Haley Bonar

or: Horses and Cowboys, take 2.

The background, from my posting yesterday on “Save a horse, ride a cowboy”:

Mentions of [the phrase] refer to it as a “saying” or a “familiar saying”, but I haven’t been able to track it back very far. In fact, the trail seems to go back only to a 2004 song. From Wikipedia [on the Big & Rich song] …

Peter Reitan on ADS-L quickly reported:

One year earlier, different singer:

With roots in Manitoba and Rapid City, S. D., [Haley] Bonar – pronounced like “honor” – exudes the bright-eyed charm of a small-town girl, but with hints of big-city cynicism.  On the CD’s opening track, “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” she half-heardedly dreams of a home on the range with horses and 12 kids. (The Star Tribune (Minneapolis), April 25, 2003, page E4)

It is not the same as Big and Rich’s “Hick Hop” rap of the same name.

You can watch it on Youtube here.

Different words, different music, totally different content and tone (it’s a woman’s touching fantasy about love with a wonderful cowboy). (And note that the phrase is in the title, but not in the lyrics themselves, suggesting it was a familiar expression.)

Note on the crude Big & Rich piece, a 5/8/06 comment from a poster on a board (where a lot of the posters were down on the song):

I’m not really fond of the song either, but the meaning is pretty obvious. It’s a sexual play on a well known saying.

Sexual content covered in my previous posting. Here it’s the “well known saying” that I want to flag.

But first, more on Haley Bonar and her song. The artist, from Wikipedia:


Haley Bonar (born 1983), also known as Haley McCallum or by the single name Haley, is a Canadian-born American singer and songwriter who was raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. She has lived in Duluth and St. Paul, Minnesota. She currently lives in St. Paul. In 2009, she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she spent a year writing songs for her album Golder, which was released April 19, 2011. She plays acoustic guitar, baritone electric guitar, electric guitar and rhodes or wurlitzer organ, either solo or with her Twin Cities-based band, including Jeremy Ylvisaker, Robert Skoro, and Jacob Hanson.


I really like the words:

I found the stars of the brightest sky
We were lying there in the opening
The stars they were exploding
Heard the voices of the angels sing
Cause I’d found love

The horses left quite a dirty mess
I lie there and confessed my heart
By the rolling creek and prickly grass

Oh find me a cowboy who
Gets lost in the moment who
Sings of his own lament
I will ride off forever

Big boots and a home out on the range
Twelve kids don’t you think it’s kinda strange
To want all of these things?
Two horses and a dime store ring

Oh find me a cowboy who
Gets lost in the moment who
Gets weak when he cries for me
Gets weak when he cries for home,
Home out on the range,
Don’t you think it’s a little strange
Yeah I think it’s a little strange

Cowboy images and slogans. The figure of the cowboy (with his horse) — not to mention his modern cousin the country boy (with his truck) — is mythic in the US, and comes in two (related) variants: the figure of laconic, tough, independent, self-reliant working-class masculinity (the Lone Cowhand) and the figure of rowdy, sweaty, sexy, horny working-class masculinity (the Cowboy Hunk).

Two more examples of Cowboy Hunk, as appealing to women, from modern bodice rippers. From Blazing Lust (Billionaires’ Indulgence #2) by Scarlett Avery (Brava, 2015), featuring “Two Strapping Alpha Billionaires. One Girl Looking For A Fresh Start. A Heck of A Wild Ride”:


with the tag “Save a horse. Ride a cowboy… or two!”

And from Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lucy Monroe (Brava, 2007):


where the female protagonist tells this story of her encounter with a Cowboy Hunk:


(Note: “the saying”.)

Then from a Pinterest board on Cowboy Sayings, these Cowboy Hunk slogans:



(with a reference to bullriding)

Plus the country-boy versions:



(enumerating the Big Three of country hunks)

And then there are the slogans  (not in themselves sexual) of the Lone Cowhand:



Many more on the net. And on this blog, on 11/6/15, the idiom cowboy up (man up on steroids), with books, slogans, and movies.

One Response to “Haley Bonar”

  1. Barry Popik (@barrypopik) Says:


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: