Poll: Does "We Didn't Star the Fire" have good lyrics?
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Yes, the best
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1 50.00%
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Average
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Poor and nonsensical
50.00%
1 50.00%
Total 2 vote(s) 100%
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Why Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" is stupid
#11
ClassicalIsTheBest Wrote:I'm new here. What sort of reasons are expected in order to start a thread?
I don't think anyone is suggesting there is any reason why you shouldn't start a thread like this one. It's just that we are curious why you picked this particular song and not some other. The song came out quite some time ago. Has there been some recent publicity about it, or somebody praising it in the press, to which you felt the need to reply?

Interesting what you say about it being used for school classes. Like you, I find it to be just a pointless recitation names of people and events taken, magpie fashion, from American 20th century history. The song says nothing to me, so I wonder what the students make of it?

It would be far better, in my opinion, for them to study the Genesis album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". Almost from start to finish, it's packed with oblique references to American culture, mixed in with mythology and metaphysics. Even now, years after I first listened to it and read the lyrics, I am finding things out about the lyrics that I did not know, or whose significance escaped me at the time.
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#12
ClassicalIsTheBest Wrote:Thanks. Yes, I had already read through that article and several others about it. My point is that Billy Joel included a whole bunch of positive and good people and things such as Doris Day and the King and I, and many more. How are they relevant to the things "we tried to fix" and we "tried to fight" it? He just leafed through a memorabilia book and jotted down a bunch of stuff, good and bad, and made it rhyme. It is simply not consistent. I believe, and have read, that the reason it has been used for school classes is that it contains a lot of historical references which can spark ideas and discussion, not because it is considered to be great literature.

youre actually taking a couple of people at random (doris day/Elvis),

Billy is mentioning those people and others to show their relevance/importance to "pop culture"...
with the "we tried to fix it" type lines, is obvious he was talking about the not so pleasant moments in history that he mentions in the song, Vietnam, Korea, Bay Of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, AIDS, drugs, even probably the whole Nixon saga and the rockstars selling out...

yes, the song lyrics were used by schools to spark ideas, I wholeheartedly agree, the lyrics my be simplistic in nature but to me that makes it a great piece of work...

the menaing is right there in your face, id cant be miss represented by anyone,
whereas, the lyrics/meanings of lot of Dylan's/Lennon's material can mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people,
its all conjecture, makes for great discussion, but with their lyrics there is no right or wrong as neither artist came out and said what their obscure lyrics
mean...

I remember Dylan being asked "so whats bowin in the wind about", his reply...."the wind"
and other classics like "whata like a rolling stone about", his reply..."a rolling stone",

he never actually gives definitive answers so who can these classes ever mark a student incorrect for their answers???

Lennon made up crap that is meaningless, he is often quoted as saying,
"i met up with an old school friend about early 67 ish, she told me that the university she attended was studying my lyrics, I couldn't understand it, its not Shaakespere,, Wilde or Orwell, theyre just pop songs, so I used to insert all these obscure words, lines just to baffle them and keep them guessing, I had no clue what any of it meant but the Proffessors obviously thought they did"

the point im making is that at least they could understand the lyrics to the BJ song ank knew what it was all about.
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#13
"with the "we tried to fix it" type lines, is obvious he was talking about the not so pleasant moments in history that he mentions in the song, Vietnam, Korea, Bay Of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, AIDS, drugs, even probably the whole Nixon saga and the rockstars selling out..."

And what is he so "obvious"ly saying about the pleasant memories? You just don't want to get it, or you have no sense of logic. I give up.
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#14
Oh Dratty Pooh - you certainly have a bee in your bonnet about this track. It's just 'stream of consciousness' stuff. As CH pointed out - some professors were claiming to 'understand' Lennon's lyrics and turn it into a whole intellectual discussion when in fact he was just making up rhymes to go with the vibe. Humans are a weird, wonderfully screwed-up species indeed.
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose' - Athena Orchard.
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