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Top 14 Best Songs About Fire

If we are going to think about symbolism in music, then there aren’t many better words that convey emotions than “fire.” For years, songwriters have been using the word to represent a range of emotions. Therefore, it won’t be too difficult to find some of the best songs about fire.

Best Songs About Fire

It has been used metaphorically to describe love, jealousy, and hate. Likewise, it can be used relative to passion, desire, and anger. It can be used as a negative connotation as much as a positive one. Such a wide usage means we are going to find a range of emotions in this list. So, let’s get started with…

Top 14 Best Songs About Fire

Light My Fire by Jose Feliciano

Most people would probably opt for The Doors version of this memorable song about fire. They did write it, after all. But, not being a fan of theirs at all, I have included this version. I happen to think it is better anyway, regardless of what I like or don’t.

It first appeared as a B-side to his version of “California Dreaming.” He is one of these people who are passionate about music and its opportunity for creativity. That has often got him into hot water with narrow-minded people who are reluctant to see any benefit in experimentation.

His version of this song has a laid-back Latin feel, with some excellent guitar work.

Fireball by Deep Purple

Album: Fireball

Taken from the album of the same name, this was the follow-up to Deep Purple in Rock. That was always going to be a hard act to follow. Nevertheless, it still got to #1 in the UK Album chart and other European countries and did okay in America.

“Fireball,” the single, only performed reasonably well, reaching #15 in the UK. This was “Deep Purple 2.0,” you could say. And the single and album were recorded under difficult circumstances. 

Trial by fire?

Keyboard player, Jon Lord, had long suffered with his back over the years. This was caused by lifting his Hammond C3 organ around even before Purple. Bass player Roger Glover had problems with his stomach which caused him to miss some gigs.

The in-fighting between Blackmore and Gillan had started over who was the more important member of the band. But they managed to get this album out. And, whilst not as good musically as some, it has stood the test of time.

Fire by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Jimi Hendrix created the riff and had the original idea at Jim Marshall’s shop in Hanwell, West London. The band had returned to London from the South Coast of England after New Year 1966 to 1967. It was recorded a few weeks later for the album, Are You Experienced.

Let me tell you a tale…

It was in 1966 that Jim, Mitch, and Noel began to make their mark on the London club scene. They were all still new to each other and learning. Jimi created the riff and wanted Mitch to use some of his jazz drumming skills for the fills. Let’s say he half did that.

Mitch, at that time, was quite formal, but still a creative drummer. He had been taught jazz drumming by Jim Marshall himself. He had played in a few local bands, but this was different. Therefore, he was unsure about going too far. Especially, as he later said, “You didn’t know where Jimi was going to go next.”

We all know what happened next…

This is a song that featured in the stage set for years. It was a song that showed Jimi at his brilliant best, or occasionally at his “out of tune and everything else,” terrible worst. Either way, this is one of the best songs about fire ever written. We thank Mitch for that.

Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

“I am the God of Hellfire”. That’s how he would introduce this song and often his stage set. Here was one of the original music anarchists. A man with two characters in many ways. The inventor of “Shock Rock,” who Alice Cooper says inspired him and was the reason for his later theatrics. But, was also a kind man who would do anything to help anyone. 

Heaven only knows what the “you can’t do that because of the health and safety” brigade would say today. He lit the stage up in more ways than one.

Sweetness and Light

All the pleasant, little sweetness and light ‘poppy’ bands of 1968 were given a rude awakening. Here was a man with an operatic voice, piercing scream, and a crazed expression who wanted to burn you. 

It was a song written by Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane (later of Atomic Rooster), Mike Finesilver, and Peter Ker. It was powerful, with a heavy organ sound, not something that was very common then. 

I suppose you could call him a one-hit-wonder because he didn’t achieve such success again. But, if he was a one-hit-wonder, it was some hit. Certainly, one of the most unique songs talking about fire.

