Friday, September 13, 2019


All the same thing, aren't they? All have hooves and tails, and the why-the-long-faces, so, yes, they must be. OK, I know, they aren't, but can you all recall the differences? I will assume that you know horses, the odd-toed ungulate mammal, whether cart, race or just a plain old Dobbin, so, moving swiftly on......

Jenny's Got a Pony/Los Lobos

I haven't a clue what this song, by the always excellent Los Lobos, could possibly be about. Is there much of a pony population in East L.A.? Anyhow, this riveting ride, SWIDT, comes from their 1990 opus, 'The Neighbourhood', showing off their best, a fusion of latino, tex-mex and plain good old rock'n'roll. Ponies are horses, in fact, the delineation tending to relate to smaller sizes of beast. Whilst clearly there are tiny ones, whether your steed is a horse or a pony is often as much in the eye of the beholder. In slang a pony might be a small amount of liquor. Is that what Jenny got? Alternatively,  in my country a pony is £25, increasingly equal to $25.

Donkey Town/Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris

Donkeys are not horses, but are very close. I think they look cuter but traditionally have tended more to be more beasts of burden than for racing. And to be the butt of many an insult, the derogatory opinion being that donkeys are for peasants, horses being only fit for the higher echelons. Hence, I guess, this song, from the, at the time, critically underacclaimed album of duets, Knopfler imagining himself, yeah, right, as a loser in a one horse, sorry, donkey town. If Emmylou were there, chum, I'd stay.

Muleskinner Blues/The Cramps

This is where it all gets a bit surreal, as I explain a muleskinner is ahead of a mule. And, until today, I had the notion that the pelt of a mule might be a useful commodity. Good leather or something like that. Wrongity-wrong, it is the human handler of a mule or a set of mules. So called as you had to be quick witted to outsmart them, or "outskin" them, me, neither, given their stubbornness. No wonder they got the blues, the song originally a hit for Jimmie Rodgers in the 30s, before the Cramps gave it a reverential kick up the, um, ass. We don't feature the late lamented Cramps here enough, I feel. 

A mule is the sterile progeny of when a horse, or pony, mates with a donkey, the genetics close enough to procreate but not close enough to prolong the line further. It seems a bit of a long way to go for a somewhat short end to me. But, mule lovers, worry not, they can now be cloned. Mule is also slang for the middle man in a drugs heist, responsible for transporting the illicit material across county lines and continents, often, literally, in their "middles". Why the name? Presumably as such individuals are seen as slow witted carriers of little importance beyond the carriage of the goods. Confusingly, what they carry may often go by the slang of horse. Or, perhaps in a sly dig at its retrieval, shit.

Jack Ass/Beck

Here's where I could get myself into trouble, as in get my ass kicked, mixing and muddling my homonyms. But, I will resist that temptation and stick to the literal, wherein Beck Hansen compares his situation to that of a Jack, or male, Ass, or donkey, the two terms being near equivalent. (See horse/pony). So it is really back to Mark Knopfler and his donkey town, self-esteem apparently quite a rare premium for worldwide superstars. But, in recompense for reading this far, I can't but leave you without just a little horseplay...... (Spoiler: twerk free; have you ever typed ass into youtube?)

Get Off Your Ass and Jam/Funkadelic

Pony, donkey, mule, ass (or ass.)

blog comments powered by Disqus