Updated date:

82 Songs About Fire

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.

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!

Reader Poll

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

IdiomMeaning

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

Even More Songs About Fire

Know a song about burning love or fire that should be on this list? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

SongArtistYear 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

81. Take a Breath

Jonas Brothers

2007

82. Fire

Ohio Players

1974

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.

© 2020 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 04, 2020:

Rajan - i appreciate your stopping by! Some of us have a fiery love relationship and others have a cooler, calmer kind of love. Have a wonderful day.

Rajan Jolly on September 03, 2020:

Fire and love, what a fiery combination for songs. Thanks for sharing this list of wonderful songs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 20, 2020:

Rebecca - Thanks for the kind compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed the list so much.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 19, 2020:

What a great idea to write about! They're sure a lot of songs about fire. Good job, I enjoyed this post.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 17, 2020:

Peggy - I can absolutely see him saying that.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 17, 2020:

When I read your title, the first song that popped into my head was "Light My Fire" by The Doors. That instantly zoomed me back to the 1960s. That is an interesting aside about The Ed Sullivan Show. As always, this is an extensive list you have assembled.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 16, 2020:

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

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 16, 2020:

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 (author) from USA on January 16, 2020:

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

Ehren E Grunewald from New Orleans / NC on January 15, 2020:

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 on January 15, 2020:

Disco Inferno, a good add.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 15, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 15, 2020:

Bob - I appreciate the suggestion which I have added.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on January 14, 2020:

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 on January 13, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 13, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 13, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 13, 2020:

Liz - Thank you for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 13, 2020:

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 on January 12, 2020:

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!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 12, 2020:

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

Liz Westwood from UK on January 12, 2020:

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

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 12, 2020:

True, fire symbolizes different things and an individual being on fire can mean something very positive. Thanks for these lists in which the mention of fire can pull our thoughts in several directions. I like the exercise,

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 12, 2020:

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 (author) from USA on January 12, 2020:

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

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 11, 2020:

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.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 11, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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 (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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 (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

Pam - Got it! Thanks again!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 11, 2020:

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.

Shannon Henry from Texas on January 11, 2020:

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 (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 11, 2020:

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.

Susan from Dover Delaware on January 11, 2020:

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

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 11, 2020:

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.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 11, 2020:

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.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on January 11, 2020:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 11, 2020:

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

Shannon Henry from Texas on January 11, 2020:

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

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 11, 2020:

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.