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We Didn’t Start the Fire
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  1. We Didn’t Start the Fire Billy Joel

  2. Lyrics Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio 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 goodbye

  3. Chorus • We didn't start the fireIt was always burningSince the world's been turningWe didn't start the fireNo we didn't light itBut we tried to fight it

  4. Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, DacronDien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning teamDavy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, DisneylandBardot, Budapest, Alabama, KhrushchevPrincess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez (Chorus)

  5. Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, KerouacSputnik, Zhou Enlai, Bridge On The River KwaiLebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California Baseball, Starkweather homicide, Children of ThalidomideBuddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, MafiaHula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and KennedyChubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo (Chorus)

  6. Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land,Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion Lawrence of Arabia, British BeatlemaniaOle Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sexJ.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say (Chorus)

  7. Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back againMoonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rockBegin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airlineAyatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicideForeign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie GoetzHypodermics on the shores, China's under martial lawRock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore (Chorus X4)

  8. Billy Joel • Billy Joel was born on May 9th, 1949 in the Bronx, New York. At age 4, Billy discovered his love for classical music by taking piano lessons. This was the strong foundation for his passion for music and wanting to make a musical career. After seeing The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show at age 14, he knew he wanted to make it big in music. He joined his first band named the Echoes. They performed at local clubs and bars late at night and eventually became very popular. Billy played the piano for the Echoes. Eventually in 1965, they changed their name to the Emeralds and two years later, Joel left his band to start over on his own. He got married to Elizabeth Small. He has traveled all over the world including Colombia, Russia, and many more places on tour. He is currently still in the business and has many successful albums (Sing365). BACK

  9. John F Kennedy • John F Kennedy served in WWII and after, with inspirations from his father, represented Massachusetts in the House of representatives. This led him to be president from 1961 to 1963, when he was assassinated. Billy Joel mentions JFK in his song because JFK was assassinated during Joel’s lifetime. The death of JFK had a tragic effect to all Americans, including Billy Joel. BACK

  10. Marilyn Monroe • Monroe is an American Model, Singer, and Actress. She grew up in many different foster homes. She began as a Model which led to a contract in acting. Monroe founded Marilyn Monroe Productions and studied at the Actors Studio. Billy Joel included Marilyn Monroe in his song because she was a new kind of actor that a lot of men liked. BACK

  11. Joseph Stalin • Stalin lived from 1878-1953. He was the first a general in the soviet communist party when Lenin, the leader of Russia, died and Stalin took over. He is well known for his 5-year plans and the industrialization of Russia. Billy Joel mentioned Joseph Stalin in his song because Joseph Stalin was a big topic in America when the Soviets joined the Allied powers to take down Nazi Germany and Hitler. BACK

  12. Elvis Presley • Elvis Presley lived from 1935- 1977. He is a famous American singer and is named the king of rock. Elvis was known worldwide due to his style that he added to the music world. Elvis died at age 42 in 1977 because of prescription drug overdose. Billy Joel included Elvis in his song because Elvis’s death was big to music loving Americans. Also, Billy Joel mentions one of his inspirations to be Elvis Presley due to the way he made Rock music popular BACK

  13. Disneyland • Located in Anaheim, California, Disneyland has the record for the most cumulative attendance since July 18, 1955. It is also the only park that was supervised by Walt Disney. Billy Joel put Disneyland in his song because it was a new and upcoming thing when he was a child. Americans in the 50’s made a huge deal about Disneyland because something like that had never been seen before. BACK

  14. U2 • U2 is a band from Ireland that was formed by four teenagers. They signed their first record deal a year after forming the band and made a hit over in the USA. They have over 150 million albums sold and have won 22 Grammys. Billy Joel included U2 in his song because U2 was an inspiration to Joel. BACK

  15. Rhyme 1st Verse • Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio 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 goodbye • Billy Joel lists all the major events that were important to him during his lifetime in this song. In the first verse, he rhymes Joe DiMaggio with Marilyn Monroe, and Rye with goodbye. This is impressive because they are all events, or people, not just words. BACK

  16. Repetition Chorus • We didn't start the fireIt was always burningSince the world's been turningWe didn't start the fireNo we didn't light itBut we tried to fight it • This is the chorus and is repeated 7 times throughout the song. I think that it is repeated this much because he wants to stress to the listeners his point of view, that they didn’t start anything. BACK

  17. Theme Theme-Chorus • We didn't start the fireIt was always burningSince the world's been turningWe didn't start the fireNo we didn't light itBut we tried to fight it • The theme for this song would be how you look at the chorus in your point of view. I think that Billy Joel is trying to tell people that there have always been big problems or events that happened when he had nothing to do with music or fame in America. BACK

  18. Mood/Tone • Throughout the whole song, Billy Joel has a fierce, strong tone that is almost like he is yelling. He seems angry or disappointed at times. This may be because he doesn’t want to contribute to all the things happening, he wants to just be himself and have his music without all the drama of real life events. BACK

  19. Flashback • This whole song is a flashback of all the memories in Billy Joel’s lifetime. It’s a list of historical events and people that contributed to his thoughts or ideas on the events or people. BACK

  20. Citations • Abamedia. "Biography: Joseph Stalin." pbs.org. Abamedia, 1999. Web. 1 June 2010.      <http://www.pbs.org/redfiles/bios/all_bio_joseph_stalin.htm>. • Educational, Spartacus, prod. "John F. Kennedy : Biography." spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk. Spartacus Educational, Oct.-Nov. 1999.      Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/      USAkennedyJ.htm>. • Mouseplanet, inc. "Disneyland Information Guide ." Mouseplanet.com. Mouseplanet,      1996. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.mouseplanet.com/al/docs/>. • Sing365, inc., comp. "Billy Joel Biography." Sing 365. N.p., Nov.-Dec.      11,22,2008. Web. 19 May 2010. <http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/      billy-joel-biography/b5e6e558fef8c8d1482568700013a7bc>. • Sony Music, ent., prod. Billy Joel. Sony Music Entertainment, n.d. Web. 24 May      2010. <http://www.billyjoel.com/>. • Television, A&E, Networks. "Elvis Presley Biography." Biography.com. A&E      Television Networks, 1996. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.biography.com/      articles/Elvis-Presley-9446466>. • - - -. "Marilyn Monroe Biography." Biography.com. A&E, 1996. Web. 1 June 2010.      <http://www.biography.com/articles/Marilyn-Monroe-9412123>. • "U2's History- Biography." atu2.com. @u2, 25 Nov. 2007. Web. 1 June 2010.      <http://www.atu2.com/band/bio.html>.