Chariots Of Fire by Vangelis

Mention music that instantly reminds you of a particular film, and this is probably at the top of some people’s list. The music was composed by Vangelis Papathanassiou, better known as Vangelis. 

He was a Greek composer of electronic music. On this track, the bulk of the sounds came from a Yamaha CS-80 synth.

As a film, Chariots Of Fire was honored in just about every way possible. The album topped the chart in America and was successful in other countries. It was used at the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012 for every medal ceremony. 

Appropriate, considering what happened with two British sprinters at the Paris Olympics, that was the story of the film. It made a pleasant change to watch a film that stayed as close to “actual” history rather than a film studio’s “distorted” and manipulated version of it.

Play With Fire by The Rolling Stones

Many people offer opinions on the Stones and their performances in and around 1965 when this track was released. The vast, overwhelming majority of whom never saw them in the early 60s in London.

The fact is, The Rolling Stones were just not as good as The Beatles. Lennon and McCartney had already established themselves as songwriters that could never be matched in the ‘pop’ world. Furthermore, The Stones may not even have been the best band in West London at that time. Most thought The Yardbirds were better; the Who certainly were.

When success came… 

They had a go at writing their songs. Of course, they had to. Ballads like “Angie,” “As Tears Go By,” and “Ruby Tuesday,” along with the rocker “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” were all very good songs. 

Angie” is still one of my favorite tracks from that period. And there were others over the years. But none in the same league as the ‘White’ Album and Sgt. Pepper’s.

Deserved More Than B-Side Status

But, if we’re talking about good songs they wrote, then I think “Play With Fire” should be in there somewhere. Additionally, it’s a great song that uses fire in the lyrics.

Released as the B-side to “The Last Time” in 1965, it was in some ways overlooked. It was better than that. I happen to think it was a good song about getting involved with a woman when perhaps you shouldn’t.

We Didn’t Start The Fire by Billy Joel

Sometimes, you come across a song that is just “clever.” This is one of them. An interesting piece of work from the album Storm Front.

This song uses the spoken word, except in its chorus. It takes major, and local events from the years 1949, the year of his birth, until 1989, the year he wrote it. It is just a series of historical statements referring to the incidents. But, it is very cleverly written and rhymed.

Criticisms

It took its fair share of criticism in some quarters. One high-profile observer remarked that it wasn’t a song at all. I don’t agree; just because the words are spoken and not sung does not make it any less of a song.

The words are an indication that we are not wholly to blame for the mess the world is in at the moment. He has got a point, of course; it isn’t all our fault. But we certainly seem to enjoy fanning the flames to make sure it gets worse. I did enjoy the little fire pun there. Sorry.

Eternal Flame by The Bangles

Taken from the 1988 album, Everything, this was described in its marketing paraphernalia as a power ballad. I don’t think so. Out in that same year came “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette. That was a power ballad. 

As a song about flames, it is better described as a pretty little love song. Because that’s what it is. It is a song about love and the hope that it is reciprocated by the object of their attention. 

Inspired by Elvis?

Partly written by band member and vocalist Susanna Hoffs, it was inspired by a visit they made to Graceland, where an “eternal flame” is burning to Presley’s memory. Except, it wasn’t that day because it was raining, but the thought is there.

It was a big success in a lot of countries, which is not surprising. Written with that sweet ‘pop’ thing in mind, it hit #1 in the UK, America, and ten other countries. The album was quite good as well. Nothing fancy, just good, solid soft rock. A very good track.

Fire And Ice by Pat Benatar

There are some similarities in the career of Pat Benatar to those of British singer Kiki Dee. They both seemed to promise so much. Both did reasonably well. But, neither reached the heights that may have been expected of them.

This track from Benatar is a good example of what I mean. A very good song that she co-wrote and delivered in her punchy style. It was released in 1981 on her album, Precious Time.

It wasn’t a great success as it only reached #17 in America and did nothing much elsewhere. Nevertheless, a good track from an, at times and in some quarters, underrated singer. And this is a list of the best songs about fire. So, in it goes.

