>Thanks to my friend Dan Simons for reminding me of the great talents of Billy Joel and especially for reviving in my memory his great historical ode, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” which I listened to intently and then listened again, studying it, looking for subliminal suggestive things like thalidomide, and the “Catcher In The Rye” novel of J.D. Salinger. This is one of the best videos I’ve listened to and viewed, though our family has always loved Billy Joel.
I was born in 1936 and was 17 going on 18 during my senior year of high school in 1954. Like most of my peers, I never got to read Salinger’s memorable and huge commercially successful novel. It hadn’t yet reached my consciousness, nor I doubt most of our teachers’. Our English teachers were just as prudish as our parents and our times, and as careful as true “Catchers In The Rye” should be.
But most of our parents were ignorant of this novel or of this form of art.I know mine were. Had the books reached our eyes they might have stormed our Granite High School citadel of learning and had stern words with Principal Hatch. That is, had our fragile minds been allowed to be “polluted” by the likes of English teacher Nel Madsen and others by a banned book that seemed to become passe and benign after social mores slackened, when this then “tawdry” piece of literature suddenly became regarded as a great work of art to be cherished rather than shunned. Thanks once again, Danny.
This song & its title was answer to a recent Final Jeopardy — only one person got it right — question was (paraphrased) “What 1980’s song do history teachers praise for its educational value.” Never could understand all the references on Billy Joel’s song — fortunately, with this VIDEO, given the picture(s), now can “see” what our “ears” couldn’t. Anyway, checked to see purpose behind the song. Apparently, it’s Joel’s homage to the 40-years of historical headlines since his birth (1949). Wish we could have appreciated the depths of this song when it was released. Twenty years later, it’s amazing what Joel was able to put into music and lyrics lasting only a few minutes. Here it is, set to pictures… . It’s a n eat flashback through the past half century. Turn up volume, sit back and enjoy a review of 50 years of history in less than 3 minutes! Thanks to Billy Joel and some guy from the University of Chicago with a lot of spare time and Google.
Top left gives you full screen….top right lets you pause. Bottom left shows the year. The older you are, the more pictures you will recognize. Anyone over age 65 should remember over 90% of what they see. But it’s great at any age. Cl ick Here: We Didn’t Start The Fire