Hey little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go 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


Lyrics submitted by leaneys, edited by bobjank, supremetaco

I'm On Fire Lyrics as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I'm on Fire song meanings
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  • +17
    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
  • +4
    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
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is so beautiful. perfect picture of a boy's longing.
    DubC4Lifeon June 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    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
  • +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 12, 2014   Link
  • +3
    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
  • +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
    My InterpretationI sincerely doubt that this song is about paedophilia, as some people seem to be suggesting. When referring to the girl's "daddy", he's obviously not talking about her actual father, but her partner. Especially in light of the lyrics "Tell me now baby, is he good to you / Can he do to you the things that I'll do". Bruce singing about incest and paedophilia in one song, that'd be a first.

    To me, the song is pretty straightforward in its meaning: a man (or maybe a horny teenage boy) passionately lusting after a woman who's already committed to someone else, losing sleep and his mind over it. Bruce's "screams" at the end are fantastic expressions of this agonizing frustration.
    SupaScoopaon May 15, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSome of you look far too deeply into songs... seriously. Paedophiles? Drugs? Serial Killers? Each to their own, but you're wrong.

    This song is simply about wanting something you can't have, and the responding emotions.

    He knows she wants him, he's on fire with emotion towards wanting her. Circumstances the way they mean they will never be together though, which he realises when he decides to drop off her keys rather than ring the door bell. His smirk as he drops off the keys supports this (music video). Often the 'chase' or living in the position of wanting and knowing it's possible without having is more exciting. Obviously this is why people cheat I suppose.
    80sChiefon June 01, 2014   Link

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