Song of the Day #5,013: ‘Burning Down the House’ – Talking Heads

Maybe the Random iTunes Fairy was spooked by my suggestion last week that I should consider culling the dead weight from my music library. Once again, she has served up a great song by one of my favorite artists.

When ‘Burning Down the House’ popped up, I was sure I’d featured it before. But turns out I had only posted the live version from Stop Making Sense, two years ago on another Random Weekend. Shockingly, that was my first SOTD from the classic concert album. And I’ve only posted one more since.

This is the third song I’ve posted from Talking Heads’ 1983 album Speaking in Tongues, my favorite of their releases. That feels low, too.

[Verse 1]
Watch out, you might get what you’re after
Cool, babies – strange but not a stranger
I’m an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

[Verse 2]
Hold tight, wait ’til the party’s over
Hold tight, we’re in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

[Chorus 1]
Here’s your ticket, pack your bag, it’s time for jumping overboard
The transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are
Fighting fire with fire, ah!

[Verse 3]
All wet, here, you might need a raincoat
Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hundred sixty-five degrees
Burning down the house

[Chorus 2]
It was once upon a place, sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work say, “Baby, what did you expect?”
Gonna burst into flame, ah
[Synthesizer Solo]

Burning down the house

[Verse 4]
My house is out of the ordinary
That’s right, don’t wanna hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

[Chorus 3]
No visible means of support and you have not seen nothing yet
Everything’s stuck together
I don’t know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire, ah

[Instrumental Outro]

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,013: ‘Burning Down the House’ – Talking Heads

  1. Joey Jones says:

    Of all their albums, this one probably starts and ends most strongly.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Great song, though I still prefer the Stop Making Sense live version over the original studio track.

    • Amy says:

      That would be an interesting theme week… songs that were improved upon in subsequent recordings (whether live, remastered, whatever it might be). The live version is the one I know and love, so it would likely be my preference for those reasons alone.

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