Fire And Water by Free

Taken from the album of the same name released in 1970, this album was their breakthrough. This was their third album, and whilst the other two did very little, Fire And Water did well. 

It went to #2 on the UK Album charts and stayed there for over four months. It also reached #17 on the American Album chart.

Destined for greatness…

That was the expression that was used about the band after this track and album. They dominated the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. But, unfortunately, issues got in the way. The “greatness” predicted didn’t materialize, except in the eyes of those fans that stayed with them.

We are left with this track that shows just how good they were.

Fire by The Ohio Players

Let’s change style and genre and go to this stunning track from The Ohio Players. This seemed to be a time when we were blessed with some great funk music. And funk music meant great drumming and great track-defining bass lines. This was definitely one of those.

You sometimes come across a song that you just can’t sit still when you hear it. The Ohio Players could produce them. Repetitive it might be, but the rhythm section drives it on, and the horns blast through when needed. A superb track that was indicative of its time.

Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple

It isn’t possible to list some songs that deal with fire and ignore this one. This is a song with one of the most recognizable guitar riffs you will hear. And, of course, Roger Glover’s thundering bass that will bite you if you get too close.

True Story…

It was taken from their sixth album, Machine Head, which I have always considered the best album they made. This song tells the story of a real fire in Montreux, Switzerland, at the casino by the lake. 

Deep Purple had gone there to record as they were behind with making a new album and wanted a peaceful location. They didn’t get much peace, but it did give them one of their best-ever tracks. Anyways, the casino did catch fire in the middle of a Frank Zappa concert. And they sat and watched as the whole place burned to the ground. A tragic start, but a popular song about smoke and fire to this day.

Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis

For the last two choices, I have picked two tracks with a personal interest. No need to go into why. Back to 1957 for the first one and this classic from Jerry Lee. 

It was a song written by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer but became synonymous with Lewis. So much so that a film was made about him using the track as its title.

The man was a force of nature, and it is hard to define his stage performance or his personality. He did his country stuff during the show. But, it was when he got into what he did best that the roof went off. And, none more so than when he played this track.

Burning down the house…

It was only his third single to be released and sold well over a million on its first run. And two million in its first two weeks. It went to #1 in the UK but didn’t quite make the top spot on the main American chart. 

Although, it did go to #1 on the Country Music charts. That just goes to show how ridiculous these charts are. “Great Balls of Fire” a Country song? Of course, it is.

Fire and Rain by James Taylor

Album: Sweet Baby James (2019 Remaster) 

Released in 1970, this is one of the greatest tracks recorded since those early 60s days when music changed forever. His lyrical writing holds plenty of sadness that is so noticeable in his voice.

He refers to the suicide of Suzanne, a friend from his childhood. He talks about his addictions, which almost consumed him at one point, and his struggles with fame. Being a very private person, it was hard for him to write all this down.

Lighting new candles…

It didn’t make the top 40 in the UK but reached #3 in America. However, the song and the album reached a whole new set of people that were deeply impressed by his music. Quite right too. 

Along with Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, James Taylor is one of the great songwriters of that generation. And this metaphorical use of fire is typical of how he wrote his songs.

Want to Find More Amazing Songs?

We have you covered. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Dreams, the Best Songs About Magic, the Best Songs about Fighting, the Best Songs about Friday, the Best Songs about Friday, and the Best Songs About the Sun and Sunshine for more incredible song selection.

You will need to hear all those tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $100, the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $200, the Best Headphones Under $200, and the Best Cheap Earbuds Under $100 you can buy in 2023.

And, don’t miss our comprehensive reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Bass Earbuds currently on the market.

Best Songs About Fire – Conclusion

I have looked at some great songs and tried to include a couple you may not have been expecting. I have also, unfortunately, had to leave plenty out.

As we said at the beginning, it is a great subject for a songwriter. And, they have certainly made the most of it.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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