This cover of Cole Porter’s Don’t Fence Me In appeared on Red Hot + Blue, the same compilation album that featured Annie Lennox’s cover of Ev’Ry Time We Say Goodbye. Along with singing the song in his own unforgettable style, Byrne also directed the music video that was used to promote it. Byrne’s cover and the video both turn Porter’s song into an anthem of tolerance and liberation.
Of course, before Byrne covered the song, Don’t Fence Me In was made famous by one of the original singing cowboys, Roy Rogers. Rogers appears in archival footage throughout this video. The song itself was originally written ten years before Rogers first sang it in the 1944 film, Hollywood Canteen. Porter originally wrote the song from a never-produced western that was going to be called Adios Argentina. Porter based the lyrics on a poem that was written by Montana engineer Robert Fletcher. Fletcher was originally only paid $250 for his contribution to Don’t Fence Me In. A decade later, after Rogers made the song a hit, Fletcher was able to negotiate with Porter’s estate to get a co-writer credit and to also collect royalties on the song.