Billy Joel Lyrics and Other Popular American Songs


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Billy Joel is clearly one of the greatest songwriters of all time. His unforgettable lyrics combine seamlessly with his outstanding musical abilities, and this has given him extraordinary staying power.


A truly masterful poet, Billy Joel brilliantly captures the suburban ennui, political unrest, and pop cultural influences in America (especially New York), thru the 70's, 80's and 90's. He has a distinctive, personal, sentimentally charged style that strikes a universal chord with his listeners.

 

Born on Long Island in 1949, Billy Joel made his living playing in piano bars before releasing his first number 1 hit, Piano Man, in 1973.


Since then, he's won six Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006).




Billy Joel Lyrics

Always a Woman

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes

She can ruin your faith with her casual lies

And she only reveals what she wants you to see

She hides like a child, but she's always a woman to me

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you

She can ask for the truth, but she'll never believe

And she'll take what you give her as long it's free

Yeah, She steals like a thief, but she's always a woman to me

Ohhh... she takes care of herself

She can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time

Ohhh... and she never gives out

And she never gives in, she just changes her mind

And she'll promise you more than the garden of Eden

Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleedin'

But she’ll bring out the best and the worst you can be

Blame it all on yourself 'cause she's always a woman to me

Ohhh... she takes care of herself

She can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time

Ohhh... and she never gives out

And she never gives in, she just changes her mind

She is frequently kind, then she's suddenly cruel

She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool

And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree

And the most she will do is throw shadows at you,

But she's always a woman to me

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Angry Young Man

There's a place in the world for the angry young man

With his working class ties and his radical plans

He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl

And he's always at home with his back to the wall.

And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost

And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross

And he likes to be known as the angry young man.

Give a moment or two to the angry young man

With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand

He's been stabbed in the back, he's been misunderstood

It's a comfort to know his intentions are good

As he sits in a room with a lock on the door

With his maps and his medals laid out of the floor

And he likes to be known as the angry young man.

I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage,

I found that just surviving was a noble fight

I once believed in causes too. I had my pointless point of view

And life went on no matter who was wrong or right.


And there's always a place for the angry young man

With his fist in the air and his head in the sand

And he's never been able to learn from mistakes

So he can't understand why his heart always breaks

But his honor is pure, and his courage as well

And he's fair, and he's true, and he's boring as hell

And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man.

There's a place in the world for the angry young man

With his working class ties and his radical plans

He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl

And he's always at home with his back to the wall.

And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost

And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross

And he likes to be known as the angry young man

Billy The Kid

From a town known as Wheeling West Virginia

Rode a boy with a 6 gun in his hand

And his daring life of crime

Made him a legend in his time

East and West of the Rio Grande

Well he started with a bank in Colorado

In the pocket of his vest, a Colt he hid

And his age and his size took the teller by surprise

And the word spread... of Billy the Kid.

Well he never treveled heavy

Yes, he always rode alone

And he soon put many older guns to shame

And he never had a sweetheart

And he never had a home

But the cowboy and the rancher knew his name

Well, he robbed his way from Utah to Oklahoma

And the law just couldn't seem to track him down

And it serves his legend well

For the folks, they love to tell

about when Billy the Kid came to town

On one cold day a posse captured Billy

And the judge said "String him up for what he did!"

And the cowboys and their kin, like the sea, came pouring in

to watch the hanging of Billy the Kid

Well he never traveled heavy

Yes, he always rode alone

And he soon put many older guns to shame

And he never had a sweetheart

But he finally found a home

Underneath the Boot Hill grave that bears his name...

From a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island

Rode a boy with a six-pack in his hand

And his daring life of crime

Made him a legend in his time

East and West of the Rio Grande

 

 

Captain Jack

Saturday night and you're still hangin' around

Tired of living in your one-horse town

You'd like to find a little hole in the ground,

For awhile

So you go to the Village in your tie-dyed jeans

And you stare at the junkies and the closet queens

It's like some pornographic magazine

And you smile

Captain Jack will get you high tonight

And take you to your special island

Captain Jack will get you by tonight

Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'

Your sister's gone out, she's on a date

You just sit at home and masturbate

Your phone's gonna ring soon, but you just can't wait

For that call

So you stand on the corner in your New English clothes

And you look so polished from your hair down to your toes

Ah, but still your finger's gonna pick your nose

After all...

