“Fire” is a great word to use in a song.
It rhymes with “higher” and “desire”, which are often go-to lyrics in pop songs.
And, it can serve as a metaphor for many things, like love, hate, passion, desire, challenge, life and more.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the best songs about fire that are all consuming.
Ready to delve in? Let’s go!
“Fire” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Song year: 1967
I couldn’t think of a better song to kick of this list than Jimi Hendrix’ “Fire.”
If you haven’t heard the original, you may have heard Crucial Taunt’s version in the movie Wayne’s World, where actress Tia Carrere is singing.
This high tempo rock tune still stands as one of Hendrix’ essential, and of course, it features some cool guitar work, punctuated by Mitch Mitchell’s frantic drumming.
Unless I’m mistaken, lyrically, it’s mostly about trying to get the attention of a girl who’s already got someone special in her life.
There is a bit of an interesting backstory, however, in that apparently Hendrix was visiting bassist Noel Redding’s mothers house after a performance. He asked her if he could stand next to her fireplace, but her Great Dane got in the way. Hendrix then said, “Move over, Rover / And let Jimi take over” like in the lyrics of this song.
So, at the very least, we know that the song’s got innocuous origins.
Either way, I couldn’t possibly kick off this list with any other song.
“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel
Song year: 1989
It’s hard to forget this late 80s hit. Even if you weren’t born back then, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard it before.
The lyrics mention the names of presidents, countries, models, Rockstars, movies and more.
The way I interpret the song is that Joel is basically saying influences come from a variety of sources. And, the world is a crazy place.
Reportedly, when Joel had just turned 40, he had been having a conversation with 21-year-old friend Sean Lennon who said was a terrible time to be 21. Lennon then went on to say that nothing happened in the 50s when Joel grew up.
Joel quickly realized Lennon had never heard about the Korean War or the Suez Canal Crisis, which Joel used as fuel for the lyrics of this song.
Joel didn’t like the melody of this song but honestly, I think that’s what makes it unforgettable.
“I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
Song year: 1984
This sounds like one of those classic high school romance songs where the narrator is interested in a girl, he’s hanging out with her, and her family isn’t home. You can let your imagination take over from there.
“I’m On Fire” was the fourth single from Born in the U.S.A., so there’s a good chance you’ve heard it. The song is relatively mellow compared to some of the other tunes on the album.
Based on the torment the narrator seems to be experiencing (“Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby edgy and dull / And cut a six inch valley through the middle of my skull”), this is likely a song about unrequited love.
“Play With Fire” by The Rolling Stones
Song year: 1965
To play with fire means to flirt with danger. In “Play With Fire”, the narrator is basically saying to a high society girl, she’s playing with fire by flaunting her riches. In that sense, it sounds like kind of an aggressive song.
This isn’t the only song about taking issue with the rich, which are often written by rich artists and bands (e.g. Aerosmith’s “Eat The Rich.”).
But in some way shape or form, many of us have probably mad at someone who looked down on us because we didn’t have money.
“Paper In Fire” by John Mellencamp
Song year: 1987
Sounding more like a modern country song, John Mellencamp’s “Paper In Fire” is basically about dreams going up in fire.
And, it’s fair to say, even if we’ve lived a “good” life to this point, most of us have had that experience of having to let go of certain dreams.
This song goes a little deeper, however, as Mellencamp himself explained that the song contains many Biblical references. “Paper in fire”, for example, refers to hell.
Is Mellencamp pointing out how empty the pursuit of riches is? Perhaps so.
“Fight Fire With Fire” by Metallica
Song year: 1983
“Fight Fire With Fire” by Metallica is basically a commentary on war, and how increasingly powerful weapons will just end up destroying humanity. It’s basically proclaiming the arrival of Armageddon.
Now, it isn’t unusual for a thrash metal band to talk about the end of times these days, but Metallica were innovators when this song came out.
I don’t think there’s anything more I can add here, but if you love heavy songs about nuclear warfare, then you might dig this one.
“Through The Fire And Flames” by DragonForce
Song year: 2005
“Through The Fire And Flames” is one of power metal bands DragonForce’s trademark songs, featuring notoriously technical guitar parts. The band completely nailed the song in the studio, but it took them several more years to bring their live performance up to par.
Now, when you understand the basic rules of power metal, the lyrical content makes a lot more sense. With terms like “eternal reign”, “wastelands evermore” and “scattered souls” peppered throughout, you’d think it’s a song rich in meaning.
