Reba McEntire Opens Up About the Song She Sang at Her Father’s Funeral
There's one song on Reba McEntire's new Love Somebody album that truly took her breath away. "Just Like Them Horses," a ballad penned by Liz Hengber and Tommy Lee James, reminded the singer of her father. In fact, she originally wanted the song for his funeral.
Producer Tony Brown told McEntire she needed to cut it for the album after she suggested a simple piano and vocal arrangement for the service. Clark McEntire hadn't died when this conversation took place, but the family knew his time was short, as he'd been ill for several years.
"Not long after we recorded it, Daddy passed away," McEntire tells Taste of Country.
"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 60-year-old legend calls out at each chorus.
Hengber penned the lyrics but couldn't finish the song, so she called in Tommy Lee James. "She had written it for a friend who was dying of cancer," McEntire says of "Just Like Them Horses."
"She held him close and she kissed his face / He said it just has to be this way," she sings to start the song. A gentle piano opens the arrangement, but it eventually swells into something bigger. "Yours is the heart, I'll always keep / I'm not gone even if I leave."
Clark McEntire died on October 23, 2014. He was 86 years old. In the liner notes for her new album, Reba dedicates the song to her parents and admits she did sing the song at his funeral.
Love Somebody hits shelves April 14. Buy it here.
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