Captain Jack will get you high tonight

And take you to your special island

Captain Jack will get you by tonight

Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'

So you decide to take a holiday

You got your tape deck and your brand new Chevrolet

Ah, but there ain't no place to go anyway

And what for?

So you got everything, oh, but nothing's cool

They just found your father in the swimming pool

And you guess you won't be going back to school

Anymore.

But Captain Jack can get you high tonight

And take you to your special island

Captain Jack will get you by tonight

Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'

So you play your albums, and you smoke your pot

And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot

Oh, but still you're aching for the things you haven't got

What went wrong?

And if you can't understand why your world is so dead,

Why you've got to keep in style and feed your head

Well, you're 21 and still your mother makes your bed,

And that's too long

Captain Jack will get you high tonight

And take you to your special island

Captain Jack will get you by tonight

Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'

Captain Jack will get you high tonight

And take you to your special island

Captain Jack could make you die tonight

Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'

 

 

Close to the Borderline

Blackout, heatwave, 44 caliber homicide

The bums drop dead and dogs go mad

In packs on the West Side

Young girl standing on a ledge looks like another suicide

She wants to hit those bricks 'Cause the news at six

gotta stick to a deadline

While the millionaires hide in Beekman Place

The bag ladies throw their bones in my face

I get attacked by a kid with stereo sound

I don't want to hear it but he won't turn it down

Life is tough, but it's just enough

To hold back the tears until it's closing time

I survived, I'm still alive

But I'm getting close to the borderline

Close to the borderline

A buck three eighty

Won't buy you much lately on the street these days

And when you can get gas

You know you can't drive fast anymore on the parkways

Rich man, poor man, either way American

Shoved into the lost and found

The no-nukes yell we're gonna all go to hell

With the next big meltdown

I got remote control and a color TV

I don't change channels so they must change me

I got real close friends that are gettin' me high

They don't know how to talk and they ain't gonna try

I shouldn't bitch, I shouldn't cry

I'd start a revolution but I don't have time

I don't know why I'm still a nice guy

But I'm getting close to the borderline

Close to the borderline

I thought I'd sacrifice so many things

I thought I'd throw them all away

I didn't think I needed anything

But you can't afford to squander what you're not prepared to pay

I need a doctor for my pressure pills

I need a lawyer for my medical bills

I need a banker to finance my home

I need security to back my loan

It isn't new what I'm going through

But everybody knows you got to break sometime

Another night I fought the good fight

But I'm getting close to the borderline

Close to the borderline.

 

 

Everybody Loves You Now

Baby all the lights are turned on you

Now you're in the center of the stage

Everything revolves on what you do

You are in your prime; you've come of age

And you can always have your way somehow

'cause everybody loves you now

You can walk away from your mistakes

And you can turn your back on what you do

Just a little smile is all it takes

Yeah, you can have your cake, and eat it too

Loneliness will get to you, somehow

But everybody loves you now

Ah, they all want your white body

And they await your reply

Ah, but between you and me and the Staten Island ferry...

So do I

All the people want to know your name

Soon there will be lines outside your door

Feelings do not matter in your game

Yeah, 'cause nothing's gonna touch you anymore

So your life is only living anyhow

And everybody loves you now

Close your eyes when you don't want to see

Stay at home when you don't want to go

Only speak to those who will agree

Close your mind when you don't want to know

You have lost you innocence, somehow

But everybody loves you now

You know that nothing lasts forever

And it's all been done before

Ah, but you ain't got the time to go to Cold Spring Harbor

No more

See how all the people gather 'round

Hey, isn't it a thrill to see them crawl?

Keep your eyes ahead and don't look down

Yeah, and lock yourself inside your sacred wall

This is what you wanted; ain't you proud?

'Cause everybody loves you now

 

 

Falling of the Rain

Once upon a time in the land of misty satin dreams

There stood a house and a man who painted nature scenes

He painted trees and fields and animals and streams and he stayed

And he didn't hear the fallin' of the rain

In the forest green lived a girl who put her hair in braids

And she sang as she walked all around the wooded glade

She was glad when the rain came falling on her face and she sang

'Cause she didn't mind the fallin' of the rain

Will it always be the same as we recall?

