Michael Martin Murphey’s song titled Wildfire resettles feelings that may be lost and forgotten. It rekindles the light of a weary soul to have hope and enlightens a sad soul. It was written by Larry Cansler and Michael Murphy. It gained popularity as the lead single in February in the year 1975. The LP version of the song is four minutes and forty-seven minutes, while the single edit version plays for three minutes and fifteen seconds. Described as soft rock, the country genre gives out its somber story. Murphey explains the great debut single to be more of a blessing than a curse to his decade career in music.
Michael Murphey believes that as he was a student in his third year, he worked on Kenny Rogers’ concept album that took most of his time, he dreamed of the story of the song one evening bringing its wholeness, composing it fully in little time the following day. A story he was given by his grandfather when he was younger, a little boy to be precise, is how the song came by. The story was an outstanding legend From Native Americans about a horse who was a ghost.
Ironically, Murphey had never owned a horse, and it was not until a few years before 2008, when he had been interviewed, that he had given a palomino mare the name ‘Wildfire.’ He says even though he doesn’t reside in the West and has not been a cowboy, he has been a rancher for many years through his wife, Karen, who has always been in the horse business and did not want her to leave Wisconsin. He describes it as a worldwide and national phenomenon because the land up there is very productive.
What is the meaning behind the song lyrics “Wildfire” by Martin Murphey’s
The song’s lyrics depict the story of a homesteader who tells the story of a lady from Nebraska who was young, rumored to be looking for her pony named Wildfire, who escaped at the onset of a snowstorm and sadly passed away amidst her searches. The homesteader contemplates a relatable situation during the winter when he discovers an owl settled outside his window is a manifestation that the lady’s young ghost is calling out for him. He resonates that he will join her in heaven and enjoy each other’s company while spending an eternity on top of Wildfire, abandoning the worries and difficulties of the world.
Its background brings back tales of Native American ghost legends, and fans believe that Murphey wrote the song based on actual events which prompted him to write it. Murphey agreed that his recalls of the tales by his grandfather in his dream subconsciously made him wove them into a song that has then been a hit for its background. The music, however, touches on suicidal thoughts by the homesteader, mental illness, and depression since he only thinks of the ghost girl and the pony, Wildfire.
The song draws attention mainly to the audience, who feel they could disappear like the pony to escape their troubles and hard times. It also reflects Biblically since Murphey was brought up in a Christian household with deep Christian beliefs. He goes back to where Jesus Christ is said to come back on a white horse in the book of Revelation. He indirectly symbolizes the horse as a savior or freedom, though Wildfire is seen to be supernatural. For Murphey, the savior aspect comes in when he can go back to his native state because he fell out with most of his friends who were into the culture of free sex and drugs.
The song’s first audience was a kitchen staff who were treated to a mini concert because Murphey wanted a second opinion about the song. The kitchen staff was ecstatic to be the first group of people to hear the music before it was released. Furthermore, some speculate that Wildfire is a metaphor for a situation that pushes you away from hard times. The song is said to pay tribute to the bravery and hardships of our ancestors, and it is simply a masterpiece.
The song’s tune has an intro and outro of a piano which invites listeners to depict the mood and tone of the song all the way through. The order brings forth the sad and peculiar tone of the song. The song’s introduction was also based on a piece by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. Sadly, the intro and outro were edited for radio play. The only fans who had a chance to listen to the original song as it was meant to be were the ones who bought Murphey’s Blue Sky -Night Thunder Album.
In my opinion, country songwriters should borrow an enormous motivation from Murphy, whose “dream-like” imagination gave birth to a great country song that lives in the life of people and spreads like Wildfire indeed.
Lyrics “Wildfire” by Martin Murphey’s
She comes down from Yellow MountainOn a dark, flat land she rides On a pony she named Wildfire With a whirlwind by her side On a cold Nebraska nightOh, they say she died one winterWhen there came a killing frost And the pony she named Wildfire Busted down its stall In a blizzard, he was lostShe ran calling WildfireShe ran calling Wildfire She ran calling WildfireBy the dark of the moon, I plantedBut there came an early snow Been a hoot-owl howling outside my window now ‘Bout six nights in a row She’s coming for me, I know And on Wildfire we’re both gonna goWe’ll be ridin’ WildfireWe’ll be ridin’ Wildfire We’ll be ridin’ WildfireOn Wildfire we’re gonna rideWe’re gonna leave sodbustin’ behind Get these hard times right on out of our minds Riding Wildfire