"Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" as written by Giorgio Moroder and David Bowie....
See these eyes so green
I can stare for a thousand years
Colder than the moon
Well it's been so long

And I've been putting out the fire with gasoline
See these eyes so red
Red like jungle burning bright
Those who feel me near

Pull the blinds and change their minds
It's been so long
Still this pulsing night
A plague I call a heartbeat

Just be still with me
But it wouldn't believe what I've been through
You've been so long
Well it's been so long

I've been putting out the fire with gasoline
Putting out the fire
With gasoline

See these tears so blue
An ageless heart that can never mend
Tears can never dry
A judgment made can never bend

See these eyes so green
I can stare for a thousand years
Just be still with me
You wouldn't believe what I've been through
Well you've been so long

It's been so long
And I've been putting out fire with gasoline
Putting out a fire with gasoline

Putting out fire
We've been putting out fire
Well it's been so long, so long, so long
Yes it's been so long so long so long
I've been putting out fire (it's been so long, so long, so long)
I've been putting out fire (it's been so long, so long, so long)
Yeah, yeah putting out fire (been so long, so long, so long)
Been putting out fire (been so long, so long, so long)
Yeah putting out fire (been so long, so long, so long)
Putting out fire (been so long, so long, so long)
It's been so long (Been so long, so long, so long)
It's been so long (been so long, so long, so long)
I've been putting out fire (been so long, so long, so long)


Lyrics submitted by merchantpierce, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" as written by Giorgio Moroder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Cat People (Putting Out Fire) song meanings
Add your thoughts

11 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentAs far as I know this song was written for the 1982 remake of the film 'Cat People', starring Nastassia Kinski. The story follows a young woman who turns into a panther when sexually aroused. The song ususally carries the subtitle "Putting Out Fire". The original film version is close to seven minutes long, but there is a shorter 'single' version as well.

    All that aside, I love how this song captures the idea that we are human animals. Oh sure, we have our courtship rituals so we don't feel so base about it, but what it boils down to is we need to be spoken to, noticed, touched and loved (Sexually and
    emotionally) just as much as we need food and shelter. Without it, people become sick and deviant.

    In the end which is worse, a person who is a cat while making love or a person who becomes a sexual predator through lack of human contact?
    Arbiteron February 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningFantastic track, from a very solid film imho. Written for the film, it can easily be interpreted as the perspective of the cat man Paul Gallier.

    In the film, Paul tells his sister he's 'been waiting a long time' for her ('well you've been so long'). He begs her to aid him and to embrace her animal nature ('feel my blood enraged - it's just the fear of losing you'), asking her to lie next to him ('just be still with me - you wouldn't believe what I've been through'). By succumbing to his own nature and killing humans, he's putting out fire with gasoline.
    LEnferon August 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the line "Pull the blinds and change their minds." Seems to suggest that people act like prudes to the public but in the bedroom their just as naughty as anyone else. Great song. I think it's the best of the "Let's Dance" album.
    Bonehead XLon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgree. Stevie Ray Vaughn really makes this song--I really like the melody and the drive of this. Very underrated.
    Motown1on September 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI do love this song...it's just that I got down on my knees and thanked God that Mr. Moroder helped remake the song. I did NOT like the original version. It's just like 'I'm Afraid of Americans.' Trent Reznor helped spice things up. But this song is totally about the cat people. And only Bowie would say, 'I'm putting out fire...with gasoline!'
    davidbowiefan1on October 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy the way, LOVE the panther sound effects.
    davidbowiefan1on March 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSoo awesome in Inglourious Basterds!
    Wils27on December 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgreed with all above, especially Arbiter's interpretation.
    Though came here mostly to say how wonderfully this song is used in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and paring it with the fabulous character of Shoshanna.
    SkippingStoneson December 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so powerful!
    I love getting my eyes all red and listening to it
    cerberusalphaon December 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhenever I listen to this song, I think of Major Tom still up there hopelessly orbiting the earth, too far out for anyone to reach, still taking the drugs to forget his plight (putting out fire with gasoline). And I imagine people looking up at the night sky, and then the thought of Major Tom still up there, and sensing his orbit is at present overhead, with our collective guilt at not being able to help him, making people pull their blinds.

    “I can stare for a thousand years”: he's been up there so long now (was it 68, 69 he launched? - I can't remember now), and it will seem so much longer to one in solitary confinement (“Floating in a tin can / Far above the world”) - he must be at least half-mad by now.

    There's a space reference: “colder than the moon”.

    “Feel my blood enraged”: by the drugs. And even if “We know Major Tom’s a junkie” (Ashes To Ashes) does not refer to drugs, but to just being a junkie to his own plight and/or ego (and is Ashes To Ashes all about Major Tom, or more about David Bowie?), the blood being enraged and the eyes so red still fit.

    “Still this pulsing night”: the pulsing black of space.

    It was never clear whether something went wrong with the equipment on board ship or whether Major Tom deliberately severed communication with Ground Control (and thus the Earth and all his family and friends), but if he did: “A judgement made can never bend”.

    I know this may well not have been in Bowie’s mind when he wrote the lyrics, but it’s what I like to imagine when listening to the song. It keeps Major Tom’s story going, and helps us not to forget him - and what he, if still alive, is still going through.
    DAVEFLOYDFANon June 23, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain