The piano is not firewood yet
They try to remember but still they forget
That the heart beats in threes
Just like a waltz
And nothing can stop you from dancing

Rise from your cold hospital bed
I'll tell you, you're not dying
Everyone knows you're going to live
So you might as well start trying

The piano is not firewood yet
But the cold does get cold
So it soon might be that
I'll take it apart, call up my friends
And we'll warm up our hands by the fire

Don't look so shocked
Don't judge so harsh
You don't know
You are only spying
Everyone knows it's going to hurt
But at least we'll get hurt trying

The piano is not firewood yet
But a heart can't be helped
And it gathers regret
Someday you'll wake up and feel a great pain
And you'll miss every toy you ever owned

You'll want to go back
You'll wish you were small
Nothing can solve your crying
You'll take the clock off of your wall
And you'll wish that it was lying

Love what you have and you'll have more love
You're not dying
Everyone knows you're going to love
Though there's still no cure for crying

Lyrics submitted by Xim, edited by RTrumbs, Delira

Firewood Lyrics as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Firewood song meanings
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  • +6
    My InterpretationI'm not sure I fully buy into the song being about depression/suicide. I think it's about love and life. I actually think it's optimistic, rather than sad. I cried the first time I heard it because of it's beautiful words and message.

    It starts by talking about good times and remembering those (waltzing and dancing). It moves to talking about when things go wrong, and how you have to find the will within yourself to try and live.

    Next, it talks about things becoming bad and having to use the piano as firewood. The piano is a beautiful metaphor for the author's desperation. For me (and I imagine like many musicians, Regina included), the act of breaking apart a piano and burning it is horrific. I think she's trying to say that things in life have not gotten bad enough that you have to cut your losses and part with the things you love (or you doesn't have to use the piano as firewood), but soon it might come to that. And if it does, you will have your friends alongside you.

    She continues, by telling people to stop judging, because they don't fully understand what someone is going through. Then she explains that in life we get hurt and upset, but it's better to get hurt in any situation because you are trying to do good (for yourself or others, such as in love), rather than not trying or being apathetic.

    She continues to warn us that if we hold on to our past mistakes and regrets that life will pass us by. We won't realize it until it's too late, and by that point there's nothing to do but cry.

    The last verse I feel is the most powerful. She's saying that if we take the time to appreciate what we have and to love, we will live a more fulfilling life. She concludes with the notion that we put ourselves through the pain of relationships and love, because it's better to have experienced it than not. We do it even though we know it can hurt and we will cry, but that is true living: having passion and love, rather than being apathetic to life and wasting away (dying).

    I also read that last verse as if my Mom was reassuring me after a bad break-up, "You may feel terrible now, but this terrible feeling will go away. You're going to find someone you truly love, and you'll put yourself out there again, even though it may be painful, because it's worth it."

    From this viewpoint, I think it's clear that Regina is definitely taking a more optimistic looks on life rather than gloomy ones, but that's just my opinion.
    laurenh141on July 21, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI believe this is a song dealing with death, and is linked with the song "Jessica".

    It reminds me of watching someone you love slowly die. Everyone knows it's going to hurt, but you try so desperately to make the best of the last months you have together. Regrets crowd your mind, and the clock becomes an enemy, since the doctor's told you that there's only 6 months left in the best circumstances. Eventually they will be gone, and you'll call friends to warm you as you look at what remains of the person you used to love.

    "Love what you have and you'll have more love
    You're not dying
    Everyone knows you're going to love
    Though there's still no cure for crying"

    I do not believe that it is about suicide - it seems more to me a slow and anticipated death, such as cancer.
    jonipanicon November 28, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful
    jealousofmyusernameon June 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about depression/suicide, and how hard it can be to get out of. The "piano" could be the last reason why she would want to stay alive; it isn't firewood yet, therefore she continues to live. When she talks about taking it apart and finally burning it, she defends herself, because people who have never been depressed or suicidal often don't understand the reasons why anyone would want to kill themselves, let alone what it feels like to be in that situation. The part about missing your toys and wishing you were small again is a metaphor for remembering the times when you were truly happy, and wishing you could have those times again.

