Thread: "We Didn't Start the Fire"

  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 713
    Who remembers the 1989 Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire"?

    Joel came up with the idea for this song - his last #1 U.S. Billboard hit - based on the fact that had he not made it as a musician, he would've wanted to get a job as a history teacher in school. He wrote it after having a conversation with Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon), himself of who had been going through tough times in his life.

    The lyrics were written by Joel out of pure compassion for his good friend, Tom Fasano.

    The lyrics depict a catalog of events Joel had witnessed between 1949 (his year of birth) and 1989 (the year this song was released). Among them:

    1949
    Harry Truman - was officially elected as U.S. President four years after he initially was sworn in following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    1954
    "Rock Around the Clock" - hit single recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets, spurring worldwide interest in rock 'n' roll music.

    1955
    Disneyland - Walt Disney's first theme park opens on July 17, 1955.

    1957
    Mickey Mantle - famous baseball player who was in the midst of his career as an outfielder for the New York Yankees and enjoys his sixth year as an American League All-Star.
    The Bridge on the River Kwai - the movie adaptation of this 1954 novel is released.

    1958
    California baseball - refers to two former New York baseball teams, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers - moving to California, becoming the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers respectively

    1959
    Buddy Holly - a rock musician who would die in a plane crash along with The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
    Edsel is a no-go - refers to Ford discontinuing the Edsel brand after two years of production and $400 million US spent on the marketing of the brand.

    1963
    J.F.K. blown away - refers to U.S. President John F. Kennedy's assassination while touring in Dallas, TX in an open-top convertible.

    1968
    Richard Nixon back again - former VP Nixon wins the 1968 U.S. Presidental election.

    1969
    Woodstock - a popular music festival that came to be the epitome of the countercultural movement.

    1974
    Watergate - a political scandal involving a hotel break-in which eventually led to the resignation of U.S. President Nixon.

    1983
    Wheel of Fortune -becomes a high-rated game show starting with this year)

    1984
    Bernie Goetz - on December 22, 1984, Bernhard Goetz kills several people on an NYC subway train who he thought were harassing him. He was subsequently arrested and charged for attempted murder, but he is later acquitted)

    1989
    China's under martial law - refers to China declaring the Martial Law, signing it on May 20, 1989, which enabled them to use force of arms against protesting students to end the Tiananmen Square protests.

    Rock 'n' roller cola wars - refers to the use of marketing campaigns using pop musicians to reach the young adult demographics; with Michael Jackson and Madonna, and Paula Abdul being respective spokespeople for Pepsi and Coke)

    ~Ben
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 340
    yeah i love this song.
    [IMG]http://i33.tinypic.com/m7f255.jpg[/IMG]
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 583
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 428
    Billy Joel > you
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 198
    its a great song and a popular karaoke choice, if you can keep up

    Line that springs to mind is Russians in Afghanistan
    You have to see this, no, seriously
    [img]ttp://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e183/frostdude231/LINQUEISIG.jpg[/img]
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 1068
    I remember asking my parents what Thalidomide was after hearing the song for the first time.

    [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKu2QaytmrM]Here's[/url] the video, for those interested. I watched it the other day, in fact.
    "Preserving the old ways from being abused,
    Protecting the new ways for me and for you.
    What more can we do?"
    --The Kinks, "Village Green Preservation Society"
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 164
    There's a joke I heard.. what's the difference between Great White and Billy Joel? Billy Joel didn't start the fire!
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 198
    Although its just about the one song, might I just say Billy Joel has made some of the greatest songs ever

    Piano Man
    All for Lena
    Still Rock and Roll to me
    Goodnight Saigon

    I could go on
    You have to see this, no, seriously
    [img]ttp://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e183/frostdude231/LINQUEISIG.jpg[/img]
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 249
    I sang this song at a talent show when I was in the 4th grade.
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 583
    I like Billy Joel. I just happen to think that "We Didn't Start the Fire" is the weakest song he had.
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 820
    I love this song..but many know about this.
    nWo 4-Life!


    Resident Pokemon Advisor
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 97
    Quote by velcrohead
    I like Billy Joel. I just happen to think that "We Didn't Start the Fire" is the weakest song he had.

    Yeah it's catchy but not his best stuff. Good artist. Too bad about his bad publicity.
    [IMG]http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb94/kalaneutrino/stewie2-new.gif[/IMG]
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 916
    Well, for a man that can't be near cars without crashing them into houses, he had to produce this weak hit, althoug I go to extremes is another weak one.
    [img]Ackman-copy[/img]
  • avatar
    • 13 years 3 months ago
    • Posts: 447
    My music teacher played this for my class in 4th grade I think and I really liked it. Then I found that my older brother had the tape at home.
    GHITI is pronounced "fish".

    THE BEST TRIP IS A NOSTALGIA TRIP!

    I know some people who would say they were a child of the 60's even though they were born well a
  • avatar
    • 13 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 513
    "Scenes from an italian restaurant" is his master piece along with "only the good die young" and "big man on mulberry street"
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    • 13 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 4806
    I used to love watching this video as a kid. I liked all the "old stuff". lol

    I like the song still too. I still like listening to him.

    The main thing that I remembered lyric wise was the part about the Hoola Hoop. ^^
  • avatar
    • 13 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 539
    I remember mishearing this one as......

    (music cues)
    we don't disturb the pilot
    cause he's always flying as the world is turning
    please don't disturb the pilot
    cause were flying united, and he's trying to fly it
    (scratchy record noise)

    I liked that whole album actually (storm front), my favorite from that one though was That's not her Style and Downeaster Alexa.
  • avatar
    • 13 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 908
    I liked it when "Star Trek the Next Generation" used it for their commercial. (own lyrics, of course)
    .
    • 13 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 576
    hahaha "i didnt fart you liar!"

    i like that version better
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    [ur
  • avatar
    • 13 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 517
    I've always enjoyed listening to that song. Here's an interesting video for it.

    [url]http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html[/url]
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