Song Analysis: We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel


A multitude of unfortunate events have consumed many parts of history. The song “We Didn’t Start the Fire'' describes a selection of these tragedies. These events include terrorist attacks, murders, assassinations, homicides, war, and other impactful occurrences throughout history.  The lyric “J..F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say?” is desrcibing the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy. This moment left a major impact on the U.S. and is still mentioned today. The chorus of the song is expressing countless cataclysms happening out of your control, despite your numerous attempts to prevent it. This reminds me of the toxicity of my former friendships and one specific relationship. Individuals were creating problems that were beyond my control and after many attempts to subdue the issue, the obstacles only seemed to expand. The occurrences mentioned in the song were far too immense for the average person to have any sort of affect or chance of changing them. This is how I felt during certain moments and circumstances during my life. The lyrics “We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the worlds been turning” and “no we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it” emphasizes this feeling of losing control and struggling to gain it back.

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