Trying to nail down the exact meaning of the lyrics to We Didn't Start the Fire(Long)

Discussion in 'Music' started by John-Miles, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    This is something that has always had me curious, I’ve liked this song for a long time, and honestly I know most of the names and the generalities surrounding the names and events mentioned, but I am curious for a little more detail. Of course I can always just go look it up on the net but that is a little less fun, and since people here know about these lyrics. If you can provide a brief description as to what each of these lyrics refer to and possibly even a date reference as well I would really appreciate it.

    Again the point of this post is not to test your ability to search on google, but rather to just see what we all know here and what we can come up with. I figure with all the people here on this forum we can easily fill out the details behind all of these lyrics.

    Of course if you don’t want to participate, well don’t its pretty simple. I will update this original post at least once or twice a day and insert the descriptions people have for the lyrics.

    Note to admins, sorry if this is a little off topic, but this seemed the best place to post this.





    Harry Truman
    Doris day
    Red China
    Johnnie Ray

    South Pacific
    Walter Winchell
    Joe Di Maggio.
    Joe McCarthy
    Richard Nixon
    Studebaker
    Television

    North Korea
    South Korea
    Marilyn Monroe.

    Rosenbergs
    H-Bomb
    Sugar Ray
    Panmunjom

    Brando
    The King And I and The Catcher In The Rye.
    Eisenhower
    Vaccine
    England's got a new queen

    Marciano
    Liberace
    Santayana good-bye.

    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

    David Crockett
    Peter Pan
    Elvis Presley
    Disneyland.
    Bardot
    Budapest
    Alabama
    Khrushchev

    Princess grace
    Peyton Place
    Trouble in the Suez.

    We didn't start the fire
    ...

    Little Rock
    Pasternak
    Mickey Mantle
    Kerouac

    Sputnik
    Chou En-Lai
    Bridge On The River Kwai.
    Lebanon
    Charles de Gaulle
    California baseball

    Starkweather
    Hoicide
    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.

    We didn't start the fire
    ...

    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

    J.F.K. blown away
    what else do I have to say?

    We didn't start the fire
    ...

    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 Roll
    Cola Wars
    I can't take it anymore.

    We didn't start the fire
    ...
    we didn't start the fire
    ...
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    John,

    Not being a Billy Joel fan, I've never spent any time listening to this song, but I am from his general age group so I think I know most of the references.
    Listing Marilyn after Korea may refer to the great story about her visit to the U.S. troops during that conflict. She got a great reception from the men and upon returning home told her husband, "You've never heard such cheering!"
    Joe DiMaggio replied, "Yes I have."

    Dien Bien Phu falls
    Eleven years before I arrived in Viet-Nam, the French left, but not before leaving their imprint on the people. The French word for a much or many, "beaucoup" was used by the Vietnamese as "bucu." And the Americans brought it back home and it's now a common part of our speech today.
     
  3. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Nice to see I haven't lost my touch...I need to go brag about this in the "Thread Killer" area. [​IMG]
     
  4. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    I dunno Jim I think most people werent interested in this thread to begin with [​IMG]
     
  5. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    It's a shame...I was gonna mention Charles Starkweather-Caril Fugate and Terrence Malick but I didn't want to hog all the good stuff. Charlie would have turned 65 later this year, but, things didn't work out.
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Well, I figure the meaning of the song is some 60's type rationalizing why everything is still goin' wrong.

    Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, usw, world without end.

    The only reference I was a little unsure about was Toscanini extant with dacron, and reading homicide for hoicide [​IMG]
     
  7. PienSavaca

    PienSavaca Stunt Coordinator

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