One hot summer's day
I was playing in the arcade
I never thought I'd see flames
Rising out of my favorite games

Great arcade fire
Great arcade fire
Great arcade fire
Great arcade fire

I'm looking at our stage
The lion in our cage
They lit the cage on fire
It was supposed to disappear
Oh no, the lion's on fire
The lion's on fire
The lion's on fire
The lion's on fire
My god, the lion's on fire
My good god, the lion's on fire

When I was a little kid
I was sleeping in my bed
My mom said, "Wake up, sleepyhead
The house is on fire, follow me"
We ran downstairs past the burning Christmas tree
Christmas on fire
Christmas on fire
Christmas on fire
Christmas on fire
Christmas on fire
My god, Christmas on fire
My good god, Christmas on fire
Tonight

This happens every time
This happens every time
This happens every time
This happens every time


Lyrics submitted by Rcntly2stepping

The Great Arcade Fire song meanings
Add your thoughts

9 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentArcades, lions at circuses, and Christmas are all related to childhood. The fire is burning up the narrator's innocence. Loss of innocence and "childness" seems to be a recurring theme of their songs.
    emueyeson January 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat's this on?
    pumkinhedon November 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah i have been trying to find this i think it might be a true story or it could just be a fucked up childhood kinda thing
    toitdudeon December 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWin said that when he was younger he got beat up in High school by this kid who used to always talk about this arcade burning on fire and all the kids dying inside. Hence the birth of the name Arcade Fire.
    quietwaron September 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is on an album called "The So-Called Demos". I don't know where I got it from but it's on it. I'm not sure if it's a real album or not.
    suckeranddryon March 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can get it off arcadefire.net if you join the forum and look under "live recordings."
    It doesn't sound much like the Arcade Fire of today but it was when the band was just getting started.
    I have it on a disc called "Demo 2001" actually.
    setfiretotheskyon March 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always imagined the "arcade" in arcade fire meant like a temple or something. But the image with the children is much more... (there needs to be a term for this.)
    clockwriston October 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentemueyes got it right. Old Arcade Fire sucks (the 2001 demo), sounds just like all the popular bands of today. Win's voice is the only thing that gives it a slight Arcade feel.

    I think in the last stanza, he says "I feel so stupid sometimes" a couple of times.
    JustFetuson June 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I feel so stupid sometimes" comes right before the first "This happens everytime"

    didn't notice that the first time
    perspectiviston June 23, 2008   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