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Urgency American History Homework

Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” Analysis

       I don’t think there’s any argument with the idea that one of the most prolific and incredible singer-songwriters of the past half-century is the legendary Billy Joel. Since the early 1970s, Joel has produced some amazing compositions, ranging from “Piano Man,” “Allentown,” “My Life,” “Just The Way You Are,” “Goodnight Saigon,” and so many more. Joel’s range of styles are so amazing, whether it’s a tribute to the early 1960s with songs like “Uptown Girl” or more hard rocking tunes like “Big Shot.” Unfortunately, since this is not a music class, we can’t explore all of those styles, but we’ll keep our focus on one of the most historically oriented songs of the 20th century, and that would be his 1989 song “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” from the “Storm Front” album. So this is what we’re going to do with that song.

       Essentially, the song’s lyrics are a recorded document of United States history since the end of World War II to the final days of the Cold War (1989). Billy Joel’s references range from sports heroes (Joe DiMaggio) to international scandals (British politician sex), so what I would like for each you to is to choose two elements from the song and provide your own thoughts and perspectives on these elements and their significance to the scope of modern United States history. Joel has over a hundred historical references in the song, thus there are plenty of elements for you to select. I will create a sign-up sheet in the discussion board section in which I will take your requests. Everybody must choose different elements of the song, in other words, if somebody has already selected Marilyn Monroe to discuss, then that option is closed to anybody else in the class. But I certainly encourage replies and long threaded discussions on all these songs.

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