MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #22

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by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Years of experience have taught our old time farmers what to expect in a given situation. Pleasant weather turning bad. What is a good tool and what is a better tool to use for a job. How to not let your eyes fool you – so use a measuring stick.  And, what it really takes to get from point A to point B.  There is always that outlier, that one freak possibility which can cause everything to go wrong. We are instructed to be prepared for that outcome and especially a loss in any case.

In 1968 Michael Martin Murphey was a student at UCLA, working on a concept album for Kenny Rogers. The work meant long hours and little sleep. In his fatigue Michael is said to have dreamed of a song.  He woke up and by the next morning wrote it down. He told an interviewer that the song reminded him of a story his grandfather told him when he was a little boy. It detailed a Native American legend about a ghost horse.

Michael was teamed up with Boomer Castleman in 1967 as part of a duo known as the Lewis & Clark Expedition (which had a brief stint on TV).   After Michael began his solo career later in 1968 he co-wrote his song with Larry Cansler. They were struggling in southern California at the time.

By 1971 Michael came back to Texas and joined the “Outlaw Country” movement. He was working along side Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. Michael created a unique blend of country, rock, and folk music. This caught the ear of Epic Records managers who produced four albums for him, including “Blue Sky – Night Thunder” which peaked at #18 on the Billboard 200 Album chart in 1975. This was the seminal work of Michael’s career. The lead track of the album still brings young girls and old men to tears. It is the tale of a man facing devastating weather, a runaway prized pony, and a lost love.

Number 22
The lyrics to the hit songWildfire are the tear-jerking memories of a sod-buster – a farmer – who is homesteading in Nebraska. Apparently there were so many trials and losses from this venture that the only thing left were several sad memories.  First a frost takes his crop. Then the cold turns to a snow storm, his horse breaks away from the farm. His love chases after and dies in the storm. As time passes the man plants again but snow returns. The song hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 but was #1 on the US Easy Listening chart and also in Canada.

How much are we supposed to take? Sometimes we lose at every turn, or it just seems that way.  Everyone gets behind once in a while. It is okay to take a loss – but we must try to prevent it from happening again. Unless we plan on sticking it out to the bitter end, we have to learn to read the signs and be prepared and measure the cost when we take a risk.

Lyrics written by: Michael Murphey and Larry Cansler

She comes down yellow mountain
On a dark flat land she rides
On a pony she named Wildfire
Whirlwind by her side
On a cold Nebraska night

Oh, they say she died one winter
When there came a killing frost
And the pony she named Wildfire
Busted down his stall
In a blizzard she was lost

She ran calling Wildfire
She ran calling Wildfire
She ran calling Wildfire

By the dark of the moon I planted
But there came an early snow
There’s been a hoot owl howling by my window now
For six nights in a row
She’s coming for me I know
And on Wildfire we’re both gonna go

We’ll be riding Wildfire
She ran calling Wildfire
She ran calling Wildfire

On Wildfire we’re going to ride her
We’re gonna leave sod busting behind
Get these hard times right on out of our minds
Riding Wildfire

If you are feeling depressed, do something about it. Please find help before making any rash decisions.  Click this resource, the National Institute of Mental Health.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder (ED) CLICK HERE to get more information from the NIMH.

Read up on PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder Click Here.

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

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Author: SpindoctorUSA

Read about it here: https://marsearth.wordpress.com/about/

5 thoughts on “The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #22

  1. Totally get it!!!

    Like

  2. I love this blog!

    Like

  3. Nice post!

    Like

  4. What a great blog!

    Like

  5. Smartly written

    Like

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