Monday, July 04, 2005

Look at me, trying to be Billy Joel!

One song that best combines my love for history with my love for Billy Joel is his 1989 hit "We Didn't Start the Fire." The song combines three elements that generally define what I like most in a song: 1) it's supremely catchy; 2) it has a historical and political depth that makes me want to revisit it; and 3) it made Blender's list of 100 worst songs ever.

With that in mind, I want to perpetuate the song's relevance with an updated verse of my own, spanning 1990-2005. I first tried this around 1998, though I don't remember what I wrote back then. I'm guessing, though, that it was considerably lighter in content than a 2005 verse would be.

(Note to musicians and purists: I'm obviously not Billy Joel, who undoubtedly has a better grasp of musical meter than I do. But I managed to make my lyrics work to the beat, and I must say this isn't bad for a hour or so of research and writing. It's just for fun anyway, right?)

Desert Storm, Rodney King, Soviets collapsing,
Clinton, Simpsons, Waco, Quayle misspells potato

Mark McGwire, black church fires, Springer, Kenneth Starr,
Whitewater, Hutu slaughter, hip-hop coastal war

O.J., Tim McVeigh, Brady Bill, Rabin killed
Susan Smith, Gingrich, Y2K is not a glitch

Deadbeat dads, hanging chads, George Bush, Al Gore
9/11, Iraq War, haven't we been here before?

2 comments:

Murph said...

Not bad at all, Ian. I particularly like "Y2K is not a glitch" and "hanging chads". Very nice.

Murph said...

Oh yeah, and I can't believe BLENDER did that to this song. Did they run out of Michael Bolton and Celine Dion songs?