"Standing Outside The Fire" as written by Jenny L. Yates and Garth Brooks....
We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk it the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They're so hell bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it's not living if you stand outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

There's this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can't abide standing outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Standing Outside the Fire" as written by Jenny L. Yates Garth Brooks

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Standing Outside The Fire song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about the risks that you have to take to make your life worth living. The message here is that if you never take a risk, then you'll never reach your full potential.
    lila_mon April 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti've loved this song for a long time, but this weekend it really took meaning to me. i took a risk this weekend that landed me in the hospital. i have to say, it wasn't the smartest thing i've ever done. but hell, if i didn't try it, i would've lived the rest of my life knowing i didn't take the risk. those who chace the sorrow and the shame take a riske of making fools of themselves, but to me, you can't make choices based on what others will think of you. you have to take chances in order to be who you want to be. you can look at this song along the lines of love, being something you've always dreamt of being, taking a risk, or just plain being who you want to be and nothing else. you can't live life to the fullest if you don't take any chances. it's like the man says:

    life is not tried
    it is merely survived
    if you're standing
    outside the fire
    goofyasfuckon May 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI saw a music video someone made of the 1996 olympics and this was the song. it fit perfect it is about taking risks and standing inside the flame. people who stand outside the fire just let life past them by and never take a chance to change. I don't like country but i like this song.
    OelyOrangeon July 06, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song perfectly describes the quote-

    "There is more lost by indecision than wrong decision"
    GrtOne41on January 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI used to think this song was about risks in general. But, now, after hearing it more, I definitely think it is about taking risks in love. Yes, it is possible you will get hurt, but it is better than never trying or having to face the world all alone.
    HappyBerryon April 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with Philomathetes. Kyriel, you seem to have misunderstood that “hot” or “dancing within the flame” and “cool” or “standing outside the fire” are primarily metaphors for the intensity of one’s passion, and only secondarily comments on one’s social standing. “Dancing within the flame” (hot) means being full of passion, taking risks romantically, and putting one’s heart and soul on the line for love. It may be foolish, it may make one weak, vulnerable, it may lead to sorrow and shame, to getting the opposite of what you hoped to get. “Standing outside the fire” (cool) means playing it safe romantically, always staying in control of oneself, protecting oneself and one’s feelings, and always carefully thinking things through. It may successfully prevent one’s heart from being damaged, lead to a fierce independence and internal strength, or prevent someone from getting emotionally destroyed.

    However, despite the risks involved with “dancing within the flame” and the judgment of many that it is better not to take romantic risks and “face the world alone,” Garth advocates taking the risk, letting one’s passions soar, and putting one’s heart on the line for love. While one has to be a tough person to risk being rejected or having their heart broken or being destroyed by their uncontrollable romantic passions, these are the only people who truly LIVE. Surviving, by never letting oneself feel passionately about another or by being too cautious, is not living. “Life is not tried, it is merely survived, if you’re standing outside the fire”. One should get in touch with that fire in one’s own soul, the love which, while uncontrollable and dangerous, is what gives life purpose, direction, and meaning. Those who try too hard to control their love are bound to miss the best things that real living has to offer.
    Muthoson October 31, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe that what garth is saying doesnt just apply to love like so many think. Yes it can apply mostly to love but also to risks in general. If you never talk to that person, you never go the that party, you don't ever take that risk then what does your life become? Many would say that this sounds mean but really take a minute and think about it. Think about a couple of the risks you've taken in life and ask yourself, what would have happened if I hadn't done that?

    Now that you thought of what it would be like aren't you glad that you took that risk and went to that party, or talked to that person? I agree wholeheartedly with garth when he says "Life is not tried it is merely survived" because life keeps moving on with or without us. We are the ones that grab it and make things of it.
    draconianfireon February 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSuch a good song. It does seem to define different types of people, how they face life, and how others seem to view them. My favorite part is those viewed as "weak", who give so much of themselves, who don't give up even when they fail, as opposed to their "strong" counterparts who are perceived as rarely if ever failing.
    Scorpy75on August 24, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song FEELS like it's telling me to take a chance and to fight for the opportunity to be with my soulmate. To accept that getting there will come with some pain and some hurt but that finding True Love will make the sun come out everyday WE are Together.....
    missingUSon April 28, 2016   Link