Monday, December 11, 2006

We Didn't Start the Fire

Billy Joel's jaunt through the 20th century in his song "We Didn't Start the Fire", is an excellent introduction into the modern era. It is interesting to consider one man's thoughts on the important issues of his lifetime.

We'll take a closer look at the lyrics to this song, we'll analyze his thoughts on why these specific events/people are important, and then you'll have the opportunity to create your own 1990-2006 verse. (extra credit if you perform it).

For now, listen to the song, enjoy the images and consider everything that has happened in the last 60 years.

Your posting assignment is to discuss in a few paragraphs why Billy Joel chose some of the events and people he did? (describe at least 2, and I don't want any repeats.)

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15 comments:

asha said...

k, i watched it, it was a nice (informative) video. i didn't know if u wanted us to comment or not.

Joe said...

I liked everything about the song... Except the song. Sorry, I'm just very selective about my Billy Joel tastes.

Kevin said...

Joe, I understand. Billy Joel is much more talented than that song suggests. This is one of the very few Joel songs which has a guitar as the lead instrument. We well know the 'Piano Man' has been known to to tickle the ivories a little bit.

Billy Joel even said it himself. It was the only song where he wrote the lyrics first. Not a good start to a song when you've got to try and match the melody to a list of words. Of course its going to come out the way it did... However, the song was a hit in 1989, and it does have its own place in history.

ANDREA! said...

you should give us creative lisence on the whole
"extra credit if you preform it"
thing because we aren't going to want to sing it like Senor Joel does. I can't even talk that fast.

Andrea said...

well I think Billy Joel chose the television because it was a big thing. People didn't have to go out to the movies anymore. They could stay home for entertainment and information could now be shown over the television.
I think he chose Sputnik because it was the first satelite to be launched into space. It showed the advancement in technology.

Leonard said...

he chose watergate because it was such a big thing with nixon being president and alland he put that stark weather guy because he was crazy and he killed like 15 people

adonis said...

I liked the images playing while the song was playing. Now i see why he put most of these things in the song, because all of thse thigs were inportant in history and doesn't need to be lost. I learned a lot of things from this song. I probably didn't know but a little bit that was on there.

Kevin said...

Adonis, I'm glad you learned a lot from the song. That was the point of this project. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the things that have gone on in the last 60 years.

~*Chr!st!n@*~ said...

I think the reason Billy Joel chose these events for the 20 centuries were because these events were extreme and popular during the time. Like Marciano, maybe he choice him because he was someone who could be admire that time for being a heavyweight champion and retiring undefeated. Also the drug Thalidomide was very known back then because pregnant women were consuming these drugs and was suppose to help them sleep better, instead it cause there child to be born with little arms.

Human said...

At first I only knew about 10% of the things in the song. Know with all the pictures I still don't know much more but I know what the stuff looked like. Know I know what the people and events looked like.

SuJaL said...

I liked the song..and the way it summarized the important events and people in history.

In my opinion, he mentiones Joe McCarthy because eventhough, he was a senator, he accused many important and famous people of being communist. which further led to ruining their reputation, and many even lost their jobs.

Another thing that he mentions which is very important in my view is, Einstein. He mentiones him because of his contributions to the science and his Theory of Relativety.

Derrick said...

Billy Joel put certain events in this song because they were important to him. It seemed like he was a baseball fan because he put Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Roy Campanella in the song. But he also seemed like a person that liked history. He put people's names such as Harry Truman because he was responsible for the decision of the atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So Billy Joel was a well-educated man and he loved history

joseph said...

i love this song ... anyone know where i can get it without the words... just music version ......

Anonymous said...

i wanted to know why punk rock, begin, and reagan was in it?

klkatz said...

Dear Anaonymous...

It's in this part of the song where Billy Joel combines a bunch of events covering the years of 1964 - 1989. The 3 things you mention are all seperate.

Punk Rock - refers to the punk rock movement of the mid 70s. Bands like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and the Clash pioneered the sound.

Begin - is the name of Israel's Prime Minister in Menachem Begin - he's best known for making a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979.

Then in 1980 - Ronald Reagan became president of the United States.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Thanks for reading.

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