Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Wild West Hero” — Electric Light Orchestra (1977)

Sometimes I look up high
And then I think there might
Just be a better life
Away from all we know
That’s where I wanna go
Out on the wild side

And I wish I was
Oh-oh-oh-oh, a Wild West hero…

Again, we come to yet another song that is Strictly Speaking Not A Halloween Song.

And yet, it so is. Work with me here. ELO’s 1977 epic album closer Wild West Hero is just a beautiful, wistful, slightly melancholic but ultimately uplifting tune about your basic wish fulfillment fantasies.

Look up above and read those lyrics in italics if you haven’t already. Therein is the long and the short of it: emotional jailbreak. Busting out from your everyday troubles and stress, slipping into another world, and living out another life entirely. One filled with color, joy, and adventure.

Now isn’t that what makes Halloween so freakin’ Halloween?

Jeff Lynne and ELO capture that yearning so beautifully in Wild West Hero. First of all it’s ELO, so you know you’re going to have those soaring melodies, rapturous strings, Level 99 vocal harmonies, and layers upon layers of production excellence. And they are all there, in abundance.

But it’s the song’s direct emotional simplicity that connects the hardest. We all want to escape out of “all this” sometimes. ELO nails it succinctly.

Therefore, Wild West Hero is the perfect Halloween song. For anyone who ever wanted to dress up like a cowboy or cowgirl and hit the trick-or-treat trail, mount up.

Ride the range all the day
‘Til the first fading light
Be with my western girl
‘Round the fire, oh, so bright
I’d be the Indians’ friend
Let them live to be free
Ridin’ into the sunset
I wish I could be…

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