The wildfires raging through the greater Austin area have everyone on edge. The Forest Service has stated that they're taxed to the limit, Rick Perry briefly abandoned his presidential run to focus on the blaze and the smoke is causing breathing problems as far north as Waxahachie. Meanwhile forecasts show the drought will undoubtedly continue, keeping the atmosphere in Texas ripe for more fires to crop up.
However, there is good news coming in: Firefighters are making slow but steady progress on the biggest wildfire, located around Bastrop. According to reports this afternoon, the fire is currently behind containment barriers. Although the fire continues to destroy homes and properties, the firefighters battling the blaze are doing so with the tenacity of true Texans -- they're not giving up despite exhausting hours and seemingly insurmountable opposition from Mother Nature.
In the spirit of solidarity, we've collected a list of 10 songs that may or may not be about putting out fires. it being that fire is usually used as a metaphor in most songs, none of the songs we've collected here are actually about putting out literal fires. We're leaving that task to the real heroes, not the musicians. So check out our playlist.
10. Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start the Fire." Authorities report that the Bastrop blaze was not caused by arson, as had been suspected -- even the most innocuous cigarette butt thrown from a car window can set the state ablaze in this drought. But the burn ban across our state has certainly brought to light the human factor involved in many blazes.
9. David Bowie, "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)." This tune gets its title from the movie it was written for -- a 1982 cheese-fest starring Nastassja Kinski and a post-Caligula Malcolm McDowell as sexy... err... were-leopards, I guess? In the film, Nastassja must have sex with her were-cat brother to keep from turning into a bloodthirsty leopard when the moon rises. The movie was a flop, which we can't understand. Who wouldn't love an "erotic horror film" about incestuous were-leopards? Fun fact: this was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer before he blew up megahuge with Beverly Hills Cop.
8. Candi Staton, "How Can I Put Out the Flame." Staton, dubbed "The First Lady of Southern Soul" in the early '70s, has one hell of a voice, which she's put to good use delivering soul-stirring R&B covers of classic tunes like "Stand By Your Man" and "Nights On Broadway." But this song is an original, and though it isn't the most inventive tune ever, it's totally redeemed by Staton's powerful pipes, which would make any song a joy to listen to.
7. KISS, "Firehouse." It's a favorite among KISS fans because this song, off their debut album, embodies everything that's both good and bad about the iconic band. It's kind of clunky, badly arranged, terribly derivative and undeniably catchy and fun. At the risk of pissing off 20 billion rabid KISS-aholics, that band was never about the music, which is one of the reasons why we love them.
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5. Lamont Dozier, "Put Out My Fire." This classic funk song was written by the guy who produced Motown classics by artists like the Supremes and the Four Tops and also co-wrote Phil Collins' number one hit "Two Hearts." A fantastic artist in his own right, Dozier has had a recording career that spans four decades, and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
4. Queen, "Put Out the Fire." This rollicking track is actually about gun control, and Queen takes an adamantly pro-gun control stance. We're including it here because of the title, and because this song absolutely rocks. We will use any excuse to put Queen on this blog, so there you have it.
3. Lil Wayne, "Fireman." Weezy, baby! In this infectious track, the fireman in question doesn't put out literal fires. The term "fireman" is in fact used as a metaphor for "man-slut." To wit: "She need her candle lit/and Imma wax that." Weezy continues on to talk about a few of his favorite subjects, namely girls and illicit substances, which are a lot more fun than actual fires, so we'll give him that.
2. The Cult, "Fire Woman." To balance out all the songs about sexy firemen, here's a tune that is apparently about a lusty woman who ignites Ian Astbury's flame. We're guessing on that synopsis, as the lyrics make absolutely no sense, but this song is definitely a strip club classic for the ages, which we gleefully dedicate to the women who are bravely battling the Bastrop blaze.