"Burning Bridges" as written by Brent Kutzle and Ryan Benjamin Tedder....
You and I were meant to be
Ain't no doubt about it
No way to hide that sort of thing
Now I’m waiting for something better
Ain't nothing better worth imagining

I, I keep on running
I’m building bridges that I know you never wanted
Look for my heart
You stole it away
Now I’ll never sing the road that I could take

Listen, I
Want you to burn my bridges down (down)
I said I
Want you to burn my bridges down (down, down)
Set me on fire
You set me
Set me on fire
You can burn my bridges down

Send this out to sea
You send it where you wanted
You can take it note for note or not at all
There’s no filling up your spaces with fictionary places
Imaginary faces they don’t work at all

I, I keep on running
I’m building bridges that I know you never wanted
Look for my heart
You stole it away

Now I’ll never sing the road that I could take
Listen,
I want you to burn my bridges down
Said I
Want you to burn my bridges down (down, down)
Set me on fire
You set me
Set me on fire
Girl you burnt my bridges down

I
Want you to burn my bridges down,
Down
I
Want you to burn my bridges down yeah
Set me on fire
You set me
Set me on fire
Set me on fire

I
Want you to burn my bridges down
I said, I
Want you to burn my bridges down (down, down)
Set me on fire
Set me on fire


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by dwan, Fogmoz, EatingPie

"Burning Bridges" as written by Nick Furlong Joseph Edward Macklin

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Burning Bridges song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +5
    My InterpretationI think One Republic have always been vague in their direct meanings because they are amazing artists and art speaks to people in different places about different things by way of interpretation. So I don't think there's a solid, this is what they meant out there for this song. But I've also noticed that One Republic always has some spiritual implications in their songs...and to me this song is about a relationship with God! The only thing that can truly fill and complete you. We build bridges to other things that we were never intended to build...we run from the love that we were created for, and it's tiring and it never completes us. We can't really let go of that stuff on our own so we need to ask God to burn our bridges down...to set us on fire!! (Fire is a symbol of The Holy Spirit) There are several lyrics here that are not exactly right...one is "now I'll never sing the road that I could take"...instead it's supposed to be "now on every single road that I could take" which I think speaks of the relentless love and pursuit of God which shows up no matter how hard you try to avoid it! The other thing is, I don't think it says "girl you burn my bridges down" I think it says "well you burn my bridges down"
    But I think it's purposefully open to interpretation because lots of people relate more on the relational level, so they may see this as a soul mate deal...which I also believe in. I think God did create soul mates for some...but still, they can't complete you!
    edoubledielongon December 04, 2013   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationTo me, when he says "I want you to burn my bridges down," he is not asking the woman to cut him off from contact, he wants her to not let him retreat, or back out in anyway. He obviously knows he keeps on running away every time they get close, even though they love each other, so he wants her to make sure he never runs away, that he is completely burning with love and not scared of it.
    songzaa1417on July 11, 2013   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI believe this song is a giant metaphor that he has pieced together. From what I understand of the song, is that he has had negative experiences in relationships in the past, and he is hesitant about another one.

    "You and I were meant to be
    Aint no doubt about it
    No way to hide that sort of thing
    Not waiting for something better
    Aint nothing better worth imagining"
    He knows that this woman is the love of his life, but he is still anxious about the future.

    "I keep on running"
    He's continuously distanced himself from the idea of love, and he doesn't want to imagine it anymore, because of what someone else has put him through

    "I want you to burn my bridges down."
    I think he is asking her to take down the "bridge" that he has created because of past pains that he has experienced. The metaphor of the bridge could also be thought of as a wall that he has put up to protect himself. Everyone has put up a "wall" or "bridge" around something in their lives, and in his case, he has ran away and distanced himself from the idea and feel love.

    "Set me on fire"
    As for "set me on fire," when I think of fire as a metaphor, I think of passion. He wants her to bring back the passion that he had for
    relationships and love back into his life. He is yearning for the feel of passion again, and he needs her to light that fire inside his heart. In order for a fire to start, the most essential component is oxygen. She is his oxygen. She ignites the fire in his heart and burns his bridges down.

