Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire

Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is a song by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel. It was released on September 18, 1989 as a lead single from his eleventh studio album “Storm Front.” The song is unique in its structure, as it features rapid-fire lyrics listing various historical events, people, and cultural references from the years 1949 to 1989. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” became a commercial success, reaching high positions on music charts. Its unique format and engaging concept captured the attention of listeners and made it a standout track on the album.

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire - single cover


“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is characterized by its fast-paced rhythm, simple melody, and repetitive chorus. The song’s production centers around a catchy beat and Billy Joel’s vocals, with the emphasis on the rapid delivery of historical references. The lyrics of the song present a chronological and rapid-fire overview of notable events and figures from the mid-20th century to the late 1980s, touching on topics such as politics, pop culture, sports, and world events.

The music video for “We Didn’t Start the Fire” features imagery related to the various historical events mentioned in the song’s lyrics, helping to visually connect the references with the song’s message. The song’s lyrics have led to discussions and analyses of the historical events and cultural references mentioned, and it remains a memorable piece of pop culture that encapsulates the tumultuous and transformative decades it references.

Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire – Lyrics