But the basic message of the song can be summed up in the lyrics, “Through the fire and the flames we carry on.” Basically, the narrator is saying they’ve gone through tough times, but they haven’t given up.
If you’d like to read deeper into it, you’re certainly welcome to. The band has shared a lot about it in videos and interviews.
“The Flame” by Cheap Trick
Song year: 1988
“The Flame” by Cheap Trick is basically a song about losing a loved one, missing them dearly and feeling lonely.
Reportedly, the song is not based on any of the band member’s experience. As the story goes, the vice president of Epic Records had two hits on his hands, and of the two options presented, Cheap Trick preferred “The Flame.”
“Serpentine Fire” by Earth, Wind & Fire
Song year: 1977
Before I get into the lyrical content of this song, I just want to say how amazing it is. For a 1977 song, the production sounds slick, and the entire band sounds tight and amazing on it. To be fair, I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for funky tunes.
The song was a big hit, and in this instance, that’s hardly a mystery.
The lyrics are far from ordinary, but fundamentally it sounds like the narrator has found someone compelling and is noticing the interesting changes it has brought into his life.
In that regard, you could also say this is an incredibly well-written song. The writer managed to avoid a lot of clichés.
“Firestarter” by The Prodigy
Song year: 1996
There were some hits in the mid-90s that will make you scratch your head, and make you ask, “what were we thinking?”
It’s not that “Firestarter” isn’t a cool song. It’s got a great beat, and it’s an instant mood maker. You could easily see it being used for a battle scene in a movie.
There are some lyrics to the song, obviously, but it’s basically just about being a troublemaker.
The reason the song is important is because it’s a crossover tune with electronic beats, industrial metal and punk rock.
“London’s Burning” by The Clash
Song year: 1977
I fee like “London’s Burning” by The Clash is kind of prophetic, if I may be sold. And, by that I mean, they saw something coming before it happened.
The song talks about how boring TV is. But it also kind of hints at how everybody’s glues to their screens (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs or otherwise).
And, while it may not be TV today, but many of us do spend a lot of time at screens, whether it’s because of work, entertainment, or otherwise.
It has also been said that there might be a bit of social commentary in this song, with the reference to “Black or white.”
“Fire Your Guns” by AC/DC
Song year: 1990
If you’ve heard AC/DC once, you’ve basically heard all their catalog. But hey, people love them anyway.
This fast tempo blues rock number is basically about a smoking hot girl. So, I’m going to leave the rest to your imagination. I’m sure I don’t need to explain what “Fire Your Guns” means within this context.
That’s about all I can say about this song, except that it can get a crowd going.
“Original Fire” by Audioslave
Song year: 2006
“Original Fire” has got that characteristic Audioslave sound with a touch of 70s funk and soul influence.
So, the basic premise of the song is that torches get passed. There’s always someone that steps in to carry the message.
I think in the context of this song, the “Original Fire” refers to artists and bands that influenced Audioslave.
“Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan
Song year: 1984
The narrator in “Through The Fire” seems to be describing a man who’s been burned by love before and isn’t ready to love again.
But the narrator says “When it’s this good, there’s no saying no.”
So, the song is basically about a relationship surviving through difficulty and hardship.
It’s a sappy song, but it’s a good one.
“Jump In The Fire” by Metallica
Song year: 1982
This early Metallica hit features an uncharacteristically catchy guitar hook. But that’s not a bad thing by any means.
The song primarily seems to be about hell and demons. And, the narrator is inviting people to jump in the fire with him.
“Fire On The Inside” by Pillar
Song year: 2009
“Fire On The Inside” is my favorite song from Tulsa Christian rock band Pillar.
The song is basically about spiritual exploration – feeling empty until you discover that there’s something bigger to live for, in this case, god.
The song also hints at a battle between good and evil, which is a common theme in Christian music.
But the reason I like it is because it’s a great rock song, plain and simple. It leaves me feeling motivated whenever I listen to it.
“Fire” by Yngwie Malmsteen
Song year: 1986
For those not in the know, Yngwie Malmsteen is an over-the-top Swedish neoclassical metal guitarist. When you see fast, technical guitarists being parodied, it often harkens back to Malmsteen.
This being one of his earlier works, the song has got a proper arrangement and melody. The only thing over-the-top is the guitar solo.
