Friday, August 22, 2008

You Should Never Sing Wildfire At The Top Of Your Lungs In A Crowded Movie Theater...........

I think that qualifies as a federal offense or something.

I didn't intend to make this an all-classic rock-all-the-time theme week. Maybe I was unknowingly possessed by the ghost of a 1970's radio DJ during the night and he's controlling my every move. That would go a long way towards explaining why I wanted to dress up in a crochet vest today and why I keep asking everyone-even the dog- "Hey baby, what's your sign?"

When I was a little whippersnapper my mom had the sheet music to Wildfire. We spent many hours of my youth wailing for Wildfire along with the earnest Michael Martin Murphey. My mom and I also sang the Bumblebee Tuna jingle over and over. Bum-Bum-Bumblebee, Bumblebeeeee Tuuunnnaaa.......... I think she was grooming me to land some commercial work and bring home either a check or a lifetime supply of canned Bumblebee Tuna.

Anyway, I ran calling Wiiiilllldfiiiiire so often that I'm surprised I wasn't branded by the neighborhood residents as The Girl Who Cried Wildfire. No, we didn't live on Yellow Mountain. I think those people got accustomed to a lady screaming "Wildfire!" a long time ago.

There's a particularly memorable line from that song that goes:
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

When the oldest of my mini-Infidels were younger we had a scintillating discussion about owls because an owl family decided to nest in the tree right outside their bedroom window.
The conversation turned towards that line in Wildfire. I explained that Michael Martin Murphey (Seriously, that name is so freakin long. Why can't we just call him MMM?) wrote that because according to Indian legend, an owl perched outside your window means that somebody is going to croak off and croak off soon.

That was a big mistake. One that should be chronicled into the humongous tome filled with my sometime appalling parenting skills.

The three of them were terrified of sleeping in their rooms because with every piercing Hoo-Hoo of the owl they grew more and more certain that signified death swooping in to take them away.

So traumatic. When I was a child I was terrified of owls, too. But that's only because I knew they couldn't be trusted to be honest with you if you gave them your Tootsie Roll pop and asked them to tell you how many licks it takes to get to the center.

The owl family eventually took their Hoot-a-Palooza across the street to our neighbors. They have a magnificent oak tree with branches that extend towards the heavens and a trunk big enough to shield me when I duck behind it to avoid the Boy Scouts peddling popcorn on our street. It's far superior to our lowly pine. Snobby owls.

So there you have it. Need a guest room? Import some owls to live in your trees and then tell the Indian Legend of Certain Death to your smallish children. They'll refuse to ever step foot back in that room again and you'll have gained valuable bedroom space.

Michael Martin Murphey On Letterman Performing Wildfire

*Holy freak, MMM aged really well. He retired his 70's blond bob look that he stole from Toni Tennille along with his puka shell necklace and he now looks like a respectable older cowboy. A cowboy that wears impractical non-weatherproofed fringe suede, but you know. He should have passed his ten-gallon cowboy hat around the audience to take up a collection. Maybe MMM made a lot of money selling Wildfire to the glue factory at the same time he was selling copies of the Wildfire song and doesn't need the cash that bad. Who knows? He ran calling, whooooo will buy Wildfire..........He ran calling, whooooo will buy Wildfire.......*

28 comments:

b. said...

I actually met and ate breakfast with triple M at a diner in Provo.

That was interesting.

Physcokity said...

I'm jealous of b. Favorite line in the whole post:
"One that should be chronicled into the humongous tome filled with my sometime appalling parenting skills."

Yeah couple that with the suggested pop up book...would the hair pop off the top of the kid's heads when you illustrate that one or would their eyes simply bug out to no end?

Jay said...

Oh, we all have those moments of 'sometimes appalling parenting skills' - trust me!

Interesting. I'd never heard of this guy or the song, so I have nothing to compare this with, but I quite liked it! :)

Lisa said...

b.=Superstar!

Hey, keep up the 70's tribute! This song used to make me so sad.

