80 Songs About Fire

Updated on January 16, 2020
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FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Fire can destroy or unite. A ferocious force of nature, it is also a symbol of passionate love and emotional intensity. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about fire, flames, and burning love.
Fire can destroy or unite. A ferocious force of nature, it is also a symbol of passionate love and emotional intensity. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about fire, flames, and burning love. | Source

Songs About Fire, Flames and Burning Love

Sometimes it seems like the world is ablaze around us. Literally, with devastating wildfires in the western US, the Amazon rainforest, and poor Australia, as well as figuratively, with interpersonal animosity and incivility.

In the midst of this turmoil, it's easy to forget that fire is not always a destructive or sinister force. Popular music often depicts fire much more positively, as a symbol of passionate love, motivated action, personal transformation, knowledge, or creativity. Make a playlist of pop, rock, R&B, country, and hip-hop songs about fire that will light up your life. We have a long list to start you out.

1. “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads

This catchy 1983 ditty has oddball stream of consciousness origins and a wave/funk vibe. It was initially inspired by attendance at a Parliament-Funkadelic concert in which the band encouraged its large audience to "burn down the house"—in other words, get loud and cut loose.

Talking Heads developed the song's instrumental arrangement first. Then they penned the lyrics by chanting nonsense syllables and phrases until they found words that seemed to fit together thematically. Some of the rejected lyrics included, "Pick it up by the handle," "You travel with a double," and "I'm still under construction."

2. “Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele

In this Grammy Award-winning pop song from 2011, Adele portrays a narrator who is nursing a broken heart. The emotionally vulnerable woman is elated to find love again, only to learn that her new partner is conniving and toxic:

'Cause there's a side to you
That I never knew, never knew
All the things you'd say
They were never true, never true
And the games you play
You would always win, always win.

With rain representing her pain and tears, the narrator angrily throws their relationship into the symbolic fire, destroying it. Just as setting fire to rain is impossible, however, she finds that she cannot genuinely get over him.

3. “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley

In this classic rock number from 1972, Elvis confesses to being "just a hunk, a hunk of burnin' love." The passion of his lady friend's kisses have set fire to his heart, raising his body temperature and making it difficult for him to breathe. The guy is now burning up, his chest is heaving, and he's laying down begging for the gal's help.

Before the King of Rock and Roll died in 1977, "Burning Love" became his fortieth and final Top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although Elvis released additional singles during his remaining years—including "Separate Ways" (1972), "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" (1975), and "Moody Blue" (1976)—these songs found more success on the country and adult contemporary charts.

4. "Fire Away" by Chris Stapleton

The narrator in this heartwrenching 2015 country song loves his partner unconditionally. What is clear, however, is that she does not make it easy. The man is preparing to be pelted with her barbed questions, painful accusations, and words that "cut like a razor."

Although the love weary man knows that this relationship is a great source of pain, he steadies himself for her full-scale verbal assault. Declaring that he's in it for the long haul, he challenges her to

Fire away
Take your best shot
Show me what you got
Honey, I'm not afraid
Rear back and take aim
And fire away.

The song's award-winning music video is stunning in the way that it highlights the struggles of loving a mentally ill partner.

5. “Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys

"She's just a girl and she's on fire." This contagious 2012 R&B ballad became an international hit and remains a powerful female empowerment anthem.

The song's protagonist is an everywoman character who is lonely inside. However, she dreams of escaping her current circumstances. While her head is in the clouds, her feet remain planted firmly on the ground. The inspirational woman takes full control of her world, setting it on fire with her motivation and goal-directed hard work. Just watch her set the world on fire!

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6. “Standing Outside the Fire’ by Garth Brooks

If you remain an observer and stand outside the fire, you're not truly living—you're merely surviving. So says country megastar Garth Brooks, co-writer and singer of this motivational country song from 1993. The tune also became a success internationally which isn't too common for a country song.

Brooks encourages you to jump in, mix it up, and take some risks in your life rather than standing outside the fire. It's much more rewarding to dream big. Sure, you may get burned or wind up looking like a fool, but that's life. Just do this.

