Not and Edit, but a response to the question raised: What is the meaning of this song?...

Who's gonna ride that chrome three wheeler
Who's gonna make that first mistake
Who wants to wear those gypsy leathers
All the way to Fire Lake

Who wants to break the news about Uncle Joe
You remember Uncle Joe
He was the one afraid to cut the cake
Who wants to tell poor Aunt Sarah
Joe's run off to Fire Lake
Joe's run off to Fire Lake

Who wants to brave those bronze beauties
Lying in the sun
With their long soft hair falling
Flying as they run
Oh they smile so shy
And they flirt so well
And they lay you down so fast
Till you look straight up and say
Oh Lord
Am I really here at last

Who wants to play those eights and aces
Who wants a raise
Who needs a stake
Who wants to take that long shot gamble
And head out to Fire Lake
Head out
Who wants to go to Fire Lake
And head out
Who wants to go to Fire Lake
Head out
Out to Fire Lake
Who's gonna do it



Lyrics submitted by kevin


Fire Lake song meanings
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37 Comments

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  • +1
    Song Meaning:This is one of the most underrated songs and definitely does not get enough airplay.

    From segerfile.com/… here is what the song means -

    Fire Lake
    The single charted at #6. Seger began writing "Fire Lake" in 1971.
    Seger intended 'Fire Lake' for Beautiful Loser, which was released in 1975. It didn't make the cut, however, and wasn't released until 1980 when Against the Wind came out. Seger and Punch and Capitol decided to make it the first single of Against the Wind because it was so different from the other singles he had released at that time.
    Seger: "We decided to come with 'Fire Lake' as the first single because it was totally and unequivocally unlike anything we'd ever done before. The lyric is very ... different ... and very kind of unique. It's about taking risks. About risking love, chucking it all and just heading off with a bunch of wild people, whatever.
    "It is one of my favorite lyrics down through the years, and the track is very unusual. It's sort of an R&B meets country kind of thing.
    "I really wanted it to be the first single but I never thought Capitol would agree to it, and I believe it was Punch who talked them into it. What I liked about it was that it broke new ground for us. It really showed that we were unafraid to push the envelope of what we were doing before, which was basically pretty hot rock and roll, you know, with a few ballads thrown in."
    aandbron June 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:My favorite Bob Seeger song after "Night Moves".
    NamVeton September 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:For the record, billy, 8's and aces was the poker hand Wild bill hickkock held when he was shot in the back. Since then the hand is called "dead man's hand". I love the song too. wish it got more radio play
    jim19617on September 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:isn't this song about life and death? Dead Man's Hand...who wants to take that long-shot gamble? chrome three wheelers, bronze beauties..isnt' that heaven? i could be wrong, but i think the song speaks to risk and reward, a fulfilling life vs. a boring life. uncle joe finally took that chance and ended up at fire lake....but he's now in biker's paradise. and who's gonna tell aunt sarah that he's gone? seger probably wrote this about a loved one dying and then what happens to them in the afterlife for a hero's death. almost like viking mythology. but who knows.
    da gumbaon December 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:If only because we both agree on a pretty obscure take, I think da gumba pretty much hit it with the Viking Mythology aspect. The bronze beauties are valkyries, taking the fallen heroes to Fire Lake. "Lay you down" / "Am I really here at last?" pretty much cements that one. Speaking of which, if you don't mind mixing mythologies, the Lake of Fire is where Christians say you end up if you aren't "saved". The sort of bikers anyone means when they say "bikers" are the 1% outlaws who woudl likely be PROUD of not being bound by any commandments, loving neighbours etc.--you know, that "rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints" braggadoccio. I also agree that the 8s & Aces ties in with the "Long shot gamble" well enough to convince ME that they are oblique death imagery. I'm enough of a biker to know that gypsy leathers mean those of someone not attached to a club, and as the song says "Who wants THAT?" On the other hand, I'm not enough biker to see any meaning in a chrome 3 wheeler. Only way you'd catch ME on a trike would be if I lost a leg and couldn't ride a real bike anymore. I like Pee Wee's take on "Afraid to cut the cake"--I wrapped my head around that one for years and that's the first thing that evre made any sense. Uncle Joe was died on his bike; nobody wants to have to break it to his woman. Here's hoping he's having a good time with the Valkyries, and that his character will earn him an eternal home in Fire Lake.
    AGM 88on December 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I think AGM 88 has it to a point what this song is truely about. No need to say more.
    TheMetalMassacreon February 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:AGM 88, I love your explanation. I listened carefully to the lyrics of this song earlier and was trying to figure it all out. I did think of the Fire Island gay resort connection, but the rest of it didn't really match with that, so I figured it wasn't about that. Very good song, and clearly a tribute to "Uncle Joe."
    whateverlolawantson February 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:first off, you guys are reading to much into it.bob seger himself said its about taking risks.
    back in the day chrome three wheelers were seen as sissy bikes,who is gonna make that first mistake is self explanitory,gypsy leathers are frilly leather jackets and chaps that came out in the late seventies,and everyone thought they were gay.
    uncle joe did not want to cut the cake cause he was afraid of marriage.braveing the bronze beauties are a reference to going upto beautiful women and not being shy and taking a chance,when he says am i really here at last is "i finally did it and it's awesome.
    eights and aces is another reference to the dead mans hand ,if he plays them will he die?
    "who wants a raise who needs a stake" ,are also risks that you take.and "who wants to take that long shot gamble" yet again is another risk.
    and finally fire lake is an imaginary place where if you take the risk and have the balls to do anything that is above the norm,you belong there.

    end of story
    robzombayon July 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Ah this is a great song. It really grows on you, one of my favourite Bob Seger songs.

    Can't say I relate to it but I still love it.
    floydloveon October 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:uncle joe ans aunt sara were bobs really aunt and uncle i bellieve.
    hamslice151on March 12, 2008   Link

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