Tracy said...

How do I not know who MMM is? Why do I know nothing of this Wildfire that you speak of?
Yeah, I was born as the 70's were going out but my father was a hippy and had done enough drugs that he was always stuck in the
60's and 70's. I should have know MMM.

Anyways, a few years ago, the girls became very interested in how mommy's become pregnant. I told them that sometimes Daddy hugs Mommy cause he loves her soooo much and he puts a baby in her tummy. The end.
Wrong
Everytime they saw the hubs hug me they would announce to EVERYONE that I was pregnant again!
According to them I should be the mother to atleast a thousand children.
We all have the moments.

Suburban Hippie said...

I really dislike Paul Schaffer - I can't explain it...

Also, owls are the softest of all soft animals. I even overcame my bird phobia to pet one once - of course that was before I knew they are an omen of death.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

Okay, around 2:23 or so you should check out the spectacled lady. I swear she looks EXACTLY like Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire!!!

Mrs. Doubtfire sings Wildfire!

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

b. You met Jo Dee Messina and MMM?

I once scared Samuel L. Jackson away from his chicken fried steak at Hometown Buffet. Does that count for anything?

Heffalump said...

I think it should be considered animal abuse for two grown people to ride one poor little pony, even if it is a ghost pony.
Poor Wildfire!

Yvonne said...

I must have heard that song a zillion times in the 70's--can't say as I ever REALLY listened.

carronin said...

As a little girl I used to imagine I was the girl in Wildfire. True story.

You are so right those Tootsie Pop stealing owls are not to be trusted.

Stephanie and Co. said...

You make me laugh-- I once told my daughter she would die if she played in the street. It wasn't as exciting as the owl/omen of death, but it did get a great screaming, crying, terrified reaction. Which I guess was good.

Kim said...

oh no ~ now i have that song in mt head! thanks so very much. NOT!

J-Mom said...

Don't you "love" those parenting moments when you get to look back and wonder, what in the world was I thinking?

Jean Knee said...

leave that poor man alone, hinestly.


I knew owls were evil. We had to poke around in their poop for vermin bones and whatnot in science class

Chris Wood said...

Good call on the bedroom space.

Bee said...

I have no idea who MMM is either but I love the scary story you told your kids. Even though you didn't mean to scare them it's still very funny!

I too was distrustful of the owls and hif my lollis!

Amber said...

How is it I have never heard of them? And how is it a woman who wears ELASTIC WAIST BANDS is sooooooooo much cooler than I? :-)

Palm Springs Savant said...

that song Wildfire always made me so sad.

Jean Knee said...

LOL! That was hilarious! You always crack me up!





I really mean that.

Hey It's Di said...

Thanks for the tip on freeing up some bedrooms. I could use some extra income and am really sick of my kids:)

wynne said...

Here's another bit of music trivia that you pop on your blog that leaves me completely confused...MMM? Who is that? Any relation to Eminem--who is basically M&M? And WHY is Mrs. Doubtfire singing with Mx3? Didn't Robin Williams have anything better to do that night?

...

Tell your kids "hoo, hoo" for me, okay?

Nancy Face said...

Sooo...last week when a hoot owl howled outside MY window, I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Little did I know I'M GOING TO CROAK! :0

Nancy Face said...

Ribbet.

Nancy Face said...

THAT'S how Sunbum knew that song so well...terror isn't easily forgotten! HAHAHA! :D

Melissa said...

Ooohh... I like that one. I wonder if I can get an owl to come live in the bathroom for awhile? My kids seem to think it's a great place to just hang out for awhile...

Millie said...

What the general public didn't know about this song is that Wildfire was actually a tomato... that's why the line "But there came a killing frost" is especially tragic...

"Wildfire" is a good point of reference when trying to determine a person's age.

Chris Wood said...

Fish slapping show? Is that connected to Monty Python's fish slapping dance?

If you haven't heard of it, I suggest you check it out on YouTube. Hilarious.