It was long after midnight
When we got to unconditional love
She said sure, my heart is boundless
But don't push my limits too far

I said if love is so transcendant
I don't understand these boundaries
She said just don't disappoint me--
You know how complex women are
I'll be around
If you don't let me down
Too far

It was just before sunrise
When we started on traditional roles
She said sure, I'll be your partner
But don't make too many demands

I said if love has these conditions
I don't understand these songs you love
She said this is not a love song
This isn't fantasy land
I'll be around
If you don't let me down
Too far

Don't go too far--
The phosphorescent wave on a tropical sea
Is a cold fire
Don't cross the line--
The pattern of moonlight on the bedroom floor
Is a cold fire
Don't let me down--
The flame at the heart of a pawnbroker's diamond
Is a cold fire
Don't break the spell
The look in your eyes as you head for the door
Is a cold fire

Love is blind if you are gentle
Love can turn to a long, cold burn

Lyrics submitted by shed27

Cold Fire song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    To me, this song is about the dichotomy between a fairytale concept of love (fire), and one that primarily centers around logic and reason (cold). In this instance, it certainly seems that the male is very traditional and idealistic in terms of how love should be, and the female is more modern and realistic about how she wants to be treated.

    Additionally, I think the song chronicles the time line of a marriage from beginning to end. In the line, “The phosphorescent wave on a tropical sea,” I picture that being a honeymoon. “The pattern of moonlight on the bedroom floor” reminds me of laying in bed after passionate lovemaking. “The flame at the heart of a pawnbroker's diamond,” leads me to believe that their marriage is failing, and the woman hocked her ring. And finally, “The look in your eyes as you head for the door,” marks the end of the marriage.

    It also seems apparent that “cold fire” is used to describe someone who is angry to the point of indifference or emotional withdrawal from a relationship; or perhaps passive-aggressiveness.

    Pur3Gonz0on December 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    There is not one single band that exists today on any plane of existense that can move me the way the Rush does.Rush has been a part of my life since I first heard Subdivisions for the first time when I was 13 and the song was already 6 years old. To this very moment as I listen to Lock and Key from Hold Your Fire as the cd goes to the next track The Mission, Rush has illuminated every step of my way as my personal soundtrack.Within this song, there literally are no other words that a man could express about a woman and the awkwardness and uncertainties that come from a relationship as Neil so clearly states, yet "the pattern of moonlight on the bedroom floor" and "the look in your eyes as you head for the door" could'nt speak louder and with more truth.It's hard enough sometimes to speak the word and emotions that one feels to one person let alone write lyrics that reach out to masses of faithful and more importantly touch them and make them understand. I thank God for the gift of the music of Rush,not only as a crazed fan, but just as someone who can appreciate and reflect on such a wide variety of sounds,visions and images, not only through musical changes but personal changes. Also to know that I can listen to any given Rush cd and it will instantly warp me back to a time when things were....

    FORCE10SPINDRIFTon June 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Essentially breaks down the concept of "unconditional love" or "I'll love yeu forever" type dealies, as well as challenging traditional values.

    Covers everything from stating that "unconditional" is a misnomer, and that there are in fact SOME conditions. Situations such as abuse, disappointment, or a multitude of issues can cause people to either break up, cheat on one another, or whotever. Everyone has a breaking point, and though these can be extended artificially through cultural taboo, religion, or personal values, they still exist and going past that point can end a relationship.

    Next, it also covers some ideas such as traditional roles (husband/wife in stereotypical 'man is dominant' ideal, marriage, monogamy, etc implied), but also states that although one may 'agree' to these supposed rules, it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be followed to the letter in practice. The woman in the song, clearly is not a strict 'traditional' woman in that she is stating conditions, that she's willing to break things off if he doesn't continue to earn her love long term, and so on.

    The mentioning of "this is not a love song, this isn't fantasy land" shows that it's being thought of in a more realistic sense, rather than a purely emotional ideal, which 'love' is typical considered as.

    In fact, the whole song, including the title "Cold Fire", can be taken as a rationalization and intellectual conversation in regards to love in general.

    Cold Fire could very well imply that the "cold" aspect, is the cold, uncaring reasoning, with "fire" being the heat of passion and love.

    The pattern of moonlight on the bedroom floor (night being cold, bedroom likely implying lovemaking as passionate and heated)

    The flame at the heart of a pawnbroker's diamond (the cold likely relating to 'cold cash', as Rush has a habit of making subtle wordplay like this, where that cold monetary view of things being an expression of love despite that it's a material possession)

    The look in your eyes as you head for the door (could mean that she's just leaving in the morning after the conversation, but considering the rest of the song and the progression leading up to such, ie the engagement ring just before this bit, it likely represents her leaving the relationship anyway, and a mixture of thought and emotion behind such)

    Love can turn to a long, cold burn (probably directly pointing to the concept of an intense fire is generally short lived and burns out fast, but a cooler one lasts much longer. Passion tempered with reason, emotion watched over by discussion and communication simply works better long term)

    As per usual, Rush loves their word play, and thought provoking lyrics.

    Katsunion April 15, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I have this story about a girl, I like and I THINK I can relate to this, I get touched when Ged sings "I'll be around if you don't let me down", it gets to me. I really liked this girl, but one she " walked out on me" "The look in your eyes as you head for the door,is a cold fire"

    RushRuleson May 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think it's pretty obvious what this means...

    It tells you about how love is not always all powerful, and it's not as great and deep in some cases as you'd think.

    Just my idea. ANyone else care to comment?

    wickeddragon918on June 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree. Neil Peart is 100% right with his notion that traditional love songs are dangerous and very misleading about what love is. check out songs like "Different Strings" and "Ghost Of A Chance" for similar lyrics.

    lerxstgkon July 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    We all have this iniate desire for to be loved unconditional and as we stumble through life we find out how difficult it is to find .True love has to be tended to with forgivness and understanding ie...Bravado

    (...And if love remains Though everything is lost We will pay the price, But we will not count the cost)

    .....Ghost of a chance


    and finally (more could be given ).......Everyday Glory

    (If the future's looking dark We're the ones who have to shine If there's no one in control We're the ones who draw the line Though we live in trying times-- We're the ones who have to try Though we know that time has wings-- We're the ones who have to fly)

    Clmax311on January 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I guess girls are complex

    RushRuleson May 28, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
No Surprises
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
Ed Sheeran
“Blue” is a song about a love that is persisting in the discomfort of the person experiencing the emotion. Ed Sheeran reflects on love lost, and although he wishes his former partner find happiness, he cannot but admit his feelings are still very much there. He expresses the realization that he might never find another on this stringed instrumental by Aaron Dessner.
Album art
Head > Heels
Ed Sheeran
“Head > Heels” is a track that aims to capture what it feels like to experience romance that exceeds expectations. Ed Sheeran dedicates his album outro to a lover who has blessed him with a unique experience that he seeks to describe through the song’s nuanced lyrics.
Album art
Somewhere Only We Know
Per the FAQ on Keane's website, Keane's drummer Richard Hughes, stated the following: "We've been asked whether "Somewhere Only We Know" is about a specific place, and Tim has been saying that, for him, or us as individuals, it might be about a geographical space, or a feeling; it can mean something individual to each person, and they can interpret it to a memory of theirs... It's perhaps more of a theme rather than a specific message... Feelings that may be universal, without necessarily being totally specific to us, or a place, or a time..." With the nostalgic sentiment and the overall tone of the song, I think Keane is attempting to express a Portuguese term known as 'saudade', which does not have a direct English translation but roughly means "that which we remember because it is gone."