Fire has always been an inspiration for artists, whether it’s in music, painting, or literature.
It can be seen as a powerful, destructive force, but it can also be calm and soothing.
We can indeed associate fire with many topics and metaphors, and that’s why songs about fire are so different in mood, genre, and meaning.
In this article, we’ll bring to you the best songs about fire.
We’ll show you some classics as well as introduce you to some less popular songs and reveal their meaning.
You’ll come across a couple of fun facts as well.
So, here we go!
Table of Contents
- 25 Songs About Fire
- 1. Bruce Springsteen – “I’m On Fire“
- 2. Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire“
- 3. Scissor Sisters – “Fire With Fire“
- 4. The Prodigy – “Firestarter“
- 5. Ed Sheeran – “I See Fire“
- 6. Jimi Hendrix – “Fire“
- 7. Alicia Keys – “Girl on Fire“
- 8. Kasabian – “Fire“
- 9. Ane Brun – “You Lit My Fire“
- 10. Metallica – “Fight Fire With Fire“
- 11. Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire“
- 12. Earth, Wind & Fire – “Serpentine Fire“
- 13. Audioslave – “Original Fire“
- 14. The Doors – “Light my fire”
- 15. Agnes Obel – “Fuel to Fire“
- 16. Chaka Khan – “Through The Fire“
- 17. Bonobo – “First Fires“
- 18. James Blake ft Bon Iver – “I Need a Forest Fire“
- 19. U2 – “the Unforgettable Fire“
- 20. Sam Smith – “Fire on Fire“
- 21. P!nk – “Just Like Fire“
- 22. Billy Joel – “We Didn’t Start the Fire“
- 23. John Legend – “Start a Fire“
- 24. Joni Mitchell – “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire“
- 25. Celeste – “Stop This Flame“
- Songs About Fire – Final Thoughts
25 Songs About Fire
1. Bruce Springsteen – “I’m On Fire“
We’ll start this firey musical journey with an all-time classic.
Bruce Springsteen released the song “I’m On Fire” on his album “Born In The U.S.A.” in 1984.
It’s a mellow yet emotional and intimate piece of music about longing for someone.
Many songs about fire use it as a way to describe a desire and an urge for something that feels like burning.
For those who like gentle, indie sound, there’s a great cover of this song by The Staves.
2. Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire“
“Love is a burnin’ thing,
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire.“
Another classic among songs with fire in the title is “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.
These famous lyrics about fire were written by June Carter Cash.
They’re about her relationship with Johnny, but also about the feeling of „ring of fire“ she felt when she was around him – he was struggling with addiction, so the term can indeed refer to many things.
However, Johnny found his way out of it, with the help of his wife June, and Ring of Fire remains a sweet (and catchy) expression of their love.
3. Scissor Sisters – “Fire With Fire“
Here goes another tune that will get you on your feet.
“Fire With Fire” by the American pop band Scissor Sisters was released in 2010 and co-written and produced by Madonna’s and The Killers collaborator Stuart Price.
This popular song is lively and somehow very liberating, and it uses the expression commonly heard in the song: fighting fire with fire.
“Underneath your skies
There’s a million lights
Burning brightly just like fireflies.”
4. The Prodigy – “Firestarter“
This popular hit by The Prodigy is a firestarter in its own way.
In a way, it’s about the twisted and dark side of people. “We’re everybody’s dark side”, said the singer Keith Flint in one of the interviews.
The unparalleled energy of the song, a memorable music video, and striking lyrics were a perfect recipe for ruling the charts back in the 90s.
After the tragic death of Keith Flint in 2019, the song once again climbed up the charts.
5. Ed Sheeran – “I See Fire“
“If this is to end in fire
Then we should all burn together
Watch the flames climb high into the night.”
There’s something very haunting and beautiful about Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire”.
Perhaps it’s the association to “The Hobbit” movie trilogy or a perfect mix of genuine lyrics and powerful progress of the song towards its end.
Nevertheless, it’s an emotional tune that can be categorized as a folk ballad – Ed Sheeran revealed that he was inspired by the 1970s Irish folk band Planxty when he was writing the song.
6. Jimi Hendrix – “Fire“
“Oh! Move over, Rover
And let Jimi take over.“
Jimi Hendrix’s signature passion, amazing guitar work, and energetic performance is what this song is all about.
It was recorded in 1967, and among the songs called fire, it surely deserves a spot on this list.
