We Didn't Start The Fire

We Didn't Start The Fire (Billy Joel)

  • 19 Sep 17:50
  • 4 lists

"We Didn't Start the Fire" is a song by Billy Joel that alludes to headline events from March 1949 (Joel was born on May 9 of that year) to 1989, when the song was released on his album Storm Front. The song was a number-one hit in the US, and often parodied since.

The song and music video have been interpreted as a rebuttal to criticism of Joel's Baby Boomer generation. The song's title and refrain mention "the fire", an allusion to conflict and societal turmoil; Joel asserts that these can't be blamed on his generation alone, as "the fire" has been "always burning since the world's been turning".

Joel has said, "I'm a history nut. I devour history 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 Joel's songs, the lyrics were written before the melody, owing to the somewhat unusual style of the song. The song was a huge commercial success and was Joel's third Billboard No. 1 hit. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

Blender magazine ranked "We Didn't Start the Fire" No. 41 on its list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever", a list that also includes songs from Paul McCartney and...

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