"Goodbye Horses" is a 1988 song sung by Q Lazzarus. It was written and produced by William Garvey. There are three versions of the song, of lengths 3:12, 4:20, and the extended version at 6:28.
According to its writer, "the song is about transcendence over those who see the world as only earthly and finite. The horses represent the five senses from Hindu philosophy (The Bhagavad Gita) and the ability to lift one's perception above these physical limitations and to see beyond this limited Earthly perspective." Music historians have noted that the song may also refer to an experience the writer had in the basement of Pale Creation singer Nick Fiction's mothers house. Though reference to this incident is allegedly made in the liner notes of the band's "Twilight Haunt" LP, details remain scarce as the album has since sold out.
The song is notably featured in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs, the 2006 film Clerks II, the 2012 film Maniac and other media. It was also featured in the soundtracks of Grand Theft Auto IV and Skate 3.
In 1996, Psyche's cover version of "Goodbye Horses" was released as the b-side to their single "You Ran Away". This recording became popular enough that the band decided to make an extended version and include it on their album Strange Romance at the end of the same year. When the trailer for Clerks 2 appeared promoting the movie, Psyche entered the Top Ten downloads on iTunes Electronic chart. The song is featured on two best of compilations, Misguided Angels (2000) and Legacy (2004), as well as a recent limited Australian tour CD collection entitled Club Salvation, and remains a staple in the band's live repertoire to this day.
Over the last decade the song has been covered by other performers including Gil Mantera's Party Dream. In 2009, The Airborne Toxic Event began performing a cover of the song in their live performances. The Whitest Boy Alive covered the song during Lowlands '09. In October 2009, Brad Sucks released a cover of "Goodbye Horses" on his website. At their NYE 2010/2011 show, Snowden debuted a cover featuring Corinne on lead vocals. However, aside from the original, only Psyche's interpretation has maintained its popularity.
Electronic band Fan Death and garage-revival band Harlem have also covered the song, and it is currently being performed at live shows by Liverpudlian band Lovecraft, recently signed to the Probe Plus label.
In 2009, a compilation on Metropolis Records entitled "Until The Shadows" contains Psyche's re-recording entitled "Goodbye Horses (21st Century Version)" which corrects the previously misinterpreted verse "lying over you" to "flying over you".
In 2010, Indie band Venus Infers released two different mixes of their version of the song on their album "You'll Understand When You're Older". Also, Island Def Jam artists The Airborne Toxic Event released a live CD/DVD containing a performance of this song, entitled All I've Ever Wanted. In 2011, The Airborne Toxic Event released its second studio album, All At Once, containing a studio remake of this song.
Another cover version is found on the 2010 Mortal Loom album This Vastness sung by Ilja Rosendahl.
In 2011, Kele Okereke, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of acclaimed indie rock band Bloc Party, released a cover of "Goodbye Horses" on his EP The Hunter. This cover of the song is 4 minutes and 12 seconds long. It was produced by Daniel Lindegren, with additional production by Fred Falke.
A fan made video for the song was uploaded to YouTube on March 25, 2011, many months before the release of the EP. Kele posted the video on his blog.
On March 5, 2012 Psyche released an updated extended mix of their re-recorded "Goodbye Horses", now retitled "21st Century Immortality Mix". This version is featured on the A-Side of "All Things Pass Into The Night" licensed by the Optimo music label, and distributed by Kompakt.