During one of the concerts of Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, Hendrix literally set his guitar on fire (and his hands in the process). As if he needed one more proof of his authenticity.
7. Alicia Keys – “Girl on Fire“
Let us make one more wild transition to Alicia Keys and her hit “Girl on Fire”.
When it comes to songs about fire, this one is probably one of the most famous pop songs in the last decade.
It’s the title track and first single from the singer’s fifth studio album, and Alicia described it as her way of feeling free.
After all, it’s a song about the untamed and strong woman who knows how to handle whatever life throws at her.
“She’s just a girl and she’s on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway
She’s living in a world and it’s on fire
Filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away.“
8. Kasabian – “Fire“
“Shake me into the night and I’m an easy lover
Take me into the fight and I’m an easy brother
And I’m on fire.”
Fire by the English alternative rock band Kasabian was released in 2009.
The song starts as a somewhat mellow rock tune and then suddenly becomes fast-paced and catchy.
The music video is essentially about the firey theft, and the guitarist Serge Pizzorno explained that they wanted to make a video about “stealing the music back from the people who are out to ruin it.”
9. Ane Brun – “You Lit My Fire“
“They changed our game
I want to kiss the feet of all those women
Spray my body in gold
Engrave myself with their names
Stand tall in awe to the freedom
that they gave, to us
and never ever forget
No, I will never ever forget.“
These powerful lyrics were written by Ane Brun for her song “You Lit My Fire”.
The song can be considered a true feminist anthem – it’s about the women who made sacrifices to fight for their rights, but also for the rights of those who now have the luxury to take their actions for granted.
Ane Brun brilliantly used the theme of fire to shed light on an important subject, but also to create a beautiful piece of music.
10. Metallica – “Fight Fire With Fire“
This is definitely one of the most popular thrash metal songs about fire.
The phrase “fighting fire with fire” in this track by Metallica refers to the nuclear war.
In their recognizable style, the band talks about nuclear annihilation and the general concept of fighting against your opponent with the same methods.
“Fight fire with fire
Ending is near
Fight fire with fire
Bursting with fear.“
11. Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire“
This alternative rock hit was released in 2009 on the Kings of Leon’s album “Only by the Night.”
This was also the band’s first number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
When asked about the meaning of the song, the band usually replies with a somewhat different answer every time, so let’s just conclude it’s about what it’s about.
After all, not all songs need a deeper meaning, especially if they’re good like this one, right?
12. Earth, Wind & Fire – “Serpentine Fire“
When it comes to good, catchy songs about fire, the band Earth, Wind & Fire certainly comes to mind.
Serpentine Fire was released in 1977 and soon became a big hit.
The term “serpentine fire” comes from yoga, and group members Verdine and Maurice White who wrote the song described it as a guiding force.
In a nutshell, the song is about creative energy, and that can very much be heard in the song’s funky sound and positive energy.
13. Audioslave – “Original Fire“
Chris Cornell’s iconic vocals and up-tempo rock sound define this tune released on Audioslave album “Revelations” in 2006.
“Original Fire” is about passing down the torch. In other words, the song is dedicated to all the musicians and people who inspired Audioslave and helped them become who they are.
“The original fire has died and gone,
but the riot inside moves on.“
14. The Doors – “Light my fire”
The list of best songs about fire can’t do without this classic by The Doors.
“Light My Fire” was released in 1967 on their debut album and became the band’s breakout hit.
The song is written by the guitarist Robby Krieger. In fact, “Light My Fire” is the first song he ever wrote.
It’s a song about fire and passion, and even decades later, it remains a unique masterpiece and The Door’s signature song.
„The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre.”
15. Agnes Obel – “Fuel to Fire“
“Fuel to Fire” by Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel is a delicate, piano-driven ballad.
Music video based on old movie footage gives the song a melancholic and nostalgic feeling, and the theme of fire really adds contrast to the song’s atmosphere.
“Like fuel to fire
Into the town we go, into your hideaway
Where the towers grow, gone to be faraway
Sing quietly along.”
16. Chaka Khan – “Through The Fire“
Now we move on to a more classic soul-like ballad.
“Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan is a romantic song about loving someone and being ready to go through anything, even fire, for that person.
Songs about fire sometimes use fire as a metaphor for hardship or a risky situation someone is willing to put themselves through in order to prove their devotion.
