BackStory: The Horn The Hunt’s’ “Old Town Cow”


In this episode of BackStory, Clare of The Horn The Hunt shares the story behind their song “Old Town Cow” and then offers you a FREE download of their single “Raptor.”

I try to get a mix of storytelling and abstraction in our songs- it’s more exciting for me to let go and catch random words and phrases, and allow meaning to unfold after putting them through the process of making a song, like completing a jigsaw puzzle. There are a few songs on the new album that speak about a primitive kind of sexuality and childlike idea of love and desire; there’s a duality to the emotions, like the awe and disgust, determination and shame that comes with self-discovery. Old Town Cow is a love song, but from some infantile mind that is dealing with adulthood.

The video paints a melancholy picture of where I currently live- in Leeds- and parts of the north east coast of England, but to me the general feeling of the music is more grounded in the countryside of the West Yorkshire Pennines, where I grew up. The urban and rural landscapes weave together to suggest a sort of labyrinth environment made up of signposts, tracks, pavements and roads, with the sea as the perimeter. The character in the video wears a black beard- to impress, to scare and to hide behind.

Old Town Cow- The Horn The Hunt

High in the moors beyond the hum of telephones and powerstations,

I dig a hole to find the sky,

To find the man I’ll wrap him in skin and hide,

Red is the flame I paint inside his shadow,

We look for grey, we look for white,

The bleakest landscape here.

Those eyes of the North Atlantic break the ice with a mighty stare.

I’ve been your arm, I’ve been your barn and I’ll be your farm with good transport,

And when you blink to see right in behind the figures from your schoolyard,

They’ll watch your feet tip-toe around their broken hearts tossed in the traffic,

And in the wind I’ll sing along, I’ll pull the old town cow in.

No one is coming, I will leave the light on just so you can stay awake.

Stay awake, stay awake.


And here’s your free copy of “Raptor”!

02 Raptor – Aztex Mix by Anthonygdli