They tell you where you need to go
They tell you when you need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
They tell you who you need to be

But everything inside you
Knows there's more than what you've heard
There's so much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words

And you're on fire when he's near you
You're on fire when he speaks
You're on fire burning at these mysteries

Give me one more time around
Give me one more chance to see, yeah
Give me everything you are
Give me one more chance to be near you, yeah

When everything inside me
Looks like everything I hate
You are the hope I have for change
You are the only chance I'll take

And I'm on fire when you're near me
And I'm on fire when you speak
And I'm on fire burning at these mysteries

You're on fire
You're on fire
You're on fire

I'm standing on the edge of me
I'm standing on the edge of me
I'm standing on the edge of me
I'm standing on the edge of me
I'm standing on the edge of everything I've never been before
And I've been standing on the edge of me
Standing on the edge

And I'm on fire when you're near me
And I'm on fire when you speak, yeah
I'm on fire burning at these mysteries
These mysteries
These mysteries, yeah
You're a mystery, yeah
You're a mystery


Lyrics submitted by switchchick, edited by ryanwhite

On Fire song meanings
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76 Comments

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  • +3
    My OpinionThe song to me narrates two scenarios through the verses. The story from how I'm going to give it is about a newborn in Christ. In the first verse, it's as if he's describing how the church is. They tell you where you need to go to experience God, but yet they have a schedule for it, so they have a closing time telling you when you to leave. (Though you can experience God anywhere at anytime!) The pastor teaches you of sin, which tells you everything you are, and he tells you about how you're  supposed to strive to be like Jesus, which tells you who you need to be.
    Then service ends and you've got supposedly more "seasoned" Christians who come to talk to you about God, but it's as if they don't believe a word they're saying. Their words and conversations are empty. But you know the truth, you know how you feel, you know there's so much more than this, and you're about to burst and can't describe it, all you know is you're on fire when He's near you. You're on fire when you hear Him speak. You're on fire and awestruck, burning at His mysteries.
    The second verse takes you to the the place where you've tripped in your walk. Everyone has, does, and will continue to sin. It's by grace of a loving, but a just God, and a sinner's repentive heart that He forgives us. But once you've truly encountered God, you can't go without Him, you have to be near Him, you have to feel that fire. And so you're begging God to forgive you for what you've done. You know that everything you are is wrong, but that your only hope for change is through God. Which the fact that you have a repentive heart shows that God has changed you already. But no matter what it takes, you have to be on fire in God's presence again.
    We have our own beliefs, but I will not apologize for mine. "Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT)" "If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. (Luke 9:26 NLT)" "I will speak to kings about your laws,
    and I will not be ashamed. (Psalm 119:46 NLT)"
    BurningOneon February 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThat's what I love about Switchfoot... they are a Christian band, and they are proud of it and they admit to it during interviews and in magizine articles and things of that nature. Yet their lyrics are so vague, yet so to the point that you don't have to be Christian to enjoy them...

    I'm Christian, but I have friends of other faiths who love Switchfoot and they can relate the "love" that the band is talking about which is meant to be in reference to God, and they can relate it to a loved one, or their family, or their grandparents...

    I'm not saying it's a healthy thing to love a girl as much as your supposed to love God, in fact, it's pretty much against everything the Bible says, but still... haha I'm not even going to go down that route.

    Lemme just say that they (Switchfoot) really are a great band and I too saw them live at the Newport in Columbus and the show was incredible, and cheap too... it was like 14 bucks and we got to stand in the front row. Now that's a deal :)

    I hope everyone enjoys this song as much as I do.
    osubuckeye4on December 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its about a woman who is falling in love for the first time. She's been told what here life is supposed to be and how she is supposed to feel
    (They tell you where you need to go
    They tell you when you need to leave
    They tell you what you need to know
    They tell you who you need to be)

    And she's sure that there is more to life than that
    (But everything inside you
    Knows there's more than what you've heard
    There's so much more than empty conversations
    Filled with empty words)

