Lyrics: Midnight at the Oasis

Sung by:  Maria Muldaur

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

Songwriters: David Nichtern

In answer to “Whatever happened to Maria Muldaur”? I asked that many times, always wondering why her magical voice was never a big hit somewhere.

Her first — only — album was brilliant. She had such a wonderful, flexible, joyous voice … yet after that album, she essentially seemed to vanish from the music scene. It wasn’t lack of talent (obviously) and surely, with the numbers she racked up with her album, she had more than enough offers to do more.

The answer was simpler than I expected and I think it offers a good example of what “performing” means — both to those who make it “big” and those who say “no, thanks.” There are more who say “no” than you might expect.

She did continue to perform, both on her own and with the Grateful Dead and other groups. Solo performance wasn’t her favorite thing. She enjoyed writing songs, singing songs, singing backup with other groups and singers, but performing solo wasn’t “her.”

I asked a few people who knew her personally what happened and the answers were always the same. She wasn’t a driven performer. She loved music and singing, but she didn’t have the passion for fame.

She had a long career. I don’t know if she still performs. but she would be 80 now, so she may have retired. She was around and with us for all these years, but rarely as lead singer. She did not seek it.

Not everyone wants to be a star. Even when you can do it, it doesn’t mean you really want it. For all of us who are good at something but do not compete, the ability and the drive don’t always come as a pair.

“Midnight at the Oasis” was her big number and from a listener’s point of view, I wish she had done more. But I understand — because I don’t like performing either.

Categories: Daily Prompt, lyrics, Marilyn Armstrong, Music, Ragtag Daily Prompt, RDP

Tags: , , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. Those people are wise, they know it is more important to be happy than famous.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Marilyn, I enjoyed that so much. What a wonderful voice she had and the lyrics are so cheeky. I think I might have to have a lunch time singalong. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I grew up listening to that song and I so agree, what a voice! I get that too, I’m passionate about everything I do, whether it was (when I painted, drew, my photography) and I won awards but I (at that time) didn’t want the fame, center stage wasn’t my thing. I probably wouldn’t still, but I wouldn’t mind selling a few books to make some money. Still isn’t tbh, so I get where she’s coming from. In truth Shania Twain is the same, it wasn’t her goal or dream to perform center stage; she always preferred song writing. I remember the exact moment when Olivia Newton-John had to make a decision. If she were to continue, she’d have to go down a road she wasn’t comfortable with (the sexy thing) she didn’t want that road and pretty much disappeared as a result. It wasn’t something she said at the time, it was the look on her face when she was asked what came next and I knew. She chose the less popular route and let go of the fame and what came with it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A surprising number of people are not driven to stardom, me included. I CAN perform, but I don’t enjoy it and would never seek it out. Remember Hans Buccholtz? He was a very hot Hollywood property and a really good actor, but he was homesick for Germany. He gave up Hollywood and went home. He became Germany’s most popular (for many years) TV star. And that was what HE wanted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Covert, I only have the “local celeb” for reference. It was comfortable amd I, honestly, embraced it. I must admit enjoying “favored seating”, etc. It was also neat to buddy up with legendary Pols — but that was a different era when the media was able to bond with public officials, celebrities, Royalty. It was the pre social media world with less intrusion of privacy. I guess I was “driven” to success but that sounds melodramatic and maybe flush with hyperbole. I just wanted to succeed and didn’t accept any boundaries or obstacles. Maybe it was the innocence of youth, timing , opportunity and luck. I’m still favored and flattered — in old age — with appreciation from people “who grew up watching me on television”. You can wear local celebrity easily — especially if you don’t take yourself seriously.


  4. What a great song and such talent. I think she was smart not to go for the fame.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love Maria Muldaur. And you are so timely; her 74th birthday was yesterday, September 12!

    Liked by 2 people

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