    I think the end of the song is the saddest, because to me it means that, even if you do eventually move past the depression, you can never truly escape it.

    It's such a heartbreaking song, I cry every single time I hear it.
    rhosymedreon June 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe best comment by far consists of five words. The others, instead of writing comments, could have spent their time better by listening to the song again.
    mosthumanon August 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think the song is set when someone is in the hospital and they believe they're going to die. They start think about all their regrets. The burning of the piano represent the ultimate regret. So the singer is telling the person that your regrets they aren't that big we haven't burned the piano yet. "Nothing can stop you from dancing." The singer goes on to tell the person that they have to keep trying so when they burn the piano and it hurts them well at least they tried not to. The act of trying is what softens regret. If you did everything you could before you shouldn't regret it. I think the song is all about your memories and your regret. In the end maybe we burned the piano but we sure as hell didn't take the easy way out.
    artsyemma224on July 02, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just listened to this song for the first time in a long time and was really moved.

    As with most metaphors, I think these lyrics can be interpreted in multiple ways. But here's how I really see it...

    As a musician myself (classical opera singer) who is getting older, I see it as trying to make the hard decision about putting aside your music in some or all ways to try to survive in the world.

    The lyrics "The piano is not firewood yet" refers to the career not being fully over. You haven't given up. (Nothing can keep you from dancing.) It might be getting tough, but you haven't fully given up. Just because you're older, it doesn't mean you're dead, so don't give up.

    "The cold does get cold, so it soon might be that." YET, one needs to live, and eat, and survive. You might just have to give up on your ideal dream in order to live in this world. Some in the earlier stages might judge. How can you give up on your career and dream when you are so good? But they don't know - they are on the outside. They are not where you are in your life.

    Then, it references waking up, older. Perhaps regretting choices. Missing our youth. You look at the clock (calendar) and can't believe it's real. Where did the time go?

    But ultimately, we have to love what we DO have, not what could be. If we do, we will feel more love in return.

    As a 41 year old singer, who had decent success, but never made the big leagues, and found another job to bring in the money, I can so relate to this song. I DIDN'T give up, I still do sing. But I know I'll never have the dream I sought back when I was younger. And I truly don't know where the time went.

    It had been a few years since I listened to this song, and I gotta admit I sat here crying.
    JenSopon April 13, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn my opinion it's about dying or simply depressed person who believes that everything is over now and memorize the past.
    Marrosaon March 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"Love what you have and you'll have more love
    You're not dying
    Everyone knows you're going to love
    Though there's still no cure for crying"

    To me, this song is definitely about depression, like rhosymedre said. I also think that the depression could stem from a relationship ending and believing that you'll never feel that way again. "Everyone knows you're going to love," like there will probably be someone new someday. And "Though there's still no cure for crying," could mean that there's a good chance you'll be hurt again.
    ElocinMon June 24, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about being in a place of horrible emotional pain or depression, but with the reassurance that things will get better. The audience is the piano, a metaphor using imagery of classic beauty (like the waltz) -- it might feel worn out and hurt, but it can still produce a waltz in its heart inside, through three beats -- and it's not useless/garbage/ready for destruction/firewood yet. "And nothing can stop you from dancing" means that no person who caused this pain can stop you from recovering and coming out on the other side a stronger person. Yes, it's going to hurt to go through the healing process, but all processes have a beginning and an end. It may seem like life is terrible right now, but there will come a day when you will take the calendar/clock of your life down off the wall and wish it hadn't all gone by so quickly. You will love again, though nothing can prevent that love from not lasting forever either, and the cycle will start again.
    nineteenfiftyfouron June 27, 2012   Link

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