blatantly bad 70s songs: wildfire (michael murphy)
here, horsey horsey!
singing cowboy michael martin murphy sings wildfire, a song about a dead girl, a dead horse, and the man who should be quivering in fear at the knowledge that they’re comin’ for me i know. sounds like some westernized stephen king, if you ask me. and yet people in 1975 found this a terribly romantic song, and voila! it became a hit.
in 1975, i was 10 years old and at the height of every young girl’s favorite pasttime: horses. i read all about misty of chincoteage and every single solitary follow-up book marguerite henry wrote about those damn ponies. i oohed and aahed every time i had the opportunity to go horseback riding at camp; i especially loved it when i could get my horse to canter or even gallop. you’d think i was a solid audience for a song about a pony.
you’d be wrong. dead ponies don’t go off well with 10 year old girls.
it took me awhile to figure out that the pony AND the girl were dead. but then, i couldn’t understand why the singer was sounding glad that the dead things were coming for him. run, mister, RUN! hadn’t he seen horror movies? did he not value his life? did he want to wander the earth, zombie-like, terrorizing the masses in the countryside?
sheesh. grownups can be sooooooo dumb.
and musically, though i enjoyed the piano in the very beginning of the song, it seldom got any airplay on my favorite music radio WABC. the rest of the song was a waste, i thought then. i still think it is now. the music is sleep-inducing; the lyrics are horrifying. i didn’t know whether to snooze or become a serial killer.
how wildfire caught on like, well, you know what, i will never understand.