Joel’s 1989 Number one hit, ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, includes brief references to 118 significant political, cultural and scientific events between the years of Joel’s birth in 1949 and the song’s release in 1989.
Today (June 28), Fall Out Boy shared a modernised version of the track, replacing the original lyrics with standout events from where the song left off in 1989 to 2023.
“I thought about this song a lot when I was younger. All these important people and events – some that disappeared into the sands of time –others that changed the world forever,” shared the band on Twitter.
“So much has happened in the span of the last 34 years – we felt like a little system update might be fun. Hope you like our take on it,” they added.
In the original track, the lyrics included: “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.”
These have been swapped out in the Fall Out Boy version for: “Captain Planet, Arab Spring, LA riots, Rodney King, deep fakes, earthquakes, Iceland volcano, Oklahoma City bomb, Kurt Cobain, Pokémon, Tiger Woods, MySpace, Monsanto GMOs.” You can read the full lyrics below.
‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ lyrics are:
“Captain Planet, Arab Spring/L.A. riots, Rodney King/Deep fakes, earthquakes/Iceland volcano/Oklahoma City bomb/Kurt Cobain, Pokémon/Tiger Woods, MySpace/Monsanto, GMOs/Harry Potter, Twilight/Michael Jackson dies/Nuclear accident/Fukushima, Japan/Crimean peninsula/Cambridge Analytica/Kim Jong Un/Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man/We didn’t start the fire/It was always burning since the world’s been turning/We didn’t start the fire/No, we didn’t light it but we’re trying to fight it“
“More war in Afghanistan/Cubs go all the way again/Obama, Spielberg/Explosion Lebanon/Unabomber, Bobbitt, John/Bombing Boston marathon/Balloon Boy, War on Terror/QAnon/Trump gets impeached twice/Polar bears got no ice/Fyre Fest, Black Parade/Michael Phelps, Y2K/Boris Johnson, Brexit/Kanye West and Taylor Swift/Stranger Things, Tiger King/Ever Given Suez/We didn’t start the fire/It was always burning since the world’s been turning/We didn’t start the fire/No, we didn’t light it but we’re trying to fight it“
“Sandy Hook, Columbine/Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice/ISIS, LeBron James/Shinzo Abe blown away/Meghan Markle, George Floyd/Burj Khalifa, Metroid/Fermi paradox/Venus and Serena/Michael Jordan 23/ YouTube killed MTV/Spongebob/Golden State Killer got caught/Michael Jordan 45/Woodstock ‘99/Keaton Batman, Bush v Gore/I can’t take it anymore/We didn’t start the fire/It was always burning since the world’s been turning/We didn’t start the fire/No, we didn’t light it but we’re trying to fight it”
“Elon Musk, Kaepernick/Texas failed electric grid/Jeff Bezos, Climate change/White rhino goes extinct/Great Pacific garbage patch/Tom DeLonge and aliens/Mars rover, Avatar/Self-driving electric cars/S-S-R-Is/Prince and the Queen die/World Trade, second plane/What else do I have to say?/We didn’t start the fire/It was always burning since the world’s been turning/We didn’t start the fire/But when we are gone/It will still go on, and on, and on/And on, and on, and on, and on, and on/We didn’t start the fire/It was always burning since the world’s been turning“
In other Fall Out Boy news, the pop-punk band will be featured on the song ‘Electric Touch’ from Taylor Swift’s forthcoming LP ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Verson)’.
On choosing to collaborate with the band, Swift said: “Since ‘Speak Now’ was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album.”
Last month, guitarist Joe Trohman returned to the band after taking a hiatus to focus on his mental health.