When music and fire are in your blood…

We all know there are many ways to tell a story.  The Smokey Generation is interested in telling the story of wildland fire from all angles and we know music can help us do that. So, once we started thinking about it, we realized there are more than a few songs that have been inspired by fire in some way, shape, or form. In fact, many a songwriter has used fire as their muse, employing fire as a metaphor and/or expressing the human experience through flame and ash — some have even used wildland fire as their inspiration.  Call us romantics, but it’s kinda fun to think about fire in different ways through storytelling and music.

So, for the simple sake of levity, we’ve put together a collection of our favorite fire-inspired songs and decided to share them with you!  Just to the right (or below, if you’re on mobile), we’ve put together a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure, and down below, we’ve shared a few of the same from YouTube. In all cases, we tried to find original music videos and/or official versions, and where they weren’t available, we selected covers that gave proper credit.  We hope you enjoy!

Finally, we’d like to give big, “thank you” to Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel, Metallica, and many more… for helping us rock out in the backs of our crew hauls.

Behind every favorite song, there is an untold story.  – Author unknown

When I worked on the Craig Hotshots, my squad was crazy superstitious when it came to the music we played. Always, on the way to a fire, we played “Back in Black” by AC/DC, and on the way home, we played “We Are The Champions” by Queen. Never did we play Coldplay and Britney Spears was considered a violation of all things sacred.  The only time we didn’t play, “We Are The Champions” en route home, there was a rekindle and we had to go back to that same miserable fire. We never again risked NOT playing those songs to and from an assignment.  To this day, every time I hear those songs on the radio, my heart smiles and I have this fleeting moment where I think I can smell ash.  – Bethany Hannah

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Here are a few of our favorite covers and originals from YouTube.

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Do you have a favorite song you listen to on the fireline? If so, share it with us in the comments section below!

Comments

  1. Steve Elmes
    January 8, 2017

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf6LD2B_kDQ

    Lindsey Stirling – Elements

  2. Travis Kuhn
    January 8, 2017

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    “I Need A Forest Fire” -James Blake

  3. Jerry Rhodes
    January 8, 2017

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    Not a lot of opportunity to lug around the boom boxes of the ’80s, but did actually listen to Emerson Lake & Palmer’s Pictures at an Expedition on one fire next to a remote cabin. If there were to be a thematic song, it would have to be Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire

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