Today marks the approximate midpoint of the annual gun deer season. That won’t apply everywhere CGIOMH is read, or at least viewed: India? Russia? Saudi Arabia (Hey, rock that casbah!).
For those among this blog’s readership who have taken to the woods after the wily whitetail, what music should you listen to? Well, if you actually want to get your deer, you won’t want it turned up to 11 out in the woods, and those earbuds aren’t going to help, either.
I don’t claim encyclopedic knowledge of every recorded song in rock and pop, but I can’t think of any that directly reference deer hunting. (Here, I am disregarding “Da Turdy Point Buck” and the other novelty songs by Da Yoopers.) But there are some tunes you could listen to back in camp, or punch up on the jukebox in the bar (although most won’t be that readily available).
There was a movie called “The Deer Hunter” back in the mid-70s, so music from the soundtrack might be an option. Except the “Theme from the Deer Hunter” is an instrumental, and the other songs are mostly Eastern Orthodox church and Russian folk music. The exception might be Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” — which could be a deer hunter’s reaction to the aforesaid “Turdy Point Buck.”
Speaking of movie music, many nimrods would consider Disney’s “Bambi” to be an anti-hunting flick, but it is about deer, so what about the soundtrack? As many times as I’ve seen it, though, I don’t remember the music. Wikipedia says some critics find commonality between the “Man” theme in it, and John Williams’ “Jaws” thing.
“Do Re Mi” from the “Sound of Music” actually does mention “a deer, a female deer,” but the only relevant cover I could find of it was by jazz crooner Harry Connick Jr., who did have some success on the pop album charts. (The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band did do a “Sound of Music” takeoff, but only got as far as “The Hills Are Alive.” Fortunately.)
You could cue up most anything by the hunting-obsessed Ted Nugent, if you can get past his headbanger stuff, particularly songs from his “Spirit of the Wild” album. The track listing for that LP includes a tribute to that iconic archer, “Fred Bear,” and tunes like the title cut, “Tooth, Fang and Claw” and “Primitive Man.”
Rock and pop songs with seeming references to hunting? Most sportsmen wouldn’t want to be in the situation described in the Marvelettes’ 1966 hit, “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game.”
Led Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” makes a couple allusions to hunting, via lines borrowed from Albert King’s blues chestnut, “The Hunter,” including “I’ve got you in the sights of my gun.” Claude King’s “Wolverton Mountain” is more about a “The Most Dangerous Game” sort of hunt, but the anti-hero of it, Clifton Clowers, is “mighty good with a gun and a knife.”
“Shotgun” by Junior Walker & the All Stars would be appropriate in those areas where rifles can’t be used. “Devil's Gun,” by C.J. & Company, snuck into the Top 100 in 1977, but don’t ask me to hum it, much less recite the words — not sure I’ve ever heard it.
How about songs by artists whose names allude to deer, or hunting? Pee Wee Hunt had a No. 11 back in 1953, and Tab Hunter was a heartthrob back in the late 1950s. Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople did a number of solo albums, and cut a single called “When the Daylight Comes,” which is when you can start shooting.
Then there was Ernie K-Doe, who did “Mother in Law.” (Always wondered where he got that monicker; turns out his birth name was Kador.)
Or how about the Buckinghams, of “Don’t You Care” and “Kind of a Drag” (or was it “Canada Dry”?) fame. Or Starbuck? (Bet you can’t remember what their one-hit wonder was. It was 1976’s “Moonlight Feels Right” — and, okay, judge me, but I always liked it.)
Buck Owens and the Buckaroos? The “Hee Haw” front man was mostly country, but he did land a bunch of singles in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart — including “My Heart Skips a Beat,” which sounds to me like buck fever.
But good luck taking Rick Springfield or Jesse Winchester out in the woods and trying to get your deer with them. Although the former might get your “dear” — if she’s into over-the-hill rock stars turned TV actors. (The latter, not so much, since he left the planet a couple years ago.)
Or, in descending order of relevance and increasing desperation, we can go on an add-homonym attack, and look for songs about “dear”: “Dear Prudence” by the Beatles, Larry Finegan’s 1962 hit “Dear One,” "Dear Lady Twist”by Gary U.S. Bonds and Dylan’s “Dear Landlord.”
Or maybe just drink a six-pack and listen to Da Yoopers.