A Song for Y’all


HEYOOOOOOO so I’ve mentioned in the past a few times the idea of re-writing Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to “update” it for current events.

Well, I just turned 30, so I figured why not try to re-write it so that it covers the past 30 years?

So I gave it a shot. A few things worth noting:

  • Joel had 40 years’ worth of stuff in his song; I have 30. Does that make a difference? Dunno.
  • The biggest, most impactful event in Joel’s original timeline (at least as far as the song is structured) is JFK’s assassination (“JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say?”). The biggest, most impactful event in my timeline is definitely 9/11. Unfortunately, it does not fit into the song’s timeline very nicely. It’s a whole verse before the JFK line and the way the verses are structured (I tried to give each verse a set number of years), it kind of just falls in the middle of one of them. So not as good.
  • Did I miss some major events? Surely. I tried to get a decent variety, but I suspect I missed a few things that would be obvious to include for other people.
  • I tried to stay true to his cadence for all of the lines, but a decent number of mine are different than the original.
  • This version absolutely sucks compared to the original.

OKAY, HERE WE GO. And as if it needs to be said, this is sung to the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Berlin Wall, Gorbachev, Syringe Tide, World Wide Web
Roger Rabbit, Cold War, Freddie Mercury
Reno, Nafta, Rodney King, World Trade Center Bombing
NAFTA, Exxon, Windows, united Germany
Chunnel, Hubble, Desert Storm, war on drugs, Morris Worm
Seinfeld, Waco siege, Space Shuttle Discovery
Friends, Game Boy, dino “Sue,” Hurricane Andrew
Clarence Thomas, GPS, a fatwa for Rushdie

(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

O.J. Simpson, Amazon, Oklahoma City Bomb
Hale-Bopp, boy band pop, Dolly the sheep
Harry Potter, Princess Di, Toy Story, Columbine
Napster, Euro, Ted Kaczynski
ExxonMobil, Sarajevo, Mark McGwire, Galileo
Nunavut, Albright, Titanic, baseball strike,
AOL, Deep Blue, Mad Cow, Google
Bill Gates, Y2K, Clinton and Lewinsky

(CHORUS)

Bush beats Gore, hanging chads, iPods are the new fad
Airplanes hijacked, 9/11 attacks
War on Terror, Taliban, U.S. invades Afghanistan
Homeland, anthrax, and the Patriot Act
Iraq War, Saddam Hussein, Stock exchange, Bush again
Columbia, protests, North Korea nuke test,
SARS, Mir, YouTube, Muhammed, Pluto,
Facebook, Wikipedia, Hurricane Katrina

(CHORUS)

Michael Jackson, Avatar, Large Hadron Collider
H1N1, Sully on the Hudson
Mars Curiosity, Europe gets some record heat
Arab Spring, Bin Laden, Flash Crash, Horizon
Bitcoin, iPhone, exoplanets, Eurozone
Obama, WikiLeaks, Occupy Wall St.

(CHORUS)

Sandy Hook, Michael Brown, Baumgartner faster than sound
Water crisis down in Flint, Donald Trump is president
Higgs Boson, CharlieHebdo, Martian liquid H20
Putin, Snowden, Zika virus, Cubs win
ISIS, Brexit, Harambe, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Ebola, eclipse, Vegas shooting, Space X
Record-breaking hurricanes, government shutdown again
Anti-vaxxers, climate change, the whole world has gone insane

(CHORUS)

What sayest thou? Speak!

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