"Fire In The Hole" as written by Walter Carl Becker and Donald Jay Fagen....
I decline
To walk the line
They tell me that I'm lazy
Worldly wise
I realize
That everybody's crazy
A woman's voice reminds me
To serve and not to speak
Am I myself or just another freak

Don't you know
There's fire in the hole
And nothing left to burn
I'd like to run out now
There's nowhere left to turn

With a cough
I shake it off
And work around my yellow stripe
Should I hide
And eat my pride
Or wait until it's good and ripe
My life is boiling over
It's happened once before
I wish someone would open up the door

Don't you know
There's fire in the hole
And nothing left to burn
I'd like to run out now
There's nowhere left to turn


Lyrics submitted by ZinbobDan

"Fire in the Hole" as written by Walter Carl Becker Donald Jay Fagen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Fire In The Hole song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentExtremely poetic and the tonality/modality sits beneath the lyrics in a way Robert Frost would compose, if he were musically inclined.
    bkabbotton August 02, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is about being in a public place and needing to pass gas. Think about it: "With a cough I shake it off And work around my yellow stripe" (jeans have yellow stripes) "Should I hide and eat my pride or wait until it's good and ripe" (I'm sure you've heard a fart described as "ripe") "My life is boiling over It's happened once before I wish someone would open up the door" (to bring in a little air so nobody will smell it!). Do I have to yell you what the "hole" is? Yes, "Fire in the hole" was a Vietnam term, but Fagen & Becker are not that direct.

    JTBcaton July 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like songs for how they sound. but if they have a deeper meaning, its fun to try to figure it out.

    i think the first part is the narrator refusing to conform to the new age of people. he's proud of the morals he has and it seems that he's become a freak as more people lose their's.

    the chorus sounds like he's the lonely flame with nowhere to spread. he'd love (yeah in the song it's "love") to stop but he can't.

    i dont really know but maybe in verse 2 he's considering acting like everyone else instead of his well-mannered self.

    but i dont know. im a Dan fan looking for what others think about what it all means. great song.
    ClassikRokManGar101on June 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the piano-solo in this song, each time i hear it i get an orgasm
    mik91on September 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould be a war song,however I get pretty turned on by the piano solo too.
    kamakiriadon February 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'Fire in the Hole' was a phrase used by US soldiers in Vietnam when they tossed grenades into VC bunkers - meaning stand clear, there's going to be an explosion. May not be relevant.
    pconlon July 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment agrea with classic but the fire in the hole part is used ib war but it can also be used as a fire pit were the flames are kept inside there boundries hence he wish someone would help make them bigger but hes stuck in that hole cause he is set in his ways
    toast0126on December 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI think it's coming from someone who is in a dead-end job, like serving in a McDonalds or something, and inside he's full of ideas about what he'd rather be doing; he's seething, but he knows he just has to knuckle down and do the job because he has no other choice.
    scottmeon July 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningIt seems to be about the author's experiencing frustration at his 'day job' as he works to support himself and his share of band expenses. The 'to serve and not to speak' is literal and an instruction to him as as a waiter. Perhaps a part time on call sort of job, like serving for a caterer at private dinners.

    He told he is lazy because he is not pursuing the standard American dream through a corporate job. Get a degree, get a job, save money, get married, buy a starter home, ... etc. He questions his perspective of him self and his direction. Chooses to let the unspoken message of the work directive go. It is not so much 'do your job right' but the latent message of the person delivering the message. A quiet 'your soup Sir' is not sop bad an infraction or intrusion into the diners experience. But the message given is more; I'm like them, I'm above you, spoken by a person who feel inferior to the customers and takes it out on the 'flunkies', part timers, whose complain won't lodge with anyone. The duality of the song, this specific work experience seems to cross to his life in general. It has happened before. And that is why there is nothing left to burn. Blow up at boss, lose job, get another lame job, cash checks. Practice, create, struggle for gigs, ... So he's mad but there is no reason to speak his mind. Just get through the shift.

    I could do a better more detailed job but I've got to go serve and not speak.
    Scottdoton March 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe person has allowed himself to become trapped in a relationship moving towards an expected marriage that he desperately wants to end (I decline to walk the line). Yet he cannot bring himself to confront the other person and with the news that the relationship is over (work around my yellow stripe).

    The SO is still very much romantically interested (fire in the hole), but he has no feelings left for the relationship (nothing left to burn).

    He is nervous (cough and shake it off) in her presence because the he trying to conceal the fact that his portion of the relationship is a lie that he is laboring to maintain because he to afraid to voice the truth. Although he knows the pressure to maintain the lie will eventually force him to end the relationship via uncontrolled emotional outburst (or wait until it's good and ripe. my life is boiling over).

    He is disgusted with himself because of his cowardice in that he can't/won't voice his own feelings.

    To make matters worse this is not the first time he has let himself become trapped in an unwanted, one-sided relationship.
    AlexDeLageon February 12, 2012   Link

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