You used to feel like a smoker
Shivering in the cold
Waiting outside the bar
Until the opener's over
But now you feel like a drinker
Twenty days off the shots
Down at the liquor store
Trying to call your sponsor

You used to feel like a forest fire burning
But now you feel like a child
Throwing tantrums for your turn

You used to feel like a prophet
And everyone wanted to know
How you could tell the truth
Without losing that soft glow
But now you feel like a preacher
Evoking the flames of Hell
Some drunk fisherman
Chasing after the white whale

You used to feel like the prodigal returning
But now you hate what you've made
And you want to watch it burn


Lyrics submitted by GhostofDavid

Forest Fires song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIs this one of his new songs he is playing in concerts?

    Seems from the recurring trend in his music that his is strongly autobiographical. Remnants of Fewer Broken Pieces with his quite negative self-reflection.

    I like it. It's powerful, it's personal. The end makes you think he'll either stop making music soon or that the subject matter will change. I hope that regardless, the man continues to put on music.
    UnnecessaryOpinionon January 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUO, this is a song he's playing at shows. There is a downloadable concert of his hosted at hardtofindafriend.blogspot.com/2007/11/…


    As for the lyrics, I'm pretty sure it's:
    But now you feel like a drinker
    Twenty days off the shots
    redmancaon February 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthanks, redmanca.
    GhostofDavidon February 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen i saw him perform last fall, he said that NONE of his songs are autobiographical. he was like "i hope you all don't think my life is this terrible...i have a lovely wife and a beautiful kid, and these stories are not about me"

    good to know, if these were his stories, that would be hella depressing.
    icouldseethedudeon March 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, i'll concede that Fewer Broken Pieces has to be autobiographical, but, ya get the picture
    icouldseethedudeon March 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthonestly he's just an amazing story teller and song writer, because while a lot of his writing seems autobiographical he claims its not, and i'd like to think it isn't because your right, it would be hella depressing for most of his songs to represent someones life.
    webbman88on December 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think this is entirely autobiographical but I see where the correlation can be made. He stated in an interview that he doesn't believe that hell exists and this is reflected in the song:

    But now you feel like a preacher
    Evoking the flames of Hell
    Some drunk fisherman
    Chasing after the white whale

    It is entirely possible that he is the "drunk fisherman", referring to his time as a sunday school teacher and now he is trying to distance himself from that life through the use of song and art:

    You used to feel like the prodigal returning
    But now you hate what you've made
    And you want to watch it burn
    thestarhearton December 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentturns out these song are autobiographical. hmmm. i stand corrected.
    icouldseethedudeon August 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionIt's "20 days off the sauce."
    Not "shots."
    macgyver387on April 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, Lemme feed ya, baby birds.

    Listen to the Starflyer 59 song "Broken Arm (Feat. David Bazan)" from the album Ghosts of The Past. It's the lyrics from "Forest Fires" / "Lost My Shape" but musically, it fits the "Forest Fire" version.

    Now listen to Bazan's song "Messes" from Strange Negotiations. It is the music from "Broken Arm" / "Forest Fire."

    Enjoy
    macgyver387on April 24, 2011   Link

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