What would you say if you knew what I was thinking?
Maybe you do, but you know not to dig too deep
What if i knew what you needed for sure?
I've seen in your eyes you need more, much more

And I could be happy, and you could be miserable
I'll grab a metaphor out of the air
The Cuyahoga River on fire

What can you say? The impossible happens
What can you settle for?
What can you live without?
I remember the night I first darkened your door
And I swore that I loved you
My heart was pure

You could be happy, and I could be miserable

My open window, a dream in the dark
My fingers, your face
A spark, a trace

I know a lot about the history of Cleveland, Ohio
Disasters that have happened there
Like the Cuyahoga River on fire


Lyrics submitted by Michial

River on Fire song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe Cuyahoga River caught fire due to the immense amount of pollution in it. I think Gene was drawing a parallel to the pollution in a marriage which leads to irreconcilable differences; the point at which it's just too volitile to do anything but catch fire and burn.
    shephon March 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about Gene Eugene's divorce from Riki Michele, as many late-period Adam Again songs seem to be. Eugene calls it "one of the saddest songs ever written," and I think I agree: It perfectly captures that stage in a relationship where one person wants out. "You could be happy, and I could be miserable."

    The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire several times in the late 20th century. In this song, it's just an image of the impossible coming true.
    Michialon September 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know much about adam again, but this song ranks right up there with pearl jams black. sobering, but you just can't stop listening to it.
    quickmansucks1on December 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the above comments. All good points. There aren't enough good "sobering" songs (to quote quickmansucks1) out there. This song is so cold and haunting, like the subject matter.
    Zudrakon May 19, 2010   Link

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