We Didn't Start The Fire lyrics on We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel

Billy Joel

We Didn't Start The Fire lyrics

Facebook "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel appears on his album, ‘Storm Front’ - 1989. Its lyrics consist of rapid-fire references to 119 headline events between 1949 and 1989.

Many people believe Joel’s idea for the song came from ‘American Pie’ by Don McClean, but Joel insists he got the idea for it when he met Sean Lennon and a friend of his who had just turned 21. The young man said to Joel, "It's a terrible time to be 21!" Joel replied, "Yeah, I remember when I was 21. I thought it was an awful time, we had Vietnam, drug problems, and civil rights problems, and everything seemed awful." The friend replied, "Yeah, but it's different for you. You were a kid in the fifties, and everybody knows that nothing happened in the fifties". Joel retorted, "Wait a minute, didn't you hear of the Korean War or the Suez Canal Crisis?" Joel later said that brief conversation was the seed for the song.

Joel went on in the interview to say, "I'm a history nut. I devour books. At one time I wanted to be a history teacher". According to his mother, he was a bookworm by the age of seven. Unlike most of his songs, the lyrics were written before the melody, owing to the unusual idea for the song; a rapid-fire series of names and phrases from the news over his 40 years.

“I had just turned forty. It was 1989 and I said okay, what's happened in my life? I wrote down the year 1949. Okay, Harry Truman was president. Popular singer of the day: Doris Day. China went Communist. Another popular singer: Johnnie Ray. Big Broadway show: ‘South Pacific’. Journalist Walter Winchell; Athlete Joe DiMaggio. Then I went on to 1950. It's one of the worst melodies I've ever written. I kind of like the lyric though.”

Though the lyrics are a staccato of people's names and events, there is widespread agreement on the meaning of the lyrics. Steven Ettinger wrote, “Billy Joel captured the major images, events, and personalities of 40 years in a three-minute song. It was pure information overload, a song that assumed we knew exactly what he was singing about. What was truly amazing was that, for the most part, we did!"
via georgeplant061
How it works

Highlight lyrics you want to quote as your Facebook status then click the ‘Post’ button.

Click the blue lyrics to see the meaning of Billy Joel ‘We Didn't Start The Fire’ lyrics.

Highlight lyrics and click ‘Explain’ to add meanings and earn points.

Click & drag to select lyrics
Lyrics selection example


Send We Didn't Start The Fire ringtone to your cell
0
shares

Link to this post on your blog

Verse 1Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenberg, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, P’anmunjŏm
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

ChorusWe didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it


Verse 2Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

ChorusWe didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Verse 3Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Zhou Enlai, Bridge On The River Kwai
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben-Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

ChorusWe didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Verse 4Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatle mania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

ChorusWe didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Verse 5Birth control, Ho Chi-Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

ChorusWe didn't start the fire
It was always burning since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Edit

Explain these lyrics:

Your photo

Guidelines

  • Be factual and/or funny
  • Back up facts with links to sources (Wikipedia, news)
  • Embed images by simply pasting the link (ending .jpg, .png, .gif)
  • Embed videos by pasting the link (from YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Embed the artist's tweets by pasting the link (example)
How to style bullet points and quotes

Guidelines

  • Be factual and/or funny
  • Back up facts with links to sources (Wikipedia, news)
  • Embed images by simply pasting the link (ending .jpg, .png, .gif)
  • Embed videos by pasting the link (from YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Embed the artist's tweets by pasting the link (example)
  • Embed Google Maps by pasting the link
  • *italic* makes text italic, and **bold** makes it bold
  • Block quotes, use: > This text will be a block quote
  • Numbered lists, use: 1. First point
    2. Second point
    3. Third point
  • Bullet lists, use: * This line will be a bullet point
Read the rest of our guidelines
Edit
Thanks to:
Your photo
Just a moment...

Billy Joel We Didn't Start The Fire lyrics added on 11th Jul 2012




Click Here


Listen, Watch, or Download for Free



-->