Does it touch you when the rain begins to fall?

Ah, but I don't want to know, and I don't want to see

Another rainy day without you lyin' next to me

High upon a hill far away from all the dusty crowd

is a boy with his eyes on the ground; his head is bowed;

He is a fool, and his mind is filled with hopeless dreams

and he waits but he will not see

the fallin' of the rain

Will it always be the same as we recall?

Does it touch you when the rain begins to fall?

Ah, but I don't want to know and I don't want to see

Another rainy day without you lyin' next to me

So now the boy becomes the man who sits and paints all day

But the girl with the braids in her hair has gone away

And it seems that time has brought things to an end

but nothing's changed

'cause you can't stop the fallin' rain.

 

 

It's Still Rock & Roll to Me

What's the matter with the clothes I'm wearing?

"Can't you tell that your tie's too wide?"

Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?

"Welcome back to the age of jive.

Where have you been hidin' out lately, honey?

You can't dress trashy till you spend a lot of money."

Everybody's talkin' 'bout the new sound

Funny, but it's still rock and roll to me

What's the matter with the car I'm driving?

"Can't you tell that it's out of style?"

Should I get a set of white wall tires?

"Are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?

Nowadays you can't be too sentimental

Your best bet's a true baby-blue Continental."

Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk

It's still rock and roll to me

Oh, it doesn't matter what they say in the papers

'Cause it's always been the same old scene.

There's a new band in town

But you can't get the sound

from a story in a magazine

Aimed at your average teen

How about a pair of pink sidewinders

And a bright orange pair of pants?

"You could really be a Beau Brummel baby

If you just give it half a chance.

Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers,

You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers."

Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways

It's still rock and roll to me

What's the matter with the crowd I'm seeing?

"Don't you know that they're out of touch?"

Should I try to be a straight `A' student?

"If you are then you think too much.

Don't you know about the new fashion honey?

All you need are looks and a whole lotta money."

It's the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways

It's still rock and roll to me

Everybody's talkin' 'bout the new sound

Funny, but it's still rock and roll to me

 

 

Los Angelenos

Los Angelenos

All come from somewhere

To live in sunshine

Their funky exile

Midwestern ladies

High-heeled and faded

Drivin' sleek new sports cars

With their New York cowboys

Hiding up in the mountains,

Laying low in the canyons

Goin' nowhere on the streets with a Spanish name

Makin' love with the natives

In their Hollywood places

Making up for all the time gone by

Los Angelenos

All come from somewhere

'cause it's all so easy

To become acquainted

Electric babies

Blue-jeaned and jaded

Such hot sweet schoolgirls

So educated

Tanning out in the beaches

With their Mexican reefers

No one ever has to feel like a refugee

Going into garages

For exotic massages

Making up for all the time gone by

Hiding up in the mountains

Laying low in the canyons

Goin' nowhere on the streets with a Spanish name

Makin' love with the natives

In their Hollywood places

Making up for all the time gone by

Los Angelenos

All come from somewhere

It's so familiar

Their foreign faces

 

 

Miami 2017

I've seen the lights go out on Broadway

I saw the Empire State laid low.

And life went on beyond the Palisades,

They all bought bright Cadillacs-

And left there long ago.

We held a concert out in Brooklyn

To watch the Island bridges blow.

They turned our power down,

And drove us underground

But we went right on with the show.

I've seen the lights go out on Broadway

I saw the ruins at my feet,

You know we almost didn't notice it

We'd see it all the time on Forty-Second Street.

They burned the churches up in Harlem

Like in that Spanish Civil War

The flames were everywhere,

But no one really cared

It always burned up there before.

I saw the lights go out on Broadway

I watched the mighty skyline fall.

The boats were waiting at the Battery,

The union went on strike

They never sailed at all.

They sent a carrier out from Norfolk

And picked the Yankees up for free.

They said that Queens could stay,

They blew the Bronx away

And sank Manhattan out at sea....

You know those lights were bright on Broadway

But that was so many years ago

Before we all lived here in Florida

Before the Mafia took over Mexico.

There are not many who remember

They say a handful still survive

To tell the world about

The way the lights went out,

And keep the memory alive....

