Friday Five: Flies

Ken Morton, Jr. | June 25th, 2010

Most country music artists hope that there’s a certain “buzz” about their career and that their initial songs “fly” up the country charts.

But, alas, that’s not the type of fly that we’re chatting about in this Friday Five. We’re talking about Musca Domestica and Coleoptera. If you just got lost, flash back to those hazy hormone-laden days of junior high to that biology class. Today, this is all about the everyday house fly and his long lost bug cousin, the firefly.

The former one’s a nasty little pest that manages to irritate during every single outdoor meal. And when he sneaks his way into a room with any florescent light or window, he’ll fly headlong into it convinced he’s found an exit. And again. And again. And again- driving one to certain insanity. The latter of the two–who is a beetle and not really a fly at all–is the golden child of the insect world. Unlike his housefly brethren, the firefly is the romantic lighted charmer that certainly makes him the envy of all the other bugs. He’s like Brad Pitt, but with a glow-in-the-dark butt.

Hopefully this topic doesn’t bug you too much as this Friday Five takes wing.

  • Fireflies5. “Fireflies” – Paula Nelson & Willie Nelson

    Fireflies lay between 500 and 600 eggs in their lifetimes and spawn hundreds of offspring. Willie wasn’t nearly as prolific but he did have a daughter that shared his love of music in Paula Nelson. She released an indie album out of Texas with this as the title track- this video has her obviously proud papa playing Trigger alongside her on stage.

  • The Heroines4. “Fireflies In the Storm” – Tony Joe White & Jessi Colter

    White’s perhaps best known for writing the steamy “Rainy Night in Georgia”, but here he teams up with Mrs. Waylon Jennings for a slow burn of a rocking tune off of his 2005 album “Heroines.”

  • Fireflies (U.S. Release)3. “Fireflies” – Faith Hill

    The beautiful Mrs. Tim McGraw used this tune as the title track of her 2005 album. She obviously in full mom mode–drawing on comparisons of fireflies to Tinker Bell and with lyrics such as “I believe in fairytales and dreamers dreams like bed sheet sails/And I believe in Peter Pan and miracles/And anything I can to get by/And fireflies“. The video below is a touching acoustic version performed around the album’s release.

  • Like Red On A Rose2. “The Firefly’s Song” – Alan Jackson

    Alan Jackson gets reflective on this tune off of his 2006 release Like Red On A Rose. Jackson tells us that “life goes by like the firefly’s” as he explains that his love has grown deeper over the years. It’s a little-heard tune, but one of my favorites by Jackson over the years. Luckily for us, life goes on a little longer than the firefly’s–10 to 14 days just wouldn’t cut it.

  • What The World Needs Now Is Love1. “Flies On The Butter (You Can’t Go Home Again)” – Wynonna Judd (with Naomi Judd)

    In 2003, Wynonna released this eloquent longing of all the little things about her childhood. Few know that Lari White released her own version of the song off her 1998 Stepping Stone album–a tidbit that makes sense when you learn that this song’s co-writer is Chuck Cannon, Lari’s husband. The fact that the Judds’ version of this song only made it to #33 on the Billboard Hot Country charts is one of the crimes of that decade.

1 Ping

  1. Fireflies « Rowjielogy
    August 7, 2010
    [...] Friday Five: Flies ( [...]
  1. Noeller
    June 25, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I was still early in my radio career when this song dropped, and I’ll NEVER forget spinning it for the first time. The simply beautiful vocal on this kicks my ass every time. Fan-TASTIC.

  2. Erik
    June 25, 2010 at 7:38 am

    That’s a great performance by Faith, even though Fireflies was never one of my favorite songs.

    I cannot agree more with the #1 choice.

  3. Leeann Ward
    June 25, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Love the number one choice. Lari White’s version is decent, but the Judds nail it.

  4. Paul W Dennis
    June 25, 2010 at 8:00 am

    How could you overlook Hank Williams’ immortal “Fly Trouble”

  5. Leeann Ward
    June 25, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Ha…”Fly Trouble”! That’s just a funky song.

  6. Ben Foster
    June 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

    My first concert ever was Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (actually only four years ago), and one of the best moments of the show was when Faith sang “Fireflies.”

    I agree- it was definitely a crime that the Judds’ “Flies On the Butter” didn’t chart higher.

  7. J.R. Journey
    June 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Love your opening. It made me smile several times.

    Although I never understood why so many people thought so highly of ‘Flies On The Butter’. To me, it’s a bit of a sleeper.

  8. Leeann Ward
    June 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I didn’t expect it to chart higher, since it was definitely a throwback to the Judds sound, which was long gone by then, but that’s exactly why I love the song.

  9. Buddynoel
    June 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    First thing that comes to mind is MCC’s “The Bug” which I suppose won’t count here.

  10. J.R. Journey
    June 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t think it sounds much like Judds records either, mostly because of the plodding tempo I guess. Judds songs, especially the singles, always had great melodies. But I agree that vocally, they hit the same stride.

  11. I Am Very Cute
    June 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    thank goodness nobody thought of covering Owl City’s Fireflies :-)

  12. Leeann Ward
    June 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Since I actually like the melody a lot, I don’t consider it plodding, as much as it adds to the sweetness of the song. I think the melody is comparable to Judds melodies, in that it’s simple, which slow Judds songs tended to be.

  13. J.R. Journey
    June 26, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I like you so much, Leeann. I wish we didn’t disagree so often. :)

  14. Leeann Ward
    June 26, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Ah, I think we do all right, J.R. A little disagreement ain’t so bad. You’ll come around someday (kidding!).

  15. Erin F
    June 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

    While I do love and adore Fireflies by Faith Hill that song was written and sung by Lori McKenna, who also wrote Stealing Kisses and If You Ask on Faith’s Fireflies. Lori’s version is so amazing and raw, much like all of her music! I highly suggest checking her out :-D

  16. Linda
    June 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Who knew there were so many firefly songs! Paula N has a new album coming out, soon, too, fyi. Her dad sings with her on CCR’s ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain’, really beautiful.

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