There’s something about fire that fascinates us. Stories and mythology have used it for centuries to represent power, danger, and transformation. In these 20 songs, artists explore all facets of fire – from the destructive to the healing.
- 1. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple
- 2. “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele
- 3. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
- 4. “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran
- 5. “Light My Fire” by The Doors
- 6. “Just Like Fire” by Pink
- 7. “Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads
- 8. “Start a Fire” by Passenger
- 9. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
- 10. “Original Fire” by Audioslave
- 11. “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon
- 12. “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
- 13. “Lake of Fire” by the Meat Puppets
- 14. “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
- 15. “Burning for You” by Blue Oyster Cult
- 16. “Fireball” by Pitbull feat. John Ryan
- 17. “Fight Fire With Fire” by Metallica
- 18. “Setting Fires” by The Chainsmokers feat. Xylo
- 19. “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor
- 20. “Firework” by Katy Perry
1. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple
“Smoke on the Water” tells the story of the 1971 fire at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland during a concert by The Mothers of Invention.
The blaze was started by a fan who set off a flare, and it quickly spread through the building. No one was killed in the fire, but it destroyed the casino.
2. “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele
“Set Fire to the Rain” is a song about moving on and setting aflame her own tears, which were raining. Adele wrote this song about her past relationship and going through a difficult breakup. It is a metaphor for taking back her power and overcoming heartbreak.
3. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
“Ring of Fire” was written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore, and it was originally sung by June’s sister, Anita. The song is about falling in love and the feeling of being consumed by passion. It has been covered by many artists over the years.
4. “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran
“I See Fire” is a song about not backing down and fighting for what you believe in. Though this song heavily relies on the context of the Lord of the Rings franchise, it gives a strong message of strength and courage. It’s a song of hope and staying steadfast, even in the face of danger and destruction.
5. “Light My Fire” by The Doors
“Light My Fire” is a song about being consumed by desire. It’s about being drawn to someone or something that is dangerous and destructive. The Doors were inspired by Jim Morrison’s girlfriend at the time, Pamela Courson.
6. “Just Like Fire” by Pink
“Just Like Fire” is a song about rebirth and starting over. It’s about overcoming adversity, becoming someone unique, and standing up for oneself—just like fire. Pink drew inspiration from her experience working on the film “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”
7. “Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads
“Burning Down the House” is a song about burning down what is keeping you in your comfort zone and going towards exploration.
8. “Start a Fire” by Passenger
“Start a Fire” is a story that uses the forest as a metaphor for life. As life goes on, some parts of the forest “wither” or get “destroyed” by the natural seasons. As the season goes on, Passenger thinks that starting a fire might help the forest “start over.”
9. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is a song about the history of the world and how we kept a record of it in a song. Billy Joel lists off a number of events that have happened in his lifetime, but he says that we didn’t start the fire; it has been burning since long before we were born.
10. “Original Fire” by Audioslave
“Original Fire” is a song about being the living essence of the messages that were fought for in the past. The band wants their fans to understand that even though they (the original fire) have died and gone, the riot (which they instilled in us) continues.
11. “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon
“Sex on Fire” is a song about being consumed by desire and passion. It’s about being drawn to someone after getting it on. Kings of Leon drew inspiration from their own experiences with love and lust.
12. “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Great Balls of Fire” is a song about being lust-driven. It’s about being drawn to someone who would tempt you to have sexual fantasies. One million copies of the song were sold in the first 10 days of its release in the US, making it among the top singles at the time.
13. “Lake of Fire” by the Meat Puppets
“Lake of Fire” is an ethereal and psychedelic exploration of the concept of eternal damnation. The song’s premise is to answer the question of where bad people go, which is the lake of fire, or simply, “hell.”
14. “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
“I’m on Fire” is a song about going through the mental pain of not getting the person you are in love with. It starts off with a flirty line about wanting a girl who is actually taken, and then proceeds to sing about being hurt and crying knowing that he isn’t able to get the girl.
15. “Burning for You” by Blue Oyster Cult
The song is about a person who is in love with someone but is unavailable because he is so busy with work.
The lyrics describe how the singer is consumed by the other person, trying to please them and devoting all of his time to his career. It’s a passionate and intense song for anyone who is madly in love with someone.
16. “Fireball” by Pitbull feat. John Ryan
“Fireball” is a song about being confident and boastful. In the song, Pitbull states that he is the center of attention at the party, and he outshines every other person in the room and is able to get any girl he chooses with less effort.
17. “Fight Fire With Fire” by Metallica
“Fight Fire with Fire” conveys the message of nuclear war’s ramifications and disasters. It explores the idea of retaliation and revenge, where people fight each other with the same weapons they are trying to defeat.
The song is a powerful reminder that violence only begets more violence, which would lead to world destruction.
18. “Setting Fires” by The Chainsmokers feat. Xylo
“Setting Fires” is about a passionate love affair with someone who doesn’t reciprocate the feeling. The lyrics talk about being in love even though it’s a one-way relationship. She would stay ablaze to keep her lover warm, but she realizes she can’t let herself stay in this fiery state.
19. “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor
“Fire and Rain” is a somber song about dealing with sorrow and loss. The lyrics talk about how the singer lost someone he cared for deeply but that he still finds solace in nature despite his grief. This song is a great way to express sorrow and reflect on the fragility of life.
20. “Firework” by Katy Perry
“Firework” is a song to inspire people to never give up on who they want to be. It sings about how anyone can be a “firework” and that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what other people think.
The song encourages everyone to find their own spark and let it go off in the night like a firework. This is an uplifting anthem for all of us who need the courage to keep going.
These 20 songs about fire explore different aspects of the concept. Whether it’s love, rage, or destruction, fire is a powerful and universal symbol that has been used in music for centuries.