I opened the fire door to four lips
None of which were mine kissing
Tightened my belt around my hips
Where your hands were missing
And stepped out into the cold
Collar high under the slate gray sky
The air was smoking and the streets were dry
And I wasn't joking when I said good bye

And there were magazine quality men talking on the corner
French, no less much less of them then us
So why do I feel like something's been rearranged?
You know, taken out of context I must seem so strange

Killed a cockroach so big
It left a puddle of pus on the wall
You know when you and I are lying in bed
You don't seem so tall
And I'm singing now because my tear ducts are too tired
And my mind is disconnected but my heart is wired

And I make such a good statistic
Someone should study me now
Somebody's got to be interested in how I feel
Just 'cause I'm here
And I'm real

And oh, how I miss
Substituting the conclusion to confrontation with a kiss
And oh, how I miss
Walking up to the edge and jumping in
Like I could feel the future on your skin

I opened the fire door to four lips
None of which were mine kissing
I opened the fire door to four lips
None of which were mine

I opened the fire door
I opened the fire door
I opened the fire door
I opened the fire door
I opened the fire door
Oh, I opened the fire door
Oh, I opened the fire door


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Fire Door Lyrics as written by Ani Difranco

Lyrics © A SIDE MUSIC LLC

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Fire Door song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    Great song. I love how Ani can sell an image with just a few well-placed words: "I opened the fire door to four lips, none of which were mine, kissing." Every thing you need to know, right there. The rest is wonderfully stark imagery trying to capture the pain and anxiety of that moment.

    maddsurgeonon March 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    hm come to think of it ive always taken the first part quite literarilly, which i dont mind- i think its a strong scene shes describing even if you dont take it as a metaphore. Her walking in on her lover kissing someone else, complete with her walking out of there split seconds later into the cold, harsh reality; no intention of ever taking the cheating partner back and aknowledging the definity of the loss (where your hands were missing).

    Ive interpreted the rest of the song as thoughts, observations and flashbacks walking away, trying to digest what she just saw (something's been rearranged). In the end of the song she is regretfully missing what she has lost: the possibility of making up (substituting the conclusion of confrontation with a kiss) and the leap of faith that she will no longer take, thinking she has a future with this person (walking up to the edge and jumping in like i could taste the future on your skin)

    vivianmarion November 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    makes me feel powerful

    gay retro chickon March 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    love this song. to me it signifies the strength in all of us to move on after disaster.

    devilinaon August 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I really love this song. I have a live version of her singing this and it's just..great. i love her voice. and hate to say it, but she's hot!

    SuzyQ9002on September 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    the live version is great because she has an "amazing grace" breakdown in it and it sounds so good. i never thought of the fire door/disaster, but it makes sense.

    fakeliarcheaton May 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think its just about leaving something behind you once loved. whatever. its beautiful

    spydermunkie101on May 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i'm singing now because my tear ducts are too tired and my brain is disconnected but my heart is wired i make such a good statistic someone should study me now somebody's got to be interested in how i feel just 'cause i'm here and i'm real

    i love this so much, i dont knwoif it makes me happy or sad

    intoodeepon September 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i agree with rumproller, to an extent. this is just my point of view, but i'm thinking that Ani did indeed do this song literally.

    i believe that this song is mostly Ani reflecting on her relationship with someone. she walks out and sees people kissing, and that triggers memories for her.

    but i don't think she's walking in on her lover kissing somebody else; i think she's just seeing two random people making out.

    they're outside of a fire door, which has an alarm that goes off when you open it. so they're not supposed to be there. that implies that this is a secretive thing, which leads me to suspect a lesbian relationship. y'know, most people don't accept those of us who are gay, so we tend to hide our relationships. so fire door = secret relationship.

    the cockroach line makes me laugh every single time, because you have this beautiful song, great lyrics, and then you're smashing a bug and it's left a puddle of ooze on the wall. what the...!! i love it.

    then the line about concluding the confrontations. i take this one to mean that she prefers just forgetting a fight rather than dwelling on it. y'know, kiss and make up style.

    then Ani sort of pulls herself out of her reverie and looks back at the couple kissing outside, and continues on her way.

    beautiful_girlon March 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think that the fire door is a tragedy you put behind you. The four lips in my opinion are people you see engaging in a relationship after you lost one. I think that when she repeats over and over again in the live version "none of which were mine" shes stressing the fact that she's alone, but she has to make it alone. I love every lyric in this song but my favorite is "my mind is disconnected but my heart is wired." That is the only way to explain crazy acts when you are in love. And it gives a great visual. The cockroach analogy is "killing" the aggressor in a relationship. You ended something so big, intense and doomed that when you finally end it. The whole thing splatters in your face. I don't think this song is independent so much until the end. She first says "oh, how i miss substituting the conclusion to confrontation with a kiss and oh, how i miss walking up to the edge and jumping in like i could feel the future on your skin" Which I think is talking about missing the part after a fight where it doesn't end but you make up. But after admitting that weakness, she continues to sing, "I opened the fire door" Which turns the song into an independent one. Especially in the live version when she screams "I wasn't kidding when I said goodbye" AHhh so many metaphors. I loveee it!

    city212girlon June 29, 2006   Link

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