The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (9-15-14)—Life is a rock, but we didn’t start the fire

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Billy Joel hit the top of the pop charts in 1989 with “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” There are 119 places and events listed in the song, starting in 1949, when Joel was born, and ending in 1989. You can find all of them listed and explained at Wikipedia.

Blender magazine (and I don’t read Blender magazine; sourcing Wikipedia here) ranked “We Didn’t Start the Fire” No. 41 on its list of the “50 Worst Songs Ever,” stating that production was “bombastic” and that the song resembled “a term paper scribbled the night before it’s due.”

Personally, I love the song because it mixes my love of history with my love of music, and I’m a huge fan of Billy Joel.

Here’s the song, with lyrics:

At the time, I had to tell many of my younger friends that Billy Joel’s idea for a song like that was not original. An ad hoc group of musicians got together as Reunion in 1974 and recorded “Life Is A Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me).”

Joey Levine was lead singer on the song, written by Paul DiFranco (music) and Norman Dolph (lyrics).

All of the places, things, people, and events are listed and linked in Wikipedia.

Here’s the song, with lyrics:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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13 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (9-15-14)—Life is a rock, but we didn’t start the fire

  1. Tish Farrell

    ‘We didn’t start the fire’ is a really great song – even better with the v. clever Billy Joel original video. I guess the words upset the sponsors. We sing and dance to it in the Farrell household.
    Also thanks for all your visits over at my place. Much appreciated.


  2. writeknit

    Life is a Rock was popular when I was in HS, it was fun. In Chicago there were 2 main AM radio stations everyone listen to, and the band changed “and the radio rolled me” to “WLS” for that station and “Super CFL” for the other. Ah, thanks for the memories of younger times 🙂


  3. inesephoto

    I nominate you for a Very Inspiring blog award. If you have no time for this, it is OK, no worries. I just want the other bloggers to know about your wonderful blog. Thank you for your great work! 🙂



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