The song has got a positive message overall, and it primarily focuses on chasing your dreams and keeping the “fire” alive.
And, it’s got that pop trope we all love, rhyming “fire” with “desire.”
“Baptized By Fire” by Winger
Song year: 1990
Winger doesn’t get enough credit for the killer band they are. Maybe including them in a post like this will help draw more attention to some of the awesome work they’ve done over the years (seriously, check out one of their live shows on YouTube).
The song opens with an insanely technical tapped guitar solo. One the band kicks in, you’re in pure prog rock heaven.
I’ve had the chance to think about the message of this song for a while, because it’s a recent favorite of mine.
For such an epic song, you’d think it might be about something more than a gold digger, but it isn’t. It sounds like one of the band members had a bad experience with a lady only interested in money.
“Light My Fire” by The Doors
Song year: 1967
Of course, there’s no way I could skip over this Doors classic. Naturally, the organ is a key part of The Doors sound, but it’s nevertheless my favorite things about this tune.
I don’t think there’s anything overly mysterious about the lyrics, which basically seem to be about taking a relationship “to the next level” if you catch my drift.
“Fire In The Henhouse” by Our Lady Peace
Song year: 2012
Canadian alt-rock band Our Lady Peace has released plenty of dark, ominous and brainy songs over the years. I think “Fire In The Henhouse” fits the bill too, even if the band has opted for a more pop-friendly sound as of late.
Fans assumed the song was political in nature, though songwriter Raine Maida said the point of the song was that society needs to change.
It was written around the time of Occupy movement, which Maida apparently found fascinating.
“Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
Song year: 1957
This is another essential fire song. There’s no way I could call this list complete without including this tune.
This is Jerry Lee Lewis’ most well-known hit, and it basically speaks of an up and down love. The narrator, however, comes to embrace it – “I laughed at love ‘cause I thought it was funny / But you came along and you moved me honey.”
“Start A Fire” by Passenger
Song year: 2014
Passenger’s “Start A Fire” is a reflective, poetic song about coming of age. But the lyrics are somewhat abstract, leaving some room for interpretation.
I can’t help but look at it as a bit of melodrama, like someone who turned 30 just realized that life goes on after your 20s, and 30 isn’t all that old after all.
Oh well, artists are free to express as they please, and this neo-folk acoustic number clearly has a few fans.
“Home Is A Fire” by Death Cab For Cutie
Song year: 2011
From what I can tell, Death Cab For Cutie’s “Home Is A Fire” is another coming of age song. I mostly get that vibe from these lyrics: “We will awake / Only to find / Nothing’s the same.”
I guess, in a more general sense, you could say it’s a song about change. Change is constant, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Fans have said it’s a song about being afraid of letting someone into your world. I think that’s a great interpretation too.
“This Fire Burns” by Killswitch Engage
Song year: 2006
This is one of the heaviest songs on the list, and as such, its screamed vocals can be a little harder to make out.
If I had to guess, this is mostly a song about making your dreams a reality and never giving up on them.
When people get excited about something, the part that they don’t always recognize, or sometimes forget, is that you can encounter a lot of challenges on your journey.
But if you keep your eyes on your vision and persevere, you can achieve anything.
“Firehouse” by KISS
Song year: 1974
Rarely will you find a KISS song hinting at deeper things, and “Firehouse” certainly isn’t one of them.
This is mostly just a song about finding someone awesome and falling for her.
This early KISS song shows the band at its rawest. The band only got better from here.
“On Fire” by Switchfoot
Song year: 2003
I don’t need to do much digging to know what this song is about. It’s basically about the idea that things are better with god.
The world is empty, and god is not. It’s a rather common Christian message.
I think the one thing they get right is the idea that it’s a “mystery.”
“Ring Of Fire” by Johnny Cash
Song year: 1963
This song probably doesn’t need much of an introduction, as it’s still a popular one to this day.
Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” is basically about marriage, or someone who makes you want to settle down. Although most say it’s just about falling in love, the reference to “ring” might be so on the nose that not too many have noticed this.
Top Songs With Fire In The Title; Final Thoughts
Did you enjoy our journey through another diverse list of songs? Which was your favorite?
All of these songs are hot by nature, so be sure to have a cool drink at hand when you listen. You may even be after some rain related songs after. 🙂
Are there any other songs about fire you know of? Let us know in the comments.