7. “Light My Fire” by The Doors

In 1967, this classic rock single from The Doors' debut album topped the charts and became their first hit. In so doing, it catapulted frontman Jim Morrison and his band to fame.

Their psychedelically-tinged tune is a love song containing double entendres and symbolism of sex, drugs, and death. The song's central expression "light my fire" alludes to both the heat of sexual passion and lighting up a joint. Additionally, with the lyrics, "And our love become a funeral pyre," the song references the thin line between sex and death that occurs with ecstasy. (Note that the French refer to orgasm as "le petit mort," or the little death, the expenditure of the life force.)

When The Doors appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show to perform this song, Sullivan requested that they change the drug-related lyrics, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" to "Girl, we couldn't get much better." In spite of promising to comply, when time came to sing the song on live television, The Doors sang the original lyrics. Infuriated, Sullivan had a producer tell the band that they'd never appear again on The Ed Sullivan Show. The cocky, irreverent Morrison famously quipped, "Hey man. We just did the Sullivan show."

8. “Fire n Gold” by Bea Miller

If you need encouragement to step up and take command of your life, then here it is! This 2015 pop tune is one of those uplifting feel good songs to put you in a good mood. With its pulsating beat, it encourages you to conquer your fears and self-doubts as you own your destiny. The narrator expresses confidence in the person she's singing to and believes in their emotional connection. Your time is now so do it!

9. "Fire" by The Pointer Sisters

It's one thing to feel ambivalent but it's wrong to be unclear about "yes" vs. "no." Bruce Springstein wrote this smokin' hot rock/disco number for Elvis, but The King died before he could record it. The Pointer Sisters modified the lyrics to sing it from the girl's perspective, and when they released it in 1978, "Fire" became a global success.

The song depicts a conflicted woman who responds to her lover's passionate sexual advances with mixed messages. (Obviously, this was in an era when "no" didn't always mean "no." Yikes.) The couple is on a date, and the narrator refuses her lover's touch, claiming she dislikes it. However, she also admits that she's lying and enjoys his fiery kisses. Later that night, he takes her home and states he wants to stay the night, but the woman falsely rejects him. Add this waffling yes/no ditty to the list of songs that wouldn't fly today.

10. "Smoke and Fire" by Sabrina Carpenter

Looking back on the remnants of her broken romance, the narrator in this 2016 snythpop song describes it in scorching, toxic terms. Rumors, secrets, and small talk spread like wildfire, setting their love ablaze. Now all that's left are smoldering embers, and she chokes on the hazy memories:

Oh, oh, our love is running into a burning building
Oh, oh, our love is scattered ash with a burnt up feeling
Feel the heat so we started running
You know you saw it coming
But the memories are still in my mind
Burning like smoke and fire.

11. "Pyro" by Kings of Leon

Fire quickly consumes everything around the guy in this 2010 haunting alt rock song. (Perhaps he even set the fire himself in disgust, frustration, and resignation.) The narrator has an ideal about what the world should be like and has lost all faith. Now he stands back and watches it burn.

As his world disintegrates in ruins, he refuses to play any role in holding it all together anymore. The song was inspired by a deadly conflict between the FBI and radical Christians who had isolated themselves in the mountains (presumably Ruby Ridge).

Idioms About Fire

Idiom
Meaning
fire is a good servant but a bad master
fire is useful when you control and watch it, but unchecked it is destructive and dangerous
a burnt child dreads the fire
someone who experiences something negative will try to avoid repeating the experience
pull the chestnuts out of the fire
to do someone else's dirty work
drink from the fire hose
to take on more of something (work, information, responsibility, etc.) than you're able to handle
burn with a low blue flame
to feel intense, repressed anger
dumpster fire
complete and utter disaster
between two fires
between two sources of conflict
fat is in the fire
problems are about to start
the same fire that melts the butter hardens the egg
the same experience triggers different reactions in various people
pull (someone's) bacon out of the fire
to save someone from imminent difficulty, trouble, or danger

12. “Angel on Fire” by Halsey

It's sad to realize that your best days are behind you. That's the situation in this 2017 electropop song. The narrator mourns the time not too long ago when people cared about what she thought and said. People asked about her and looked for her in the crowd. She was on fire. Now she is a mere has-been. She has faded away, melted by her own fire. The poor gal has flamed out. It happens to everyone eventually.

