Article information:
  • Author:
    Billy Joel
  • Date added:
  • Topic:
  • Floor: 2

We Didn't Start The Fire

Click on a link below to view the article in that language. You can click several at a time to view them simultaneously. Click again to close the article in that language.

Read in English

We Didn’t Start The Fire is a song by Billy Joel. The lyrics are related to well-known people, places and events from 1949 (the year that Billy Joel was born) to 1989, when the song was released. 

Harry 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

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjeom
Brando, The King and I, and The Catcher in the Rye,
Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen,
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

Chorus: 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, 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, Krushchev,
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, trouble in the Suez


Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac,
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, 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


Hemingway, Eichmann, 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,
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say?


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