    And she falls in love for the first time and realized that this is what true love is, and what its life to feel only what you want, not what anyone else wants. Love would be the mystery
    (And you're on fire when he's near you
    You're on fire when he speaks
    You're on fire burning at these mysteries)

    And then the next part of the song is from the guy's point of view. He's absolutely in love with her, and he either blew a chance maybe because she wasn't ready or was cared. So he wants one more chance with her.
    (Give me one more time around
    Give me one more chance to see, yeah
    Give me everything you are
    Give me one more chance to be near you, yeah)

    He sees how different she is from him, and he wants her to be a good influence on him.
    (When everything inside me
    Looks like everything I hate
    You are the hope I have for change
    You are the only chance I'll take)

    They are very different from each other, and so in that sense they are mysteries, also their love is new, so in that sense it is a mystery, too.
    (I'm on fire burning at these mysteries
    These mysteries
    These mysteries, yeah
    You're a mystery, yeah
    You're a mystery)
    anagirlon February 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgot this from landofbrokenhearts.org (a switchfoot fansite) this is straight from Jon Foreman (lead singer of switchfoot) himself:

    "Daniel Heavenwrad, a friend of mine from Canada, came out to California and stayed at my place for a day. We went out for pizza, wrote a couple of Remy Zero-ish songs, and called it a night. In the morning, about an hour before I was going to drop him off at the train station, this song flew out. We threw it down, I burned a CD for Dan and we raced to the station. This song is so personal- it feels great to play live. On a good night, I feel like I can just throw myself into this song and drift off over the crowd through the PA."

    i never really understood whether he was talking about God or a person he misses, but when i listened in a personal situation i took it as myself missing someone. (at least, something along those lines.) but still a great songs.

    thinkerearthshakerlovemakeron March 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOf course, everybody has their own opinion about the meaning of the song & for me it says everything about the way my life has turned out to be. It's funny how I discovered the song about a week ago too; that's when everything in my life turned around.

    To me this song is about how my life has been - everybody was telling me how to live it, how to speak, how to act, how to be - "They tell you where you need to go, they tell you when you need to leave, they tell you what you need to know, they tell you who you need to be," & I have always felt that there's something more to it, that the way I was living wasn't right - "But everything inside you knows there's more than what you've heard, there's so much more than empty conversations filled with empty words." It can also be said about the past relationships that a person, in this case me, has had. I mean, there are these types of relationships when you don't feel that you can be fully opened, when you can't bet truly happy, because something's missing. And the best part, now I feel like I'm literally on fire, I feel so alive! "And you're on fire when he's near you, you're on fire when he speaks, you're on fire burning at these mysteries!"

    And now ... now I have this chance to live my life the way I want to. I am the creator of my life & he opened up my eyes, & am so grateful for that. I want to be a better person, I want to do the things to inspire others. I have so much love inside & I can finally let it all out! I finally feel good in my own mind, in my skin, in my body! "Give me one more time around, give me one more chance to see, yeah, give me everything you are, give me one more chance to be near you, yeah

    When everything inside me looks like everything I hate, you are the hope I have for change, you are the only chance I'll take!"

    Well, that's what the song & the lyrics mean to me. :)
    pxhymnon October 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song just says how the only thing that isnt empty, the only thing that can light your fire, the only thing that matters is of course Him
    untiedshoelaceson July 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's crazy how this song has the same piano tune throughout the entire song, but yet it feels like it changes a lot from verse to chorus and etc. Absolutely awesome!
    incuthrice07on June 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo I think he's trying to say that he screwed up. She moved on and is "on fire" when she's around the man that took his place and he misses her like crazy. Everything's a mystery to him.
    I think this is my favorite song on the album!
    diegorockusaon September 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I agree with you ^

    Anyways...Good song. I love it :D
    maybe_im_stupidon October 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is one of the bst songs on Beautiful Letdown. its slow...but its fantastic.
    CODYT3212on October 11, 2004   Link

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