    I absolutely love this song, and think that the acoustic version portrays the ideas above much better. In the acoustic version, there is a sense of pain, which you experience in love and overall gets its point across smoothly. The instrumentals help set the scene in the song. It's like hearing a song in a coffee shop. Its more intimate, and as a listener, easier to connect with.
    chickenrungeon October 08, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI think it's about someone who has found his soul mate and they even realizing it, he is afraid to take the leap of faith. Then he builds bridges to have other options to follow, knowing that this is not what they want. So he asks for her soul mate burn the bridges he built to help you take the next step that is their life going forward.
    olivaneiron March 24, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about being with someone and realizing that they're the ones and trying to get them to take that leap of faith together. "You and me were meant to be, aint no doubt about it, no way to hide that sort of thing" everyone around them realizes that they're meant to be together and now they've realized it. "Now I'm waiting for something better, aint nothing better worth imagining" he's realized that this person is their soulmate after possibly dating other people.

    "Look for my heart, you stole it away" is my favorite part of this song. He's so in love with this person and they have such a pull towards eachother that he's had his heart stolen from his chest.
    stevenrmcon April 02, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is mostly about two people have finally realized they belong together, but she realized before he had and he's put space between them because he hadn't realized they belong together yet. Then, when he does realize he loves her, there is this space between them and him asking her to burn his bridges is him asking her to fill the space and be with him.
    LittleRed1on April 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningEver hear of the expression "Don't burn my bridges"? Ryan is trying to tell his lover that she needs to burn his bridges. To burn someone's bridges is too forget about them. Ryan built bridges, meaning he still might want to come back to her. He is telling her to burn them, because he can't seem to do it himself. It isn't easy for him to forget her, and he"s asking for her help.

    "I want you to burn my bridges down
    Set me on Fire"
    (make me forget you)
    GKEsquireon April 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI didn't understand this song at first too, I mean,"Burning Bridges"? What kind of song title is that? I had to listen tot he song a few times before I finally had some idea what this song means.

    This song is somehow about a man wanting a woman to take the first step to turning their relationship to become a romantic one. He is likely just afraid to take the first step.

    He keeps on running? He's scared of commitment in the relationship,so he builds these "walls" in between him and her, but what he really wanted is to become her partner as he as he wants her to burn his bridges down. In other words, to close the gaps in between them.

    He wants nothing else but them to be together;that's the main point of this song!

    -Perspectives from a 14 year old.
    zichong1on April 19, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe this song is about a man who has fallen in love with a woman. The woman never wanted to be in a romantic relationship with the man, but the man can't help himself. Now the man wants the woman to burn the bridges down, meaning cut off contact with him. Either because the man can't do it himself, or he realizes it's for the best.

    It's probably wrong but that was my perspective.
    ANightmareon April 21, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationFor this interpretation, I assume that it is a male singing about a female, it could be the other way. I like to think it as this way, as Ryan is singing it and I am a guy who resonates with this song.

    "You and I were meant to be
    Ain't no doubt about it
    No way to hide that sort of thing
    Now I’m waiting for something better
    Ain't nothing better worth imagining"

    A guy and a girl used to date. They have broken up for whatever unknown reason. In hindsight, he realizes that they were destined to be, that they connected. Now, he is waiting hopefully for a relationship that is somewhat better and that he has nothing better to do than to imagine of it.

    "I, I keep on running
    I’m building bridges that I know you never wanted
    Look for my heart
    You stole it away
    Now I’ll never sing the road that I could take"

    In order to cope with the break up, he tries to run away from the hurt. I interpret "building bridges" as a way of getting over something. You know, like the saying "build a bridge and get over it". "I’m building bridges that I know you never wanted" - She doesn't like the way he moved on from the breakup. He reveals that she stole his heart away and that it it still remains with her. Now, he is not able talk and rejoice if they had stayed together.

    "Listen, I
    Want you to burn my bridges down (down)
    I said I
    Want you to burn my bridges down (down, down)
    Set me on fire
    You set me
    Set me on fire
    You can burn my bridges down"

    He wants her back, he doesn't want to move (burn his bridges). Unlike anyone else, she elicits a deep passion out of him (you set me, set me on fire).

    "Send this out to sea
    You send it where you wanted
    You can take it note for note or not at all
    There’s no filling up your spaces with fictionary places
    Imaginary faces they don’t work at all"

    He wants her to know how he feels now, he doesn't care if she pays attention to what he has to say or not, he wants to know that is no one that would be able to fill her void (no one who will be able to replace her, whether real or not).

    Beautiful song. The acoustic version on the deluxe version is amazing, better than the original. Having the song stripped back on the acoustic version allows the lyrics to really be felt and touched by the heart on a totally different level.
    DefyingDestinyon September 02, 2013   Link

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