"I'm on Fire", as written by Bruce Springsteen, is the sixth track on Springsteen's 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. It was released as the album's fourth single in February 1985....
Hey little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go away and leave you all alone? Mhmm
I got a bad desire
Oh oh oh, I'm on fire

Tell me now, baby, is he good to you?
And can he do to you the things that I do? Oh no
I can take you higher
Oh oh oh, I'm on fire

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh oh oh, I'm on fire
Oh oh oh, I'm on fire
Oh oh oh, I'm on fire

Woo ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh

Lyrics submitted by leaneys, edited by bobjank, supremetaco

"I'm on Fire" as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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I'm on Fire song meanings
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  • +14
    General CommentThis song is a sexy ass song...and it's not about pedophedilia in my opinion...that would be taking it to the complete literal sense, which is usually not the case with music...there's always somethin much more profound in it...I mean come on, so then every time we see the word "baby" used in a song we all assume that we're talking about a child? No...

    Here's what I think:

    1. "Little Girl", I feel is his stance on her maturity level.
    2. "Daddy", obviously is the guy that she's with, not her real father because the verse that says "tell me baby is he good to you, can he do all the things that I can do...", expresses that it's the man she's with....
    3. The soakin in the sheets and all that...he desires her, he's tortured by the idea that he can't have her...it torments him to know that he's better than that guy she's with...

    It's what us guys go thru at least once in our lives when we see or know a girl that we're just completely infatuated with and never get to have...and it takes us to that level of, man, I wish I had her, ya know...its a good song...It's one of those songs you listen to when you fantasize about the girl you want, but can't have, starin up at the ceiling just wishin and hopin...
    Captlpunkon December 22, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentWow! a lot of comments on this one!

    I think it's about a teenage boy who wants a girl who is already commited to someone else. No pedophelia here. "Daddy" refers to that person she's involved with. The "6 inch valley" and "Sheets soakin' wet" represent the psychological torture he feels at times knowing he can't have her. Great song.
    ryfall101on August 10, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is so beautiful. perfect picture of a boy's longing.
    DubC4Lifeon June 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentRE: part "Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby-Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley-Through the middle of my soul"
    I see depth here than other comments. I don't know how deep, but I'm sure the night sweats and the intense heat and could be literal. I know from personal experience and others I know that have gone through this, especially as a boy begins adolescence.
    The knife is figurative of course. Everyone has a personal view of where the soul is within them. Some figure the soul radiates from the center of their torso, thus the torment seems to rip through their body.
    Think about if anytime you've witnessed someone die accidentally or when you've gotten news that someone you know has died unexpectedly. For me, my immediate reaction is helplessness, a painful emptiness in my stomach, a shock reaction that is of dimmed vision and lightheadedness, a chill throughout my body, a weakness in my torso and gut [eg OJ gutting me figuratively].
    RonShon September 11, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI heard this song on the radio when I was missing someone and it was perfect......it was so mellow which fit my mood.....you seem to like songs more when they fit your mood.
    DancingHippieon June 23, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'll paraphrase Nick Cave, "Why do love, desire, and sex always have to be pure in music? Can't they be dark, dirty, and scary sometimes?"
    sakeboxon November 30, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentBarack Obama said that this was one of his favorite songs. here is a link to the complete top ten npr.org/templates/story/…
    charter77on November 13, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a song about pedophilia- absolutely no doubt about it. I really don't see where people derive "love" from this song- even the most innocent interpretation would result in this song being about pure, unadulterated lust.

    The song narrator is a monster (the knife through the soul bit), but realizes and is tortured by it. But he can't help himself. The fact that Bruce sings it so calmly adds to the eerie effect- this is at the precipice of something terrible happening that the narrator is powerless (or no longer willing) to stop. That's the reason for the freight train whistle at the very end.

    One of the previous posters was absolutely right when they said sometimes love (or lust for that matter) isn't shinny, happy, and clean. There are dark currents running through the world- and sometimes art expresses as much. I think this is Bruce's finest work to date, a stunningly brilliant piece.
    riprapon April 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionJust heard this song on a concert the other day, which made me look up the lyrics. Also read through some of the interpretations here, and while i respect the opinions, I do not share the interpretations of a romantic longing.

    It is about a bad obsession, no need to flower it.

    "Alone" "bad" "desire" "knife" "edgy and dull" "freight train running through my head"

    these are not "romantic" expressions, these are words of a destructive obsession.

    The video of the song is somewhat misleading, as it puts the words into a different context (social differences making a relationship impossible)

    The lyrics are dark, and the calmness of the singer´s voice just adds to the creepiness.

    At the same time it is a beautiful song, until you look up the lyrics.
    Because after that it becomes beautifully creepy and "creepingly" beautiful.
    ex77on July 26, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you watch the music video for this song, it becomes pretty clear. Its about liking someone that's unavailable. Basically, Bruce is fixing this beautiful woman's car, who flashes her wedding ring and lives in a big house. He goes to her house to drop off the keys, and hesitates ringing the doorbell, before just leaving the keys in her mail drop and walking away sadly. There's nothing he can really do about the infatuation. I love this song!!
    luckycharmson May 26, 2004   Link

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