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We Didn’t Start The Fire – Movie References

Read Time:6 Minute, 14 Second
If Billy Joel didn’t start the fire, who did? There’s a lot of suspects in this song.

Billy Joel made an historical hit in 1989, with pop song We Didn’t Start The Fire. Historical pop songs are a small genre (I can also think of One Week and Big Bang Theory, both by the Bare Naked Ladies), but mighty catchy to listen to, try as you might to catch all the cool references.

Listening to We Didn’t Start the Fire on my Alexa unit (my favorite home robot), I noticed a few entertainment related mentions, set between the political and and pop culture refs. The song moves fast, so you have to listen carefully. (Or at least check the internet for the rapid-fire, rap-like lyrics.)

The lyrics cover major events set between 1949 through 1989.

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Here’s what I caught that have even the tiniest relationship to  entertainment…from the top, using the Wikipedia to keep me honest:  (Feel free to tell me what I missed!)

It’s a pretty impressive song, squeezing events from five decades of world news into only four minutes.

A case could be made to include a lot more relating to entertainment. For example, Richard Nixon featured in the 1999 teen buddy comedy Dick, starring Kirsten Dunst. Malcolm X and JFK also have eponymous movies. “Moonshot” refers to the moon landing project recently popularized in the film First Man.

Here’s the official video for your amusement:

What other pop culture and historical allusions do you think would we should  include on this list?

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Michael Linhart

July 30, 2023

My bladder thanks you so much!! App works great for telling u when and for how long you have a pee break! I didn’t use the timer function so the dialog in the movie was a great clue as to when to go. I also liked the info about each movie to know whether there was any extra scenes during or after the credits. Nothing worse than waiting for all the credits and then no extra scene.

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