Sunday, February 11, 2007

We Didn't Start the Fire (Part 1)

"We Didn't Start the Fire" is a song by Billy Joel that chronicles 120 well-known events, people, things, and places widely noted during his lifetime, from March 1949 to 1989, when the song was released on his album Storm Front. Joel explained that he wrote this song due to his interest in history; he commented that he would have wanted to be a history teacher had he not become a rock and roll singer.

The lyrics of "We Didn't Start the Fire" are essentially a chronological list of specific events, names, and places, beginning in Joel's year of birth. An exception is that of 1976 and 1977, whose years and events are swapped chronologically in the song.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Didn't_Start_the_Fire)

In today’s post, I have submitted Billy Joel’s Lyrics to this song as well as the music video. If you are not familiar with the song, I would suggest that you watch the video and read the lyrics at the same time. You might want to print off the lyrics first. Today, I just want you to become familiar with the lyrics and the video. Tomorrow, I will submit the second part of this post where we will discuss the importance of this song as a tool for self learning as well as teaching others about history.

Have a great day! See you Monday!





We Didn’t Start The Fire
Storm Front Released: 1989


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

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

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Maciano, 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 Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron
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, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkwether, 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, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
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
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

5 comments:

abbagirl74 said...

Oh, I always loved that song, but had no idea what he was saying. hehehe...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

One of my favorites. Look forward to the lesson.

Janice said...

Will wait for tomorrow's post...

Dave said...

Hi abbagirl!... Well, here is your opportunity to find out! :-)

Hi LGS... It is one of my favorites as well.

Hi Janice!... Hope you enjoy! :-)

HeiressChild said...

wow, that's deep. never heard this song before, but it really makes you think. getting ready to read part ii.