13. "Fireball" by Pitbull (featuring John Ryan)

Rapper Pitbull offers up this 2014 smoldering samba-influenced number that is full of sexy swagger. Although the lyrics aren't all that deep, the beat is thumping and this song really burns it up. This drinking and partying song is aptly named. The word "fireball" has multiple meanings relevant to this song:

  • a brand of whiskey
  • a ball of flame or fire and
  • a highly energetic person.

The rap song was an international hit and became a crossover hit on the mainstream, dance, and Latin charts.

14. "Burn It Down" by Linkin Park

All too often in both media and broader society we build people up to be larger than life only to delight in burning them down. This high energy electronic song from 2012 is a social commentary on this dehumanizing tendency in our popular culture, the rapid rise and fall of heroes among ordinary men.

15. "Burn" by Ellie Goulding

Stand up for what you believe in and join forces with like-minded others for the power of good. This positive, invigorating pop song from 2013 will fire you up, providing the encouragement to propel you to "give love to the world" and achieve great things. Ignite change and share the fire in your soul with others.

16. "Fire Under My Feet" by Leona Lewis

The woman in this peppy 2015 pop song is revved up and ready to set the world on fire. She's seen adversity, but she has faced that down and is stronger for the struggle. Now she's energetically moving on to bigger challenges, shedding all chains that bind her. Leona Lewis was winner of the third series of the British X Factor in 2006.

17. "Burning Man" by Dierks Bentley (featuring Brothers Osbourne)

In this captivating 2018 country pop song, Dierks Bentley embraces the contradictory elements that fill each person's personality. He references struggle and mistakes as well as flourishing, being both steady and stable as well as lost and a little crazy. The tune also alludes to the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada that is dedicated to radical self-expression and inclusion:

I'm a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man
Still just a burn, burn, burning man
Just a burning man.

18. “The Roof Is on Fire” by Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three

You know this song. "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire. We don't need no water, let the motherf**ker burn." Even if you don't remember this obscure, old school 1984 hip-hop number from back in the day, you probably recall that chant from a remix of the song or one of the many movies that sampled it. It was unique at the time not just for its rhythmic chant but also for its cursing which made it poison to play on the radio. The group released a "clean" version with the curse word scratched out, and the song became a success on the dance charts.

19. “Setting the Night on Fire” by Kane Brown

You won't find the guy in this 2017 country/pop song hitting the downtown bars for weekend fun. Instead, he and his friends follow an old red dirt road into a open field. Together, they kick back under the stars, drink a little beer, and dance as they set the night ablaze.

20. “I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran

Played during the closing credits of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, this 2013 folk ballad focuses on the last 10 minutes of the fantasy adventure film. Ed Sheeran, who both wrote and sang the song, is a devoted fan of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. It was the first book he read.

Emotionally, the tune transports the audience from Middle Earth back to reality. The song's narrator watches the devastation and desolation to come. He sees the fire and blood in the breeze and toasts his compatriots as they prepare to meet their shared destiny together.

"It is with our passions as it is with fire and water, they are good servants, but bad masters." - Aesop, Greek fabulist and storyteller
"It is with our passions as it is with fire and water, they are good servants, but bad masters." - Aesop, Greek fabulist and storyteller | Source

