Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

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Midnight at the Oasis

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This song written by David Nichtern an American songwriter and television composer, soundtrack artist and Buddhist teacher in 1973. It was recorded by the singer Maria Muldaur for her self-titled album and it peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 in the UK Singles Chart in the spring of 1974. This song was the only commercial success for either Nichtern or Muldaur. The album peaked at #3 on The Billboard 200, and was certified gold by the RIAA on May 13, 1974. Billboard ranked ‘Midnight at the Oasis’ at #13 for 1974. It was also nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards, held in 1975. In Canada, the song reached #2 in the RPM magazine singles charts and #45 in the year-end chart.

The song gained fame and some notoriety at that time because of Muldaur’s sultry and sensual singing voice, slightly erotic lyrics conjuring up pictures of nights of love making under the desert sky with the only light coming from the stars as the camels grazed at the nearby watering hole. ‘Midnight at the Oasis’ makes strong use of a particularly pleasant instrumental bridge, arranged by David Nichtern, and played on acoustic string guitar by Amos Garrett, who was a close friend of Muldaur’s husband. The song is a saucy, teasing offer of a desert love affair, in a fantasy setting that owes more to Rudolph Valentino sheik movies than to real Middle Eastern deserts. An oasis is an area of lush vegetation surrounded by desert which have an almost mystical hold on our imagination, but those deserts that have cactuses, do not contain any camels as they are on different continents.

Maria Muldaur is an Italian singer who was born Maria D’Amato. Muldaur recorded in the ‘60s with the Even Dozen and Jim Kweskin jug bands and with her then-husband, Geoff Muldaur, before going out on her own with this 1973 recording. Maria Muldaur was 30 years old when her marriage to musical partner Geoff Muldaur dissolved. She expected to spend the winter supporting herself and her seven-year-old daughter Jenni (now a singer in her own right) as a waitress in Woodstock, N.Y., cafe. On her way upstate, she visited Brooks Brothers in New York City to buy her soon-to-be-ex a fancy shirt as a going away present when she ran into the president of Warner Bros. Records Mo Austin who asked her if she ever considered recording a solo album. Months later, she found herself in a recording studio with Clarence White, Ry Cooder, Dr. John and David Lindley, among others, recording a debut that would include her signature song.

This tune is very playful and most people feel that it is very sensual and evocative, like some real hanky panky is going on after the camel is put to bed. Midnight is not a time for sleeping in this song, as they slip off to a sand dune, kick up a little dust, till the evening ends. There’s no need to speak and Maria is going to be your belly dancer. You won’t need no harem, or a camel as she will take you for a ride. Many of Maria’s fans have told her that this song inspired sexual encounters, loss of virginity, and pregnancy.

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Heaven’s holding a half-moon
Shining just for us
Let’s slip off to a sand dune, real soon
And kick up a little dust
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
‘Til the evening ends
You don’t have to answer
There’s no need to speak
I’ll be your belly dancer, prancer
And you can be my sheik
I know your daddy’s a sultan
A nomad known to all
With fifty girls to attend him, they all send him
Jump at his beck and call
But you won’t need no harem, honey
When I’m by your side
And you won’t need no camel, no no
When I take you for a ride
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
‘Til the evening ends
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Got shadows painting our faces
And traces of romance in our heads
Oh come on, oh come on
Woo hoo hoo, yeah, oh yeah
Oh oh, yeah, yeah

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community. There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another David Nichtern or Maria Muldaur song, or a song that is about a desert that has an oasis. You might also go with a song that has a cactus, or a camel in it. If you would like to write about having a steamy night with someone that you love, then go with that.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate. This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable. I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it. You could write about a sand dune, or belly dancer, a sheik, a sultan, or a harem. If you want to write about romance, that would be perfect.

Dylan Hughes will be here on next Friday June 4 with her First Line Friday and she always seems to have something in her bag of tricks. I will be back on Friday, June 11 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Just the Two of Us’. When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire. This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and permit everyone to read your post sooner that way, and then follow the directions that are given.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

18 comments on “Midnight at the Oasis

  1. Pingback: Mindlovemisery’s Music Challenge (29 May 2020) – Mister Bump

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  3. pensitivity101
    May 29, 2020

    I was 18 when this came out. It was also the year my paternal grandfather died.
    I remember the song well as it got a lot of airplay but this genre of music was not ‘my cup of tea’ .

    • newepicauthor
      May 29, 2020

      Different strokes for different folks.

      • pensitivity101
        May 29, 2020

        That’s the beauty of music isn’t it. There’s something for everyone.

  4. Lorraine
    May 29, 2020

    Last summer, at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, I experienced the installation, Nancy Graves: From Camels to Moonscapes, (https://www.gallery.ca/magazine/your-collection/nancy-graves-from-camels-to-moonscapes). A full circle journey: way back when, we used to listen to Maria Muldar, after midnight, on hot sultry summer evenings. Standing with the camels, we broke into song: “Oh, midnight at the oasis . . . “

    • newepicauthor
      May 29, 2020

      Thanks for sharing that article Lorraine.

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  7. Pingback: Music Challenge — Midnight at the Oasis – This, That, and The Other

  8. Marilyn Armstrong
    May 30, 2020

    I have a long story about this song and the Taylor family, but in particular, Kate (James’s sister) and a party with President Clinton and Hillary Clinton on Martha’s Vineyard. That’s for another Day. Meanwhile, here’s an entry for you.


    • newepicauthor
      May 30, 2020

      You certainly have gotten my curiosity roused, but I will wait for you to tell your story.

  9. Marilyn Armstrong
    May 30, 2020

    This was one of my favorite songs and I always wondered whatever became of Maria Muldaur.

  10. Pingback: Midnight at the Oasis – Ladyleemanila

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