was uploaded to YouTube on March 25, 2011,[4] many months before the release of the EP. Kele posted the video on his blog.[5]

On March 5, 2012 Psyche released an updated extended mix of their 2009 re-recording of "Goodbye Horses" (previously released on the Metropolis Records compilation Until the Shadows),[3] now retitled "21st Century Immortality Mix". This version is featured on the A-side of "All Things Pass Into the Night" on the Optimo music label, and distributed by Kompakt.[6] There is also an official video for the "Immortality Mix" on YouTube.[7]

In 2013, Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe and Jon Hopkins recorded a sparse piano-driven cover of the track which accompanied the re-release of Lazzarus's original.

In 2018 indie duo Belle Mare recorded a cover version of the song to celebrate the reemergence of Q Lazzarus earlier in the year.[8]


  1. ^ Garvey, William (2008). "The Music of William Garvey". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Psyche (2) – Until The Shadows (CD) at Discogs". July 7, 2009.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ Kele Okereke, retrieved December 4, 2017
  6. ^ "Psyche (2) – All Things Pass Into The Night (Vinyl) at Discogs". March 5, 2012.
  7. ^ "Psyche – Goodbye Horses (Immortality Mix)". YouTube. February 29, 2012.
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]