***************************************************************

Only the Good Die Young

Come out Virginia, don't let me wait

You Catholic girls start much too late

Aw But sooner or later it comes down to fate

I might as well be the one

Well, They showed you a statue, told you to pray

They built you a temple and locked you away

But they never told you the price that you pay

For things that you might have done.....

Only the good die young

That's what i said

Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd

We ain't too pretty. We ain't too proud

We might be laughing a bit too loud

Aw But that never hurt no one

So come on, Virginia! Show me a sign.

Send up a signal. I'll throw you a line

The stained-glass curtain you're hiding behind

Never lets in the sun

Darlin' only the good die young

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation

You got a brand new soul

Mmmm, And a cross of gold

But Virginia, they didn't give you quite enough information

You didn't count on me

When you were counting on your rosary

They say there's a heaven for those who will wait

Some say it's better but I say it ain't

I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints

The Sinners are much more fun.

You know that only the good die young

You say your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation

She never cared for me

But did she ever say a prayer for me?

Come out come out come out virgina don't let me wait,

You catholic girls start much too late

Sooner or later it comes down to fate

I might as well be the one,

You know that only the good die young

***************************************************************

Piano Man

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday

The regular crowd shuffles in

There's an old man sitting next to me

Makin' love to his tonic and gin

He says, "Son, can you play me a memory?

I'm not really sure how it goes

But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete

When I wore a younger man's clothes."

Sing us a song, you're the piano man

Sing us a song tonight

We're all in the mood for a melody

And you've got us feelin' alright

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine

He gets me my drinks for free

And he's quick with a joke, or to light up your smoke

But there's someplace that he'd rather be

He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me"

As the smile ran away from his face.

"Well I'm sure that I could be a movie star

If I could get out of this place."

Now Paul is a real estate novelist

Who never had time for a wife

And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the Navy

And probably will be for life

And the waitress is practicing politics

As the businessmen slowly get stoned

Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness

But it's better than drinkin' alone

Sing us a song you're the piano man

Sing us a song tonight

Well we're all in the mood for a melody

And you got us feeling alright

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday

And the manager gives me a smile

'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see

To forget about life for a while.

And the piano, it sounds like a carnival

And the microphone smells like a beer

And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar

And say, "Man, what are you doin' here?"

Sing us a song you're the piano man

Sing us a song tonight

Well we're all in the mood for a melody

And you got us feeling alright

***************************************************************

Pressure

You have to learn to pace yourself

Pressure

You're just like everybody else

Pressure

You've only had to run so far, so good

But you will come to a place

Where the only thing you feel

Are loaded guns in your face

And you'll have to deal with

Pressure

You used to call me paranoid

Pressure

But even you can not avoid

Pressure

You turned the tap dance into your crusade

Now here you are with your faith

And your Peter Pan advice

You have no scars on your face

And you cannot handle

PRESSURE!

All grown up and no place to go

Psych 1, Psych 2 - What do you know?

All your life is Channel 13

Sesame Street. What does it mean?

Pressure

Don't ask for help. You're all alone

Pressure

You'll have to answer to your own

Pressure

I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale

But here you are in the ninth,

Two men out and three men on

Nowhere to look but inside

Where we all respond

to Pressure!

All your life is Time Magazine

I read it too.

What does it mean?

