"Burning Down the House" as written by and David/weymouth Byrne....
Watch out you might get what you're after
Boom babies strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight wait till the party's over
Hold tight We're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

Here's your ticket pack your bag
Time for jumpin' overboard
The transportation is here
Close enough but not too far,
Maybe you know where you are
Fightin' fire with fire

All wet! Hey you might need a raincoat
Shakedown! Dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees
Burning down the house

It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work and baby what did you except
Gonna burst into flame

My house! Is out of the ordinary
That's right! Don't wanna hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

No visible means of support and you have not seen nothin' yet
Everything's stuck together
And I don't know what you expect starring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire

Lyrics submitted by knate15

"Burning Down the House" as written by Christopher Frantz Chris Frantz

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Burning Down the House song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentJust to add to what's already been said- on the commentary for the Stop Making Sense DVD, David Byrne mentions how the lyrics to this particular song make absolutely no sense at all. The individual couplets alone make sense, but they have nothing to do with the lyrics before or after them. Also, he does mention the P-Funk connection and how he thought the chant would make a catchy chorus, but the rest of the lyrics he kinda laughs at.
    BarryKardonon June 13, 2004   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThe psychologist Carl Jung said that fire represents the process of psychological transformation so burning down the house is destroying one personality and creating another one, As you can see in the video one person takes over another. David Byrne said the song was about this in an interview for the BBC (but he looked high at the time).
    mbhvisbyon October 07, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti just heard this song in some movie called "13 going on 30". it was a chick flick but the song was actually used in good taste. some chubby kid dances to it in front of a bunch of his peers.
    Levitator89on May 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy guiltiest of guilty pleasure songs. i love it.
    Is_not_Amandaon April 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPalistave wins the pulling something out of nothing award 2006.

    "Watch out you might get what you're after.
    Cool babes strange but not a stranger.”
    Anyone who can drag dead radioactive dead babies out of that is a nut job.
    muchthanmoreon February 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWeeKnighT, I completely agree with you, and you're the first one in seven years of posting to see what I see when I get the chance to READ the lyrics rather than just watch the video or listen to the song.

    Three hundred sixty five degrees has nothing to do with temperature; it's how many days in a row they're (feeling like they're) on the road, missing their families. The highway lines going by is not some imagery of "coke lines," they're just what is seen night after night on the tour bus.

    Hold tight wait till the party's over.
    Hold tight we're in for nasty weather.
    There has got to be a way.

    (Can't leave a city until all the touring personnel (trying to untangle themselves from the local hangers on) are ready to go (bandmates are burned out and can't wait to leave)- Nasty weather - socked in at the airport.)

    Here's your ticket pack your bag:time for jumpin' overboard.
    The transportation is here.
    Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are.
    Fightin' fire with fire

    (They've been to so many cities, they can't remember what city/arena they're in: by this time they all look the same)

    All wet hey you might need a raincoat.
    Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight.
    Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees.

    (Every single damned day of the year, they're expected to "burn down the house.")

    It was once upon a place sometimes i listen to myself.
    Gonna come in first place.

    (back in the hometown, wanted to win the "battle of the bands..")

    People on their way to work baby what did you expect.
    Gonna burst into flame.

    (My job isn't like your job.. when people in my profession go, (rock star) they go in a big way.. (perhaps as bad as untimely death, more likely Betty Ford)

    etcetera.. funny, I like the song more now than ever..
    CurtisLowePickeron December 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMost of it seems to relate to touring, playing music, burning down the house.
    Only the TV set line doesn't fit that scenario.
    As for the song being about Coke, sure, that fits a bit better.
    Except maybe the "listen to myself".
    WeeKnighTon September 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI heard on a radio interview years ago that he said the song was about "exfoliation, like the peeling away of an onion". Totally wierd I know, thats why I remember it. lol
    gingermickon March 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song happened as the result of a Heads jam session and a spark of lyrical imagination from David Byrne. supposedly, the recording we all know and love doesn't deviate far from the original jam demo.

    what does it mean to me? PARTY. burn the place down. we don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn!
    roger wilcoon May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit wasn't lyrical imagination on david byrne's part. chris frantz just came back from a parliment funkadelic concert and he was yelling one of the p-funk audience chants during a jam session, which was "burn down the house". byrne liked the phrase and turned it into "burning down the house".
    MonkeyNum7on June 02, 2002   Link

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