31 Best Songs About Fire & Burning (In The Title & Lyrics)

Fire is one of the most prominent words and icons of symbolism used throughout the centuries. From representing destruction and chaos to rebirth and warmth, it has fascinated humanity since the dawn of time.

It’s no surprise that this striking symbol has made it a common theme for musicians. Its versatility and varied symbolism are ideally suited to a range of genres. In this list, we check out some of the best songs that feature fire and burning as in the lyrics and title.

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“Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele

Album: 21
Genre: Power Pop
Released: 2011

Adele exploded onto the music scene and instantly earned the title of one of the most prominent and talented voices of a generation. This powerful single from her second album earned her critical acclaim and has become one of her most popular releases ever.

The imagery it invokes is gripping and evocative. Setting fire to rain perfectly illustrates the raw passion and emotion that love brings. A smash hit worldwide that went on to sell over 5 million copies in the United States alone.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Being Hot

“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel

Album: Storm Front
Genre: Pop Rock
Released: 1989

Billy Joel has a career than spans multiple decades with a staggering amount of amazing music to his credit. This fantastic track closed out the 80s as part of his Storm Front album and was a commercial success topping the Billboard Hot 100 and charting strongly worldwide.

It’s a fast-paced pop-rock song that uses fire to highlight how each generation feels like they are inheriting a burning mess of a world from the previous one. An all-time classic that still feels relevant in today’s turbulent times.

Similar Playlist: Best Snow Songs

“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys

Album: Girl On Fire
Genre: R&B
Released: 2012

By the time Girl On Fire was released, Alicia Keys had already cemented herself as a bonafide superstar artist. Released as the lead single from the album of the same name, it went on to become one of her most successful singles selling over 6 million copies in the United States.

A powerful, dynamic, and pulsating R&B song that highlights Alicia’s outstanding vocal range and masterful songwriting abilities. A pure celebration of the power of women and a sing-a-long anthem that is oh-so-satisfying to sing.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Storms

“Firestarter” by The Prodigy

Album: The Fat of the Land
Genre: Big Beat – Rave
Released: 1996

The 90s saw an explosion of electronic music acts that began to experience commercial success. One of the pioneers and innovators of this era is The Prodigy. Their unique blend of heavy metal, pounding beats, and clever sampling combined into a mesmerizing selection of releases that defined the decade.

Coming from their third album, this single rocketed up the UK charts to the number 1 position. It also cracked the top 10 in several European countries and peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Firestarter taps into the destructive force of fire both literally and figuratively when in the hands of a troublemaker.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Thunder And Lightning

“Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon

Album: Only by the Night
Genre: Rock
Released: 2008

The American rock band Kings of Leon was already onto their fourth album when Sex On Fire was released as the leading single. It instantly gathered momentum in the UK and found renewed enthusiasm in the United States after their next single, Use Somebody made a splash on the radio.

This track oozes steaming sexuality as evidenced by the title. Utilizing fire as a representation of passion and lust, it rumbles aggressively through an inviting rock rhythm with wailing guitar riffs. Add a powerful and catchy chorus, and it’s no surprise it became one of their biggest hits.

Similar Playlist: Songs About The Weather

“Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis

Album: Live at the Star Club, Hamburg
Genre: Rock & Roll – Rockabilly
Released: 1957

Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the greatest rock and roll artists ever and helped push rockabilly into the mainstream. With a career spanning decades, this track from his early years is a standout. It was a smash hit in the United States, and its timeless energy saw it make its way into both Top Gun movies.

This lively and energetic track chronicles the all-consuming control that love and lust can have over you. And there is no better way to illustrate this primal power than with great balls of fire hurtling through your body.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Wind

“Just Like Fire” by Pink

Album: Alice Through the Looking Glass: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genre: Pop Rock
Released: 2016

Name an artist that represents fire, and I’m sure Pink will come to mind. She is enthusiastic, unpredictable, and has a take-no-crap attitude that defines her fiery personality. And that personality is perfectly invoked in Just Like Fire.

Recorded for the film Alice Through The Looking Glass, it was a top 10 hit in the United States but also charted well worldwide, including hitting number 1 in Australia. Pink is here to run the world like an out-of-control fire, and I’m all for it!

“Beds are Burning” by Midnight Oil

Album: Diesel and Dust
Genre: Rock
Released: 1987

As an Australian, I’ll have to admit I have a soft spot for this legendary rock classic that has become a staple of rock radio since its release. Coming from their second album, it’s an impactful protest anthem that highlights the plight of indigenous people.

While it performed well in Australia and the UK, it also cracked the top 20 in the United States. The powerful imagery that a burning bed invokes sets it apart. But beyond indigenous issues, the powerful chorus can also be used as a metaphor for climate change.

“Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads

Album: Speaking in Tongues
Genre: New Wave / Pop Rock / Funk
Released: 1982

What do you get when you merge rock, pop, and funk? A unique and engaging sound that is often classed as New Wave. But beyond its genre-defying and defining history, this leading single from Talking Heads’ fifth album was also a massive success in the United States.

Many people have tried to decipher the meaning of this song. The band has stated that it isn’t about actually burning down a house but eliminating something that makes you too comfortable and holds you back from growing as a person.

“Burn It Down” by Linkin Park

Album: Living Things
Genre: Electronic Rock / Rap Rock
Released: 2012

Linkin Park always had a way of merging multiple genres into something unique and special. This song from their fifth studio album perfectly represents the various musical styles that influenced the group. Plus, it’s an excellent showcase of Chester Bennington’s vocal prowess.

Commercially it was also successful, selling 3 million copies in the United States. The lyrics represent how fickle the media and even fans can be with an endless desire to build up something or somebody only to turn their back on it and burn it to the ground.

“Light My Fire” by The Doors

Album: The Doors
Genre: Psychedelic Rock / Baroque Pop / Acid Rock
Released: 1967

The Doors were a defining counterculture rock group in the 60s that preceded the headiness of the 70s. This headline single from their debut album launched them from their small Los Angeles following onto the worldwide stage. 

It went on to sell 1 million copies in the United States and is regarded as one of their most popular singles. Its meaning is vague enough to be interpreted in a variety of ways. It could be the loss of inhibitions at the hands of passion or even an unhealthy relationship with drugs. This ambiguity makes it even more intriguing and highlights how versatile fire is as a symbolic force.

“Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash

Album: Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash
Genre: Country
Released: 1963

Johnny Cash is a legendary country music artist with an illustrious career spanning decades. But one of his most famous songs is Ring of Fire, and its themes of the transformative nature of love make it a perfect addition to this list.

Released in 1963, it reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was number 1 in the Country Singles category for seven weeks. His wonderfully deep voice makes it a smooth ride from start to finish.

“Fire Water Burn” by Bloodhound Gang

Album: One Fierce Beer Coaster
Genre: Alternative Rock
Released: 1997

Ah, the 90s, a decade filled with new and emerging genres that helped redefine what modern music could look like. One of these outliers was the Bloodhound Gang, with their unusual take on indie/alternative music. 

Fire Water Burn was the first single from their second album and was a moderate success. The slow and winding drawl of the lead vocal is more infectious than you might initially think, and it’s a fun track to sing along to despite the rather dark undertones.

“Burn” by Ellie Goulding

Album: Halcyon Days
Genre: Pop
Released: 2013

UK singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding has a list of popular tracks to her name, but Burn is perhaps the most playful and radio-friendly. Released in 2013, it went on to top the UK charts and sold 4 million copies in the United States.

It has a heavy dose of electronic influences while maintaining a sweet and inviting feel, thanks to Ellie’s unique voice. The catchy burning-focused chorus is also a blast to sing and instantly makes you want to dance.

“Sleep Now in the Fire” by Rage Against the Machine

Album: The Battle of Los Angeles
Genre: Alternative Metal
Released: 1999

While not the most successful Rage Against the Machine song, this track has quite the reputation. Released in 1999, it is notable for its strong anti-corporate and anti-Wall Street messaging. An aggressive and engaging Alternative Metal anthem that is still beloved today.

The strong anti-establishment message is further highlighted in the music video, which Michael Moore directed. Filmed in New York in front of the Stock Exchange, the ensuing chaos landed Michael Moore in the hands of the police for breaching the conditions of the filming permit he was issued.

“Play With Fire” by The Rolling Stones

Album: Out of Our Heads
Genre: Baroque Pop / Chamber Pop / Rock
Released: 1965

The Rolling Stones are among the best-selling music artists of all time, with upwards of 200 million record sales over their decades-long musical career. But this release is often overlooked for some of their more notable releases.

It tells a tale of a relationship with a girl from high society who doesn’t quite realize what she has got herself into. If you love classic rock, this is a must-listen track that might become one of your new favorites.

15 Bonus Songs About Fire & Burning

“I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
“Burnin’ For You” by Blue Oyster Cult
“Fight Fire With Fire” by Metallica
“Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan
“Burning Love” by Elvis Presley
“Fire” by Jimi Hendrix
“Firework” by Katy Perry
“I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran
“World On Fire” by Sarah McLachlan
“Burning Desire” by Lana Del Rey
“Fire” by U2
“Fire With Fire” by Scissor Sisters
“Burnin’ Up” by Jonas Brothers
“Bridge Burning” by Foo Fighters
“Fireball” by Pitbull

Watch The Full Playlist

The full playlist with every song in this post can be watched via the video below or directly on our YouTube channel.

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Picture of Article by Robert Calabrese
Article by Robert Calabrese

Robert has over 15 years of experience working in the digital marketing industry. From a very young age he was influenced by music theory as part of his education and played a variety of instruments. From there, his passion moved into electronic music and the equipment used to create it. Using his education and experience, Robert started his own digital marketing company and successfully operates his business in the music industry.

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