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Michael Martin Murphey – Wildfire lyrics

She comes down from Yellow Mountain
On a dark, flat land she rides
On a pony she named Wildfire
With a 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 it's stall
In a blizzard he was lost

She ran calling Wildfire [x3]
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 [x3]

On Wildfire we're gonna ride
Gonna leave sodbustin' behind
Get these hard times right on out of our minds
Riding Wildfire

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  • u
    A beautiful, melancholy song that is often misinterpreted. There are actually many hints to the song's meaning. "Oh, they say she died one winter" shows that it is a legend. We don't know who "she is," and the narrator of the song (a farmer) doesn't either. "She" dies during a "killing frost," which implies that it was a cold time of the year - perhaps she died of pneumonia. The horse senses that she is gone, breaks from his stall, and dies in a blizzard. The dead girl (now a spirit) runs after her ghost horse, who is dead as well. The hoot owl "howling by my window" is an omen that death (the ghost girl and horse) are coming for him; however, this death is not a bad thing - it removes him from his hard life as a farmer (leaving "sodbustin'" and "hard times") and allows him the freedom and escape for which he longs.
    1 reply
  • u
    Ii first heard this moving song with my girlfriend in 1975. I forgot about it for many years then I heard it again one day. It made me cry for those long lost years of youth, and for my one true love nancy. I still miss her and I still love her just like this loving touching song. Thank you michael for writing one of the best loved songs of my life. Long live widfire.
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  • w
    Wayne Eric Chew
    I know exactly what it means right from Mr. Murphey's mouth. He really didn't have a real clue "exactly" what it all meant. He basically had a dream about it one night, something about a ghost horse and Native American legends that his grandfather used to tell him about when he was young, and he awoke thinking about his dream and making it into a song. He was living with his writing partner at the time, Larry Cansler, and they wrote the song. Mr. Murphey also has a Christian background and he believes that it also subconsciously came from the White Horse in the Book of Revelations. In a recent concert Michael also told the audience that Wildfire is symbolic of freedom. Ironically, he said he would never name one of his horses he owned, Wildfire. That changed when he purchased a palamino and the name Wildfire fit the pony perfectly. It is one of the finest modern country/pop composition lyrically and musically ever created.
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  • u
    My wife and I had a horse ranch, breeding beautiful colored horses with superb confirmation and other extraordinary qualities. She died of cancer in 2008. I am wandering here waiting for her to come for me. While I am here I know there is work to do, I remember planning it with her before we both came in. Music blows through me like a wind from another time. We had agreed that I would sing from an early age. I started out doing that when I was about one year old. Then I forgot and got diverted by fear. Now, more than sixty years later, I am thinking maybe that magic I brought with me might possibly still be here. Otherwise, I will be seen as a silly old man, and it won't matter anyway. But I have learned to reverse some of what time does, and my voice seems to be returning. I am ageless, but can this body reflect that? I don't know. I miss her more than I can say. But I may need to sing my song here before I can go, before she can come for me. So I will let that happen, if it is meant to be so, and whatever happens will be ok. Kr.
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  • u
    This song came to me in a dream 2 months ago. To me, it meant that one of three of my most loved ones was going to die before the spring of this year. I hadn't heard the song in years and woke up with the lines, "oh they say she died one winter, when there came a killin' frost" in my head. The lines haunted me almost daily for weeks. Then my dog became ill and passed, just a few days ago now. After she died, the song persisted in my mind, so I looked it up online, thinking there must be something in the lyrics I needed to read. Turns out it was the songwriter's name instead. My dog's name is murphy. As soon as I saw michael martin murphey, I knew.
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