Fall Out Boy Modernizes Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire"

With cultural references from 1989-2023, including everything from Fyre Fest to Elon Musk, Bush v. Gore and Brexit.

Music
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Love it or hate it, the 1989 Billy Joel hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is a classic, still heard on radio stations and in karaoke bars over three decades after its initial release. Now, Fall Out Boy has updated the nostalgic track to include a range of pivotal moments – milestones and memes alike – we’ve seen in the 34 years since the original song’s release.

In the band’s more modern (and more punk) take on “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” events aren’t listed in chronological order, as they are in the original. Patrick Stump kicks off the song with “Captain Planet, Arab Spring/L.A. riots, Rodney King/Deep fakes, earthquakes/Iceland volcano.” Other notable mentions in the first verse include nods to Pokémon, Tiger Woods, the death of Michael Jackson (“Michael Jackson dies”) and MySpace.

The second verse spans significant news stories and pop culture moments. “More war in Afghanistan/Cubs go all the way again” opens the verse, and “Stranger Things, Tiger King/Ever Given Suez” (namedrop of the 2021 container ship that was wedged in the Suez canal, snarling global supply chains) closes the verse– with stops at Obama, Spielberg and John Bobbit along the way.

SpongeBob SquarePants, Michael Jordan and the Williams twins all earn shouts in the third verse. Additionally, the second-to-last verse sees the inclusion of mass tragedy events such as Sandy Hook and Columbine. Elon Musk leads the fourth and final verse, followed by “Kaepernick/Texas failed electric grid/Jeff Bezos, Climate change/White rhino goes extinct.” Stump closes out with a fitting last line: “S-S-R-Is/Prince and the Queen die/World Trade, second plane/what else do I have to say?” before the chorus runs one more time.

Check out the visualizer for Fall Out Boy’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” above. The track is also available to stream now on Spotify and Apple Music.

In other music news, Jon Batiste announced his new album.

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