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When Faith Hill first heard "Wild One" - a free-spirited tribute to a rebellious teen - she practically did a double-take. "My initial thought was, 'That's me!' I probably could have written that," explains Faith. "It sounded like my life story."
The song actually sprung from Nashville songwriter Jaime Kyle's life story. Jaime got the idea for the song and originally called it "She's A Rebel." How it evolved into "Wild One" reads like a three-act play.
In 1988, Jaime asked fellow writer Pat Bunch to help her with the teenage-turmoil tune. "Pat gave me the first couple of verses," Jaime recalls, "and I really identified with them because that's the kind of teenager I was. I was very headstrong and hard to, well ... tame."
Jaime had Pat's verses and the chorus and melody worked out, but needed some additional lyrics to complete the song. She enlisted friend and occasional collaborator Will Rambeaux, whose first order of business was changing the title to "Wild One."
"I thought the original title, 'She's A Rebel,' was too close to 'He's A Rebel,' the old '60s pop hit," declares Will, who currently produces songstress Sherrié Austin. "I think I came up with 'Wild One' from that Marlon Brando movie of the '50s."
The partnership between Pat, Jaime and Will became one of the most unusual in Nashville circles - because the three writers were never in the same room at the same time! That obstacle notwithstanding, they finished "Wild One" and then waited five years for someone to pay attention.
"The song just laid there," remembers Pat. "Then Will went to the studio and recorded this great demo. Everyone who heard it just fell in love with it."
But love did not translate into acceptance. "It was passed on by every female singer in town," admits Will.
But a then-unknown artist named Faith Hill went absolutely wild about the song. "I really wanted it for my first album and prayed that I would get it," remembers Faith. "The line - You can be anything you want to be - was very true for me. I was told that all my life."
"Wild One" raced to No. 1 on New Year's Day 1994, fulfilling a premonition of Jaime's. "I envisioned it being a No. 1," she confesses with a smile. "It was a song that anybody could identify with."
- Bob Paxman
Written by Pat Bunch, Jaime Kyle
and Will Rambeaux
Performed by Faith Hill
They said, "Change your clothes"
She said, "No, I won't"
They said, "Comb your hair"
She said, "Some kids don't"
And her parents' dreams went up in smoke
They said, "You can't leave"
She said, "Yes, I will"
They said, "Don't see him"
She said, "His name is Bill"
She's on a roll and it's all uphill
She's a wild one with an angel's face
She's a woman-child in a state of grace
When she was three years old on her daddy's knee
He said, "You can be anything you want to be"
She's a wild one, runnin' free
She loves rock and roll
They said, "It's Satan's tongue"
She thinks they're too old
They think she's too young
And the battle lines are clearly drawn
When they tell her life is hard
She says, "That's all right"
Wild One ©1993 Reynsong Publishing Corp. (BMI) (all rights o/b/o Reynsong Publishing Corp. admin. by Wrensong). Used By Permission. All Rights Reserved. All rights on behalf of Pat Bunch c/o Pat Bunch Publishing Admin. by Pat Bunch Publishing. Used By Permission. All Rights Reserved.