Even More Songs About Fire

Song
Artist
Year Released
21. I'm on Fire
Bruce Springsteen
1984
22. I Am the Fire
Halestorm
2015
23. Soul on Fire
Third Day
2015
24. Just Like Fire
Pink
2016
25. Smoke From a Distant Fire
The Sanford Townsend Band
1977
26. Feel That Fire
Dierks Bentley
2009
27. 2 Souls on Fire
Bebe Rexa (featuring Quavo)
2018
28. Fire
Kasabian
2009
29. Between Two Fires
Gary Morris
1984
30. Ready! Aim! Fire!
Imagine Dragons
2013
31. World On Fire
Sarah McLachlan
2004
32. Fire & Brimstone
Brantley Gilbert
2019
33. Fire and Rain
James Taylor
1970
34. Fight Fire with Fire
Kansas
1983
35. Ring of Fire
Johnny Cash
1963
36. On Fire
Van Halen
1978
37. We Didn't Start the Fire
Billy Joel
1989
38. Burning House
Cam
2015
39. Burn It Down
Skillet
2012
40. Great Balls of Fire
Jerry Lee Lewis
1957
41. Fire
Gavin DeGraw
2014
42. Things We Lost in the Fire
Bastille
2013
43. Burnin' for You
Blue Oyster Cult
1981
44. Burn
Jo Dee Messina
2000
45. Hot Stuff
Donna Summer
1979
46. Start a Fire
Unspoken
2014
47. Raging Fire
Philip Phillips
2014
48. Burnin' It Down
Jason Aldean
2014
49. I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
The Ink Spots
1941
50. Playing with Fire
Thomas Rhett (featuring Jordin Sparks)
2015
51. A Fire I Can't Put Out
George Strait
1983
52. Fire
Brett Eldredge
2015
53. Keep the Fire Burnin'
Gwen McCraw
1982
54. Kerosene
Miranda Lambert
2005
55. She Sets the City on Fire
Gavin DeGraw
2016
56. Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)
Meat Loaf
1993
57. You're on Fire
They Might Be Giants
2013
58. The Fireman
George Strait
1985
59. She's on Fire
Train
2001
60. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up)
Fall Out Boy
2013
61. I'm on Fire
Rascal Flatts
2014
62. Hearts on Fire
Passenger and Ed Sheeran
2014
63. Keep the Fire Burnin'
REO Speedwagon
1982
64. Out of Control Raging Fire
Patty Loveless (featuring Travis Tritt)
2002
65. Inside the Fire
Disturbed
2008
66. Sex on Fire
Kings of Leon
2008
67. Fire on Fire
Sam Smith
2018
68. Song on Fire
Nickelback
2017
69. Setting Fires
The Chainsmokers
2016
70. Fire Burns
Nicki Minaj
2012
71. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
Nine Inch Nails
2016
72. (There's a) Fire in the Night
Alabama
1985
73. Burnin' Up
Jessie J
2014
74. Start a Fire
John Legend
2016
75. She Keeps the Home Fires Burning
Ronnie Milsap
1985
76. Setting the World on Fire
Pink and Kenny Chesney
2016
77. Sunny Came Home
Shawn Colvin
1997
78. Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)
David Bowie
1983
79. Disco Inferno
The Trammps
1976
80. Burn Baby Burn
MercyMe
2014
Know a song about burning love or fire that should be on this list? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 FlourishAnyway

    Comments

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      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        11 days ago from USA

        Audrey - That's so interesting that they are fire investigators. I bet they've seen a lot!

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        12 days ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        My son-in-law and daughter are fire investigators so you can only imagine the stories I hear. But, I had no idea so many songs have been written about fire. What a marvelous list you've presented! Golly, I once danced the night away to "Burn Baby Burn."

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        12 days ago from USA

        Ehren - I appreciate your kind endorsement. I really enjoy these two artists as well.

      • skydancer profile image

        Ehren E Grunewald 

        12 days ago from New Orleans / NC

        Excellent list! I especially love Garth Brooks' "Standing Outside the Fire" and Meat Loaf's "Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire" -- they're my favorite artists so I was happy to see them listed!

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        13 days ago

        Disco Inferno, a good add.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        13 days ago from USA

        Heidi - Burn, baby, burn. Thanks for this memorable add! Hope you're keeping warm too! Happy New Year!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        13 days ago from USA

        Bob - I appreciate the suggestion which I have added.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        2 weeks ago from Chicago Area

        Leave it to me to bring the funk to the fire. I'd add Disco Inferno, which, surprisingly, was not featured in the disaster flick Towering Inferno.

