Archive for January 2018

Where Did That Melody Come From? – In That Haunting Song From the “Three Billboards” Movie?

January 9, 2018

By Bill Oakey, January 9, 2018

If you haven’t seen the hit movie that won several film festival and Golden Globe awards, you owe it to yourself to do it. It’s called “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri.” There are two versions of a killer song in the movie, entitled “Buckskin Stallion Blues.” During the film, you will hear it first by the guy who wrote it in 1987, the late Townes Van Zandt. Then, just after you witness all the passion and emotion of the final scene, you’ll be hit with a second dose of this incredible song. This time it’s done by a newer singer, named Amy Annelle. The song appeared on her 2012 album, “The Great Unveiling.”

As I sat in the theater, listening to the closing version of the song, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I had heard that melody before. It’s one of those hooks that you simply can’t get out of your head. Then, this afternoon it finally came to me. It sounds a heck of a lot like Linda Ronstadt’s “Love Is A Rose.” This was a number 5 country hit from her “Prisoner In Disguise” album in 1975.

After listening to both “Buckskin Stallion Blues” and “Love Is a Rose” this afternoon, I believe that the resemblance in the melodies is unmistakable. Like a lot of situations like this, only a portion of the melody matches exactly. But it’s the main hook that grabs you in the movie.

It turns out that the history of the song does not begin with either “Buckskin Stallion Blues” or “Love Is a Rose.” Neil Young wrote and recorded “Love Is a Rose” in 1974 for the unreleased album, “Homegrown.” It was later released on his “Decades” album. He borrowed the melody from a 1971 song that he also wrote, called “Dance Dance Dance.” That song was recorded by his band, Crazy Horse, as well as the New Seekers. Neil Young’s own recorded version appears on an “Archives” album.

Check Out These Fascinating Versions of One Heck of a Fine Song!

  1. “Buckskin Stallion Blues – Townes Van Zandt
  2. “Buckskin Stallion Blues” – Amy Annelle
  3. “Dance Dance Dance” – Neil Young
  4. “Dance Dance Dance” – The New Seekers
  5. “Love Is a Rose” – Neil Young
  6. “Love Is a Rose” – Linda Ronstadt