Fire is complicated.
It gives life, but it also destroys.
We need it and enjoy it, but we also fear it.
The best songs about fire capture these same contradictions.
They use them as metaphors to tell us about life, love, and so much more.
Narrowing all of the songs about heat and fire down to the best was hard.
And it is obvious subjective. My list is not going to match your list song for song.
Keep reading to find out how close, or how far off, my list is to years. Here are my 21 favorite songs about fire and songs with fire in the title.
Table of Contents
- 1 Songs About Fire
- 1.1 We Didn’t Start The Fire by Billy Joel
- 1.2 Eternal Flame by The Bangles
- 1.3 Just Like Fire by Pink
- 1.4 Feel That Fire by Dierks Bentley
- 1.5 Great Balls Of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis
- 1.6 Song On Fire by Nickelback
- 1.7 Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash
- 1.8 Sleep Now In The Fire by Rage Against The Machine
- 1.9 Set Fire To The Rain by Adele
- 1.10 I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
- 1.11 Fireman by Lil’ Wayne
- 1.12 Fireball by Willow Smith Ft. Nicki Minaj
- 1.13 Play With Fire by Rolling Stones
- 1.14 Fire With Fire by Scissor Sisters
- 1.15 I Need A Forest Fire by James Blake Ft. Bon Iver
- 1.16 Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil
- 1.17 Fireball by Pitbull Ft. John Ryan
- 1.18 First Fires by Bonobo Ft. Grey Reverend
- 1.19 The Unforgettable Fire by U2
- 1.20 Hearts On Fire by Passenger
- 1.21 Burning Bright by Nine Inch Nails
- 2 Songs About Heat Or Fire: Final Thoughts
Songs About Fire
As always with these lists, I tried to include great songs about fire in many genres: country songs about fire, rock songs about fire, metal songs about fire, love songs about fire, rap songs about fire, r&b songs about fire, pop songs about fire, and even worship songs about fire. You get the idea.
We Didn’t Start The Fire by Billy Joel
Six-time Grammy Award winner and 23-time Grammy Award Nominee Billy Joel wrote and performed We Didn’t Start The Fire for his 1989 album Storm Front. The album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts and went quadruple platinum.
We Didn’t Start The Fire can be considered a 40-year history lesson. It conveys the fact that every generation has its problems and that no generation has had it easy. There are and always will be issues that each generation must face.
We have an article analyzing the meaning of the We Didn’t Start The Fire lyrics here, if you are interested in learning more about this famous song about fire and burning.
Eternal Flame by The Bangles
Eternal Flame by The Bangles is a love ballad symbolizing lifelong love. The beautiful song is from The Bangles’ 1988 album Everything. The eternal flame that burns at Elvis Presley’s final resting place in Memphis may have inspired the song.
The singer Susanna Hoffs states that she and her lover have an eternal flame of love burning, which sometimes feels surreal. She wonders if she is dreaming and says that when her lover says her name, it feels as if the sun shines through the rain.
Just Like Fire by Pink
Pink’s Just like Fire is from the 2016 film, Alice Through The Looking Glass. The singer states that she has very little time left, but is determined to live her dreams with strength, perseverance, and self-love.
Feel That Fire by Dierks Bentley
Feel That Fire is the title track from Dierks Bentley’s fourth studio album of the same name. It is about a girl who is strong and self-reliant but still needs to feel a loving fire. Dierks was inspired to write this song based on his wife Cassidy’s love for black nail polish!
Great Balls Of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis
Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis, released in 1957, was a part of his debut album, Jerry Lee Lewis. It is one of the most famous songs ever and definitely belongs on any list of the best songs about fire.
The song’s energy and Lewis’s passionate vocals express the excitement and intensity of youthful love. It became a hit for its memorable melody and energetic delivery. It is now considered one of the best rock and roll songs from the genre’s early days.
Song On Fire by Nickelback
Song on Fire by Nickelback is a track from their ninth album, Feed the Machine, released in 2017. The song speaks of yearning, heartache, and the complexities of a failing relationship.
Its lyrics convey a sense of longing and desperation, while the music carries a mix of melancholy and determination. The metaphor–song on fire–suggests a love that’s burning out of control, reflecting the emotional turmoil and struggle within the relationship.
Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash
Ring of Fire was co-written by Johnny Cash and June Carter. It was featured in the 1963 album Ring of Fire–The Best of Johnny Cash.
The lyrics symbolize the intense and sometimes painful nature of love. The term ‘ring of fire’ represents the emotional turmoil that love tends to bring, making it both fascinating and demanding. Cash’s deep voice creates a timeless portrayal of love’s passionate complexities.
Sleep Now In The Fire by Rage Against The Machine
Sleep Now in the Fire by Rage Against The Machine, from the album The Battle of Los Angeles (1999), is a politically charged song that criticizes economic inequality and greed. The lyrics highlight the exploitation of power and wealth and urge people to act against, and resist, systemic injustices.
The title of the song uses the metaphor of fire to convey a call for awareness and uprising. Its intense music emphasizes the song’s message about social activism.
