"Smoke on the Water" as written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Anderson Paice....
We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn't have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
Smoke on the water

They burned down the gambling house
It died with an awful sound
Funky Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids out the ground
When it all was over
We had to find another place
But Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
Smoke on the water

We ended up at the Grand hotel
It was empty cold and bare
But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
Making our music there
With a few red lights and a few old beds
We make a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know we'll never forget

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
Smoke on the water


Lyrics submitted by alisaifee, edited by colin57, kirkhammettforprez, ironside, miked97, thomasjeb

"Smoke On the Water" as written by Ian Paice Ian Gillan

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Smoke on the Water song meanings
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73 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentStrangely enough,
    this song was written about its own recording.

    They were making the Machine Head album
    when their hotel burned down.

    It was a time when bands wrote and recorded songs
    simultaneously, with no idea how it would result.
    maharishion January 07, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIs everyone on here a nine year old with a head full of rocks? Can we not do some research?

    Here is the real meaning of this song:


    So, Deep Purple, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and a few other bands came out to Montreaux, a town in Switzerland to record tha album "Machine Head" with a mobile recording studio that Deep Purple had rented from the Rolling Stones.
    During a concert held at the Casino on the shoreline of Lake Geneva, "some stupid with a flare gun" shot a flare into the roof and started a fire. After the evacuation started, the flames spread out across Lake Geneva, bringing in the chorus of "Smoke on the Water, Fire in the sky.".
    Soon, it was realized that not everyone made in out, but no one was willing to go back in except Claude Nobs, or "Funky Claude", who ran in and out of the burning casino, pulling burning kids out of the rubble.
    After it was all said and done, they had to move the recordings and concert to another place.
    WolfMoccasinon July 27, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe intro of all intros!
    askewchanon January 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentour marching band is playing this and using it as the drumline feature...^_^
    WhenFiresWhisperon August 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno its not......its about a fire at the casino in montreux, switzerland....but its an inspiration to smokin dope
    pimpin__stoneron September 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can see why he'd say it's about bong hits... pot smoke is on top of the water in the chamber. but no, it clearly tells the story of them making the album.
    AeroLed286on May 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont have anything to back this up but a friend told me that aside from the story being told in the song about the casino burning down that smoke on the water was actually an expression for dropping acid.... hmm.... and smoke on the water is a lot like a bong hit :)
    dazdnconfuzd420on May 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about Deep Purplegoing to Montreux to make a records... but "some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the ground." They burned down the casino there too, so the band had to stay at the Grand Hotel (which was empty cold and bare).

    Fortunately for Deep Purple, there was a truck (WITH A RECORDING STUDIO) for Rolling Stones which made their music. That's the story of Smoke on the Water- plus with the great riffs... it's just INCREDIBLE!!!

    Smoke on the water is linked with drugs in the Simpsons- go watch.
    CLASSICROCKFANon June 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou saw "classic albums-machine head" on BBC1 didnt you classicrockfan?
    i saw it too.even though ive seen that one before. oh its such a classic song though. the bit when he says "and fire in the sky" just sounds soooooo good. oh yeah! deep purple rule.
    although its kindof a shame because this song completely overshadows anything else theyve ever done. oh well they will always be remembered for this one.
    joeytheboyon June 26, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment(even though the last post was nearly a year ago!)
    joeytheboy: Child in Time? I'm not a huge Deep Purple fan, so I'm not familiar with the whole catalogue, but that song is kickass, definately better than Smoke on the Water.
    Led-By-Zeppelinon June 17, 2004   Link

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