Michael Martin Murphey - Wildfire (M.M. Murphey, L. Cansler) ~ Erwin Lazaro 033
I had just posted my 18th
video on May 9, 2010. Every day, millions of people search YouTube for whatever suites their fancy. That weekend, a woman was searching for music to sing. She loves to sing, entering singing competitions from time to time. One of her biggest influences in music is Karen Carpenter. She was looking for music from The Carpenters during the weekend that I had posted my cover of "We've Only Just Begun". She was looking for music to console her spirit. On the day that I posted my cover for "We've Only Just Begun", a woman lost one of her closest friends to cancer. I was celebrating a beginning and she was mourning an end. She was brave enough to share her story with me. She was touched by my rendition of what is considered to be the signature song for The Carpenters, so much so, that she went forward with her story. She told me that she had been looking for a male voice to carry out her requests. The friend that she had lost, also loved to sing. They both loved music deeply. They had shared much together, over the course of their lives. He referred to her as the "wind beneath his wings". Her friend also happened to own an Arabian horse named Wildfire. So, on my channel page, newly grieving from the loss of her precious friend, she honored me by asking me to sing two songs, in honor of her friend; the first being Bette Midler's classic "Wind Beneath My Wings", and the second being "Wildfire". For those of you who already have my first CD, you'd know that I had already recorded a cover of "Wildfire". What were the chances? When I read her comments for the first time, I was nearly crying, not only for her heart-wrenching loss, but also for the honor, that a complete stranger, who had just discovered my music for the first time, wanted ME to honor one of her dearest friends. I responded by letting her know that I would humbly fulfill her requests. She reached out to me so freely, like she already knew that I would wholeheartedly honor her requests. That weekend, I videotaped my cover of Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings", which I will post in the near future. And, for this weekend, I adapted my CD track, and made my cover of "Wildfire" into a video. Her name is Kat, and her dear friend was Steven. I am dedicating my cover of "Wildfire", in honor of Steven, from Kat.
"Wildfire" is the title of a popular song from 1975 that was written by Michael Martin Murphey and Larry Cansler. It was originally performed by Murphey (who had yet to add his middle name to his recorded work), and it appears on his 1975 album Blue Sky - Night Thunder. Released as the lead single from Murphey's album, "Wildfire" became the singer's highest charting pop hit in the United States. The song spent two weeks at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1975. In addition, it reached the top of the Billboard adult contemporary chart, where it remained for one week. Murphey and Cansler co-wrote "Wildfire" in 1968, shortly after Murphey emerged as a solo artist. He had been part of a duo known as the Lewis & Clarke Expedition with fellow singer-songwriter Boomer Castleman earlier in the 1960s. When Murphey re-recorded "Wildfire" for a new album in 1997, he was quoted by Billboard magazine as saying that what many consider his signature song "broke my career wide open and, on some level, still keeps it fresh. Because that song appeals to kids, and always has, it's kept my career fresh."
The lyrics are the ruminations of a homesteader who has become much disillusioned with farming and obsessed with the ghost of a young woman said to have died searching for her pony, Wildfire, during a blizzard. The homesteader hopes to catch up with the ghost mounted on her pony and with them to escape from farming, which he bitterly calls "sodbusting." In 2007, talk show host David Letterman developed a sudden fascination with "Wildfire," discussing the song and its lyrics (particularly the line about "leave sodbustin' behind") with bandleader Paul Shaffer over the course of several weeks on the Late Show. This ultimately led to Murphey being invited on the show to perform the song in person. Letterman would describe the song as "haunting and disturbingly mysterious, but always lovely," and surmised that the performance would leave the in-studio audience with "a palpable sense of... mysticism, melancholy... and uplifting well-being."
I am dedicating my cover of "Wildfire", in honor of Steven, from Kat.