Reba McEntire Explains Why a Song From ‘Love Somebody’ Was Played at Her Father’s Funeral
Reba McEntire's brand-new Love Somebody record dropped Tuesday (April 14), and out of its 12 tracks (and two bonus songs), there's one tune that simply blew her away. In fact, it reminded the singer of her father, Clark McEntire, so much that she wanted it played at his funeral.
When asked what song on the new album took her breath away, McEntire immediately tells Taste of Country, with no hesitation whatsoever, that it was "Just Like Them Horses."
"It reminded me of Daddy," she recalls of the Liz Hengber- and Tommy Lee James-penned track.
"Everybody agreed ... it's a wonderful song," McEntire says. "And not long after we recorded it, Daddy passed away."
It's easy to see how the incredibly touching and poignant lyrics of "Just Like Them Horses" would fit well at a funeral: “If you love me, then don’t be afraid / To look in my eyes and open up the gate / Then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun / Just like them horses / When it’s time to run," the chorus goes. Hengber had written the song for a friend who was dying of cancer, but she couldn't finish it, so she pulled James in for help.
"[Daddy] had been sick for four or five years," McEntire explains. Her father suffered a stroke in 2011 and was doing so poorly that the singer and her family had planned his funeral, picked out the songs and purchased the plot in which he was to be buried -- but he surpassed everyone's expectations and fought a long, hard battle to recovery. After living for three more years, Clark McEntire passed away in October of last year.
Even though McEntire was not planning on singing "Just Like Them Horses" at her father's funeral, opting instead to have a recording played, she admits in Love Somebody's liner notes that she did actually sing it live. Though she was able to harness her emotions long enough for the performance, the singer is uncertain if she'll be able to perform it live at concerts.
"It's a great song," she says. "I hope so, someday."
Love Somebody is available for download via iTunes.
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