“Through the fire
To the limit, to the wall
For a chance to be with you
I’d gladly risk it all
Through the fire
Through whatever, come what may.“
17. Bonobo – “First Fires“
“First Fires” is a song by Simon Green, a British L.A.-based artist known by the stage name Bonobo.
It’s an atmospheric, dreamy tune with a touch of melancholy that falls under the characteristic Bonobo genre of alternative electronic music.
In the lyrics, the singer keeps using the theme of fires in a very direct yet abstract way.
Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful track and one of Bonobo’s most famous songs.
“Honestly, I can’t believe it’s burning again
Like the first fires
Run from fences, you don’t have to pretend
18. James Blake ft Bon Iver – “I Need a Forest Fire“
“To burn it like cedar
I request another dream
I need a forest fire.”
This indie gem by James Blake and Bon Iver is about a difficult relationship, or a period of life, and a need to have a new beginning (after a fire).
The atmosphere of the song is defined by the repetitive back vocals, a powerful notion of forest fire, and the unique blend of voices of these two artists.
19. U2 – “the Unforgettable Fire“
This song with the word fire is not one of the most popular U2 songs, but it’s a beautiful, melodic tune with genuine lyrics.
It was released in 1984 on their album “The Unforgettable Fire”.
The song was lyrically inspired by the art exhibition of the same title featuring artwork by the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at The Peace Museum in Chicago.
“Carnival, the wheels fly
And the colours spin through alcohol
Red wine that punctures the skin
Face to face
In a dry and waterless place.”
20. Sam Smith – “Fire on Fire“
“Fire on Fire” is a song written by Sam Smith for the soundtrack of the animated mini-series Watership Down.
It’s an emotional, pop tune written in the recognizable Smith’s style.
Essentially, it’s about passionate love, and since the singer is openly gay, the lyrics can also be understood as his experience of getting negative comments.
With this song, Smith fights against this kind of uncalled criticism and expresses his sincere emotions.
“Fire on fire would normally kill us
But this much desire, together, we’re winners
They say that we’re out of control and some say we’re sinners
But don’t let them ruin our beautiful rhythms.“
21. P!nk – “Just Like Fire“
One of the fire themed songs written as a movie soundtrack is also “Just Like Fire” by Pink.
The song is featured in the 2016 film “Through The Looking Glass”.
Besides being set in the classic Wonderland, the music video of “Just Like Fire” features Pink’s daughter Willow Sage who is also the singer’s inspiration for the song.
“Just like fire, burning up the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way.”
22. Billy Joel – “We Didn’t Start the Fire“
Among the best songs about fire, this is probably one of the most radio-played and catchy ones.
So, Billy wrote the song that mentions all the important names and events from 1949 (when he was born) and the following couple of decades.
“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.“
23. John Legend – “Start a Fire“
John Legend recorded the song Start a Fire for Damien Chazelle’s movie “La La Land”.
It’s a lively tune that expresses love and passion towards someone by using the theme of fire.
If you’ve watched the movie, then you know that this song doesn’t reflect its atmosphere, but it definitely fits the scene in which the jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) conforms to the new band he’s playing with.
“We could start a fire
Come on, let it burn baby
We could start a fire
Let the tables turn baby
We could start a fire.“
24. Joni Mitchell – “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire“
Among jazzy songs about fire, we definitely need to mention Joni Mitchell.
In her song “Be Cool”, she also mentions fire and ice, so she obviously draws inspiration from the theme of fire.
However, “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” is inspired by her lover who was at the time struggling with addiction.
“Cold blue steel out of money
One eye for the beat police
Sweet fire calling
“You can’t deny me
Now you know what you need.”
25. Celeste – “Stop This Flame“
We’ll round up this list of best songs about fire with the uplifting track “Stop This Flame” by the talented singer and songwriter Celeste.
Celeste said it’s a song about “seeing it through to the end” – the lyrics also talk about being in love and letting someone go.
Nevertheless, it’s a well-written song full of liberating energy and Celeste’s outstanding vocals.
Songs About Fire – Final Thoughts
Songs with the word fire in the lyrics are so versatile, and it seems that fire remains one of the most common themes in music.
That’s no surprise since fire can be a metaphor for an array of things, from anger and hardship to passionate love.
We hope this list reminded you of some timeless hits but also showed you some musical hidden gems!
If you’re looking for similar topics, you can also check out our list of the best songs about storms and songs about running away.