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Lyrics to Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ With PM-Professor Joel

January 19, 1990 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ The lyrics to Billy Joel’s ″We Didn’t Start the Fire.″ Copyright 1989 Joel Songs (BMI).

(1949) Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray,

South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

(1950) Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television,

North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe.

(1951) Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom,

Brando, The King and I, and The Catcher in the Rye

(1952) Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen,


Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

(Chorus) 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 tried to fight it

(1953) Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev,

Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Block

(1954) Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanani, Dacron,

Dien Bien Phu falls, Rock Around the Clock

(1955) Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team,

Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

(1956) Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev,

Princess Grace, Peyton Place, trouble in the Suez.


(1957) Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac,

Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge on the River Kwai

(1958) Lebanon, Charles DeGaulle, California baseball,

Starkweather, homicide, children of Thalidomide

(1959) Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, space monkey, Mafia,

Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

(1960) U-2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy,

Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo


(1961) Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land,

Dylan, Berlin, Bays of Pigs invasion

(1962) Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania,

Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

(1963) Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex,

JFK blown away, what else do I have to say?


(1964-89) Birth control, Ho Chi Minh,


Richard Nixon’s 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

(chorus) We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning on us

We didn’t start the fire

But when we are gone

Will it still burn on, and on, and on ...