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Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray,
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television,
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenberg, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye,

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen,
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

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

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiov,
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

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

Little 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

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy,
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

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

Hemingway, 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

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

Birth 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

We 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...



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/billy_joel/we_didnt_start_the_fire.html

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  • u
    +1
    UnregisteredJan 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm
    Billy Joel once said that if he wouldn't be a musician he would be history teacher.

    I think he tries to show the flow of history while still trying to tell that even though there are problems, there always have been ones. If one problem is solved another will rise from somewhere. The fire will continue burning. Younger may always blame the elder from the mistakes they've passed, or vice verse, but won't realize that doesn't much help and, with all the probability, they will pass some mistakes too.

    Though I'm not sure the fire would symbolize problems and mistakes and everything bad. It could be the history itself. The flames will have some sparks, problems, but that's part of the fire.

    Overall it's wonderful song and I was delighted when our philosophy teacher made us listen this (on the topic of Hegel's Thesis-Antitesis-Synthesis history). Though it was embarrassing that I was the only one in our class who knew who Billy Joel was. Youngs these days.
  • u
    +1
    UnregisteredMay 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm
    Well, to me, the song is telling us that the world has been upside down since it began turning. Humans are not perfect and definitely make bad decisions. The decisions, mistakes, however you want to call, that were made yesterday has effected today, and will influence tomorrow.
  • u
    +1
    UnregisteredFeb 29, 2012 at 3:03 am
    "it was always burning since the worlds been turning". Joel means that throughout time, there have always been problems in the world. Ever since the beginning of time. "no, we didn't light it but we tried to fight it" joel means that even though the fire's always been there, we have been making it worse. We've been trying to fight it though. And right our wrongs. And joel is listing the events in his lifetime that were good and bad that somehow effected the fire in the world.
  • u
    -0
    UnregisteredJun 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm
    Well the meaning of this song is that billy joel wanted to be a history teacher but instead he became a singer/song writer.
  • u
    -0
    UnregisteredMay 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm
    This is a song that tells the headlines to many different stories during 1949-1989. This is an excellent song talking about how billy's generation did not cause all these problems, that they have always been there. They have to deal w/ these problems, but they are not his generation's fault.

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