Radio XLIL, side B, track 3: “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The FireOh, Billy Joel, of course I recorded this one again.  It was and is a damn great song.  But to quote you, “What else do I have ta say?”  I feel like I already said everything I wanted to in the last post about this song.  Although I have been thinking lately about this project I did in college in a film class where we had to do a paper about what was going on in the world the year that our assigned film came out.  Mine was during when World War II was breaking out in Europe, and I remember getting this sinking feeling in my stomach reading these stark headlines that said “WAR!”, as if it was happening right then.  And then, as I was combing through the microfiche (is that even a thing anymore?), I just found all these little articles about just random shit.  Like some guy who drove across the country to propose to his girlfriend, and I guess he was some rich bon vivant, and no one had known where he’d gone and it was kind of a thing.  But I’d never heard of the guy.  And there were fires and murders and suicides and tragedy upon tragedy and good news and bad news and at the end of the day, I shut down the microfiche reader and that was that.  All those headlines, even the World War II stuff, didn’t really have much to do with me.  And today, in the world of the endless news cycle, everything means even less, even though everything is made to seem as if it’s the most important thing that’s ever happened.

My wife sent me a link last week to a YouTube video of teens reacting to ’90s songs.  They had no idea what most of them were.  It was depressing and made me feel old.  I don’t know why my wife hates me.  But it just reinforced that our lives don’t amount to a hill’a beans in this crazy world.  Which is KINDA depressing, but at the same time, it’s nice to know that the world’s going to keep spinning long after the age of man has fallen away and the hobbits are back in charge.  I don’t know where that came from.  See what you do to me, Billy Joel?

“We Didn’t Start The Fire”

<awesome Billy Joel jam>

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 Mon-roe

Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”

Eisenhower, vaccine
England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye
We didn’t start the fiya

It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’

We didn’t start the fiya

No, we didn’t light it, but we’re tryin’ ta fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev, Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Perón, Toscanini, Dacron, Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team, Davy Crockett, Peter Pan
Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest
Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace
“Peyton Place”
Trouble in the Suez
We didn’t start the fiya

It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’

We didn’t start the fiya

No, we didn’t light it, but we’re tryin’ ta fight it

Little Rock
Pasternak
Mickey Mantle, Kerouac, Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, “Bridge On the River Kwai”

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball, Starkweather homicide, children of Thalidomide

Oh oh-oh
Buddy Holly, “Ben-Hur”, space monkey, Mafia, Hula hoops, Castro
Edsel is a no-go

U-2, Syngman Rhee
Payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, “Psycho”, Belgians in the Congo
We didn’t start the fiya

It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’

We didn’t start the fiya

No, we didn’t light it, but we’re tryin’ ta fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, “Stranger in a Strange Land”, Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ol’ Miss
John Glenn
Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X
British politician sex
JFK
Blown away
What else do I have ta say
We didn’t start the fiya

It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’

We didn’t start the fiya

No, we didn’t light it, but we’re tryin’ ta fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again, Moonshot
Woodstock
Watergate
Punk rock

Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

“Wheel of Fortune”, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts
Homeless vets
AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz

Hypodermics on the shore, China’s under martial law
Rock-and-roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore
We didn’t start the fiya

It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’

We didn’t start the fiya

But when we are gone, will it still burn on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

We didn’t start the fiya

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