Pressure

I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale

But here you are with your faith

And your Peter Pan advice

You have no scars on your face

And you cannot handle pressure

Pressure

pressure

One, two, three, four

Pressure

***************************************************************

Rosalinda's Eyes

I play nights in the Spanish part of town

I've got music in my hands

The work is hard to find

But that don't get me down

Rosalinda understands

Crazy Latin dancing solo down in Herald Square

Oh Havana I've been searching for you everywhere

And though I'll never be there

I know what I would see there

I can always find my Cuban skies

In Rosalinda's eyes

When she smiles she gives everything to me

When she's all alone she cries

And I'd do anything to take away her tears

Because they're Rosalinda's eyes

Senorita don't be lonely, I will soon be there

Oh Havana I've been searching for you everywhere

I've got a chance to make it

It's time for me to take it

I'll return before the fire dies

In Rosalinda's eyes

All alone in a Puerto Rican band

Union wages, wedding clothes

Hardly anyone has seen how good I am

But Rosalinda says she knows

Crazy Latin dancing solo down in Herald Square

Oh Havana I've been searching for you everywhere

And though I'll never be there

I know what I would see there

I can always find my Cuban skies

In Rosalinda's eyes

Senorita don't be lonely, I will soon be there

Oh Havana I've been searching for you everywhere

I've got a chance to make it

It's time for me to take it

I'll return before the fire dies

In Rosalinda's eyes

***************************************************************

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant

A bottle of white, a bottle of red

Perhaps a bottle of rose instead

We'll get a table near the street

In our old familiar place

You and I,face to face

A bottle of red, a bottle of white

It all depends upon your appetite

I'll meet you any time you want

In our Italian Restaurant.

Things are okay with me these days

Got a good job, got a good office

Got a new wife, got a new life

And the family's fine

We lost touch long ago

You lost weight I did not know

You could ever look so good after

So much time.

I remember those days hanging out at the village green

Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans

Drop a dime in the box, play the song about New Orleans

Cold beer!

Hot lights!

My sweet romantic teenage nights.

Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies

And the king and the queen of the prom

Riding around with the car top down and the radio on.

Nobody looked any finer

Or was more of a hit at the Parkway Diner

We never knew we could want more than that out of life

Surely Brenda and Eddie would always know how to survive.

Brenda and Eddy were still going steady in the summer of '75

When they decided the marriage would be at the end of July

Everyone said they were crazy

"Brenda you know that you're much too lazy

Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life."

But there we were wavin' Brenda and Eddie goodbye.

Well, they got an apartment with deep pile carpet

And a couple of paintings from Sears

A big waterbed that they bought with the bread

They had saved for a couple of years

They started to fight when the money got tight

And they just didn't count on the tears.

They lived for a while in a very nice style

But it's always the same in the end

They got a divorce as a matter of course

And they parted the closest of friends

Then the king and the queen went back to the green

But you can never go back there again.

Brenda and Eddie had had it already by the summer of '75

From the high, to the low, to the end of the show

For the rest of their lives

They couldn't go back to the greasers.

The best they could do was pick up the pieces.

We always knew they would both find a way to get by

And that's all I heard about Brenda and Eddie.

Can't tell you more than I told you already

And here we are wavin' Brenda and Eddie goodbye.

A bottle of red, aa bottle of white

Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight

I'll meet you anytime you want

In our Italian Restaurant

***************************************************************

The Great Suburban Showdown

Flyin' east on a plane

Drinkin' all that free champagne

I guess I saw this comin' down the line

And I know it should be fun

But I think I should've packed my gun

Got that old suburban showdown in my mind

Sit around with the folks

Tell the same old tired jokes

Bored to death on Sunday afternoon

Mom and Dad, me and you

And the outdoor barbecue

Think I'm gonna hide out in my room

I've been gone for a while

Made some changes in my style

And they say you can't go home anymore

Well the streets all look the same

And I'll have to play the game

We'll all sit around in the kitchen chairs

With the TV on and the neighbors there

Out in the yard

Where my Daddy worked so hard

He never let the crab grass grow too high

Oh, the place hasn't changed

And that's why I'm gonna feel so strange

But I'll have to face the music bye and bye

I've been gone for a while

Made some changes in my style

And they say you can't go home anymore

Well the streets all look the same

And I'll have to play the game

We'll all sit around in the kitchen chairs

With the TV on and the neighbors there

I'll drive into town when this big bird touches down

I'm only comin' home to say goodbye

Then I'm gone with the wind, and I won't be seen again

Till that great suburban showdown in the sky.

Till that great suburban showdown in the sky.

***************************************************************

We Didn't Start the Fire

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray

South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television

North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

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 fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

Well, we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev

Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron

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 fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

Well, we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac

Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball

Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide

Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia

Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy

Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

Well, we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land

Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatle mania

Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex

J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

Well, we didn't light it

But we tried to 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 shores, China's under martial law

Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning since the world's been turning.

We didn't start the fire

But when we are gone

It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

Well, we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

Well, we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire...


 

SEE MAIN LYRIC PAGE

 



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