        Hope your New Year is off to a hot start! ;)

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        2 weeks ago

        Fantastic list! have you considered "Cat People" by David Bowie aka "Putting out the Fire"?

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Devika - I'm glad you enjoyed this. Thank you for visiting.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Lora - You've got quite a fiery spirit, and I appreciate your warm comment. Have a fabulous week ahead!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Liz - Thank you for stopping by.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Dora - Thank you for visiting. With all the devastation in Australia now, it's so hard to know how to help other than donate. I feel so awful for the animals and the people. It's also hard to remember the positive connotations of fire, such as well-controlled campfires and being fired up with motivation. I hope your week ahead is a good one.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        2 weeks ago

        Wow! Truly a great list Flourish. Your amazing at putting these lists together, in giving us the history behind these songs, and your great descriptions of what these songs are about! I love the exuberance and vitality in all of these songs. But as far as the message goes, my favorite songs are "Burn" by Ellie Goulding and “Standing Outside the Fire’ by Garth Brooks. I certainly had a good time listening to these singers and their fiery passion!

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        2 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Songs about Fire surprised me! I had no idea there were that many songs and have heard most of it. Your list is useful.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 weeks ago from UK

        Fire is a very powerful image. You have done well to find all these songs.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Linda - I appreciate your stopping by. I'm impressed that they hit it big with their first song from their debut album. Jim Morrison was certainly cocky. I guess it added to the legendary aura in the end. Have a good weekend!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Nithya - Thank you for stopping by. Have a terrific weekend.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I used to like the song by The Doors, though at the time I didn't know what it was about. The story about The Ed Sullivan Show is interesting. Thanks for sharing the music facts and the idioms, Flourish.

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        Another great selection of songs about fire. I love many of these songs, thank you for sharing.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Bill - I'm happy you found two that you know. Hope you are doing well.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Louise - Glad you found a mix of old and new that you could enjoy. Hope you're doing well and have a happy and successful new year!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Linda - Thanks for that addition. She won a Grammy for it in 1997 but was a one-hit wonder. I'm always amazed by artists like that. Hope you are doing well.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Susan - Couldn't forget the legend! Have a great weekend!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Pam - Got it! Thanks again!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Pamela - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed this playlist and hope you discovered some new ones to enjoy. Have a great weekend!

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        Flourish, I was the first person to write a comment and it is gone. I am not sure what happened, but I will comment again.

        Considering the horrific fires in Australia, fire is a good topic. I didn't realize how many songs mention fires. I was familiar with most songs and really ike them. This is another good article.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        2 weeks ago from Texas

        No problem. I'm sure there are a lot more that could come to mind. I hope the same for you this year, Flourish.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        Shannon - Thanks for the recommendation. Added! Hope you're having a great new year so far.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        John - I am devastated for Australia. Other than giving donations, I have no idea what to do. I beg the skies for rain, rain, rain soon.

      • mandalinlady profile image

        Susan 

        2 weeks ago from Dover Delaware

        I was going to say, Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        With the horrible fire in Australia, I guess fire in songs is a good subject. I am familiar with many of these really good songs and choosing a faviorite is not possible. You displayed so many songs and I had no idea that many had fire in the wording. I enjoyed listening to the bulk of the songs. Thanks Flourish.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        What a great list. I kinda surprised myself that I knew so many of these. I've got one for you to add--"Sonny Came Home." I've missed these and hope you'll have many more in 2020.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        2 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

        There's a lot of good songs. Some I don't know, but a lot of classics too which I can sing along to. :)

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        The old and the new....I first thought of James Taylor, and then Adele...I can live with those two quite nicely.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        2 weeks ago from Texas

        Hi Flourish. Another good list from you. What about "Setting the World on Fire"? I think Kenny Chesney sings that.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Flourish, you can't have left too many out although Fire is a very popular theme. There are some fantastic songs included here, and a lot I haven't heard before as well. I had to choose the "destructive force of nature" in the poll due to what we are going through, though I would normally choose differently. Good job, i am always amazed by the amount of work you must put into these hubs.

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