Set Fire To The Rain by Adele
Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain is about feeling hurt and frustrated after a breakup. The singer talks about how their love was like rain, but now they want to let go of the pain and make everything burn away, like setting fire to the rain. The song is from Adele’s album 21, which was released in 2011.
I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen is a song known for its catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics. The singer expresses an intense desire and attraction for someone. He compares his feelings to being on fire, which means he’s burning with passion. The song is from Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 album Born in the U.S.A.
Fireman by Lil’ Wayne
Fireman is from Lil Wayne’s album Tha Carter II, which came out in 2005. It’s a popular track that showcases Wayne’s rap style and attitude.
The rapper compares himself to a fireman, saying he’s putting out the ‘fires’ of problems and challenges in his life. He’s proud of his skills and confidence in handling tough situations.
Fireball by Willow Smith Ft. Nicki Minaj
Fireball by Willow Smith is a song about feeling confident and having fun. Willow Smith is a singer and actress best known as Will Smith’s daughter. In the song, she’s comparing herself to a fireball, saying she’s full of energy and light.
It is the first single from her album, You Think You Know Me. The song didn’t make it big on any popular charts, but it’s known for its upbeat vibe and Willow’s unique style.
Play With Fire by Rolling Stones
Play With Fire by the Rolling Stones is a song in which the singer warns a woman not to mess with him like she does with other men. He compares himself to fire and states that he won’t be taken for a fool like other gullible men, despite her riches. She will get burned if she isn’t careful.
The song is from the band’s 1965 album Out of Our Heads. Its classic tune captures the band’s rock ‘n’ roll spirit.
Fire With Fire by Scissor Sisters
Fire With Fire by the Scissor Sisters is a song about standing up for yourself and fighting back against challenges. The lyrics talk about not letting obstacles bring you down and using your strength to overcome them.
The song is from Scissor Sister’s album Night Work, released in 2010. It’s known for its energetic beat and empowering message.
I Need A Forest Fire by James Blake Ft. Bon Iver
I Need a Forest Fire by James Blake, featuring Bon Iver, has several interpretations. First, it expresses the singer’s feeling that everything has gone wrong and he needs a fresh start. Just like a forest fire that clears away the old, the singer wants to start anew like a phoenix.
Second, he talks about a relationship that is struggling and hopes the forest fire will burn out and clear it. Third, he expresses anguish over being a fake and shallow person. He states that he feels trapped, and the song is a cry for help.
I Need a Forest Fire is part of James Blake’s album The Colour in Anything, released in 2016. While it didn’t become a huge chart hit, it received critical acclaim for its blending of electronic and folk elements.
Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil
Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil is a song from the 1987 album, Diesel and Dust. It is about raising awareness for the rights of indigenous people, particularly in Australia, where their lands were snatched for agriculture and mining.
The lyrics talk about giving back what is rightfully theirs and acknowledging the indigenous people’s history. Beds Are Burning became a big hit, reaching high positions on charts in several countries. The song’s powerful message and catchy tune keep it relevant even today.
Fireball by Pitbull Ft. John Ryan
Fireball was released as a single in 2014 and was part of Pitbull’s album Globalization. It became a hit on various music charts, due to its catchy rhythm and dance vibe.
The lyrics mention the singer having a good time and enjoying life. He says that dancing, partying, and feeling the energy of the moment are what he is all about.
First Fires by Bonobo Ft. Grey Reverend
First Fires by Bonobo, featuring Grey Reverend, is a song about change and renewal. The lyrics describe the first fires that start when things transform in life, like leaves falling in autumn and new growth emerging in the spring.
The song conveys a sense of embracing these natural cycles and finding hope in new beginnings. It is a part of Bonobo’s album The North Borders, released in 2013.
The Unforgettable Fire by U2
The Unforgettable Fire by U2 is a tribute to the events that shaped the world–mainly the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Its lyrics talk about war, dreams, and how history leaves its mark. It is also a conversation between God and a person who believes in God.
The song is the title track of U2’s album The Unforgettable Fire, released in 1984. The band was inspired to write this song after watching an exhibit of the same name at the Chicago Peace Museum Its deep and meaningful message, combined with U2’s signature sound, has made it a favorite among fans.
Hearts On Fire by Passenger
Hearts on Fire by Passenger is a nostalgic song about finding the right person at the wrong time. Its lyrics talk about new experiences and the warmth of being close to someone special but not being with them. The song is from Passenger’s album Whispers II, released in 2015.
Burning Bright by Nine Inch Nails
Burning Bright is a part of the Nine Inch Nails album Natural Born Killers: A Soundtrack, released in 1994. The singer states that there is power in being true to yourself. Some people also interpret this intense song to be about a victim who has taken back the power and control from her or his abuser.
Songs About Heat Or Fire: Final Thoughts
There you have my list of the 21 best songs about fire, from as many different genres as possible. Of course, some genres are underrepresented, and some are missing entirely. I’m just not that familiar with certain genres of music.
That’s where you come in! If you know of any songs I should have included on this list (in any genre, but especially ones that are underrepresented or missing), please let me know in the comments below. I will be happy to add more songs in future updates.