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 its stall
In a blizzard, he 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
Been a hoot-owl howling outside my window now
'Bout six nights in a row
She's coming for me, I know
And on Wildfire we're both gonna go

We'll be ridin' Wildfire
We'll be ridin' Wildfire
We'll be ridin' Wildfire

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

Lyrics submitted by lobo81865

Wildfire Lyrics as written by Martin Murphey Michael Larry Cansler

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Wildfire song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis is one of the best songs ever written... Wildfire is both a story and a metaphor.

    The story is from the 19th Century, when Nebraska was still the wild, wild west, the settlers lived in homes made of sod, and life was hard.

    She is either the daughter, the wife or the fiance of the singer. He loved watching her ride her pony Wildfire, she was a vision of raging life, and love.

    She died during a 'killing frost' of the kind that blanketed the midwest in the winter of 2007-2008. The horse ran off, being spooked by something, and was never seen again.

    By the dark of the moon refers to the time when the moon is full to when it is new again, and is the time that you plant crops that grow below ground, such as potatoes, beets, turnips, etc. The singer was following the old farmers almanac, but his crops were destroyed by an early snow before he could harvest.

    He lay there in his cold, empty sod house, knowing he would die of starvation that winter, as promised by the hoot owl outside his window, which in native american lore meant death was coming.

    So he waited for her and Wildfire...

    Wildfire is a metaphor for something that takes you away from hard times. The song pays tribute to the bravery and hardships faced by our ancestors.

    It's a masterpiece.
    Cache Kidon April 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOh how we loved this one growing up! For me, "Wildfire" was about exactly what Michael Martin Murphey is singing it is: it's the story of a young girl, the crush of the young boy protagonist, whose only love is her beloved pony Wildfire. One night during an early, hard winter, Wildfire breaks free from his stall and runs away. The child steals out after it into the night, and an unexpected heavy blizzard rolls into the valley, covering everything under several feet of snow.

    She is never found, nor is the pony.

    The young boy has grown into a young man and still remembers his lost love, most often when autumn comes and the owl calls outside his window, reminding him winter is soon to come. He has never forgotten the young girl he loved, and still hold a torch for her: "She's coming for me, I know. And on Wildfire, we're both gonna go."

    It's a song of desperate longing for a childhood love long dead... about how love never dies and burns forever, eternal, with the memory of the one we cherished.

    Without doubt this was one of the most beautiful, just plain emotionally affecting songs of the 1970's. Between this, the Charlie Brown series and Dan Fogelberg's "Another Auld Lang Syne", my childhood was pretty damned moody. How about yours.
    heatherferon January 19, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI agree with Cache Kid.'re an idiot.
    Wildfire was a dream Michael had about a magic horse. When he awoke, he wrote it down.
    This is one of the best love songs EVER recorded.
    the1museon November 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAs an Injun, I agree with the owl comment. My Grandmother always talked of owls as messengers of death, though as in this case, not always sorrow. The singer longs to reunite with his lost love, as did she her pony. She has left him on the cold, lonely prarie, his crops have died, and one could imagine how bad he wants to hear her returning for him. In a way, his believing she is calling for him is a way of surrendering to the elements.
    5521ericon February 13, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCould the girl and her pony be the protagonist's childhood dreams? He lost those dreams in the hard winters on the prairie? Now, with death approaching, he's looking forward to rejoining his childhood dreams?
    maclovio16on August 05, 2015   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningTry and think of the song being sung from the perspective of a pedophile serial killer of the young girl.

    First verse describes how he watches her ride down from her families farm on "Yellow Mountain" (Assumingly like he has many times before) on "Wildfire" to flatland (maybe the his own property, they may even have neighboring land plots; and her mother would like her to become a good rider by mastering flat land first). It is in Wildfire's existence that he gets his inspiration to use the horse breaking out of its stall; to lure the girl to her death. "They say she died one Winter" first when he sings of her, it seems he may know her, now he diminishes his role to that of a person living in another town at the time of her death (which we know he wasnt). 2nd verse "By the light of the moon I planted, but there came an early snow" Was when he was burying her body, but couldnt finish because of the storm...."Theres been a hoot owl outside my window now for six nights in a row" Speaks to the folklore of an owl being a sort of Angel of Death messenger. Then he waxes poetic as he relives the fantasy of them running away together on Wildfire.

    Just a different perspective that always stuck with me .....this is the first time I have shared it.........Sincerely FracturedMind
    FracturedMindon March 21, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUmmm a killing frost doesn't kill people.

    It kills plants. :/
    kmidafternoonon October 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentkmidaafternoon you may want to check out the Sadie Rose adventure series, its a series of childrens books from the late 80s and early 90s by the famous author Hilda Stahl, she grew up in the Nebraska Sandhills, her ancestors lived in sod houses on the prairie, the book series is based around the good and bad times faced by eleven year old Sadie Rose and her family who live ina sod house, and the first book begins with desciption of how her father died in the killing frost. the books are completely historically accurate of the early 19th century in the Nebraska sandhills and the characters reside in sod houses. so i think it makes complete sense what Cache Kid spoke of as the meaning of this beautiful song that i like to listen too while reading the great book series.
    Bryonforeverinmyhearton November 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningper this youtube video, Michael Martin Murphy states that it was about a dream he had about a magical horse…
    debbieannon March 18, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt’s no coincidence that everything in the song is cold - “frost”, “blizzard” - but the horse is called “Wildfire”.

    Allmusic’s bio on Murphy says he’d heard stories, as a boy, of a “ghost horse” rescuing people in the desert. While the song may involve the singer dying also, it’s possible he “knows” he’ll be rescued - by the girl on Wildfire. Even the Hoot Owl symbolism doesn’t rule this out - he knows it means certain death, but do people stranded “in the desert” not also expect “certain death”?

    I say either explanation works, whichever you like better.
    force263on September 06, 2018   Link

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