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In a bold move, the rockers Fall Out Boy have taken on the monumental task of updating Billy Joel’s iconic hit song “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” While Joel’s original composition chronicled significant events from 1949 to 1989, Fall Out Boy’s rendition encompasses the years 1989 to 2023, capturing the essence of the modern era.

The new version skillfully replaces the historical references of Joel’s era with contemporary pop culture and political touchstones. While Joel paid tribute to legends like Buddy Holly, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley, Fall Out Boy seamlessly name-drops Kurt Cobain, Pokémon, and Taylor Swift. This clever transition reflects the evolving landscape of popular culture and the enduring impact of new icons on the collective consciousness.

Fall Out Boy’s adaptation also delves into the realm of politics and global affairs, mirroring the turbulent times we live in. References to events such as 9/11, the Columbine High School mass shooting, and the 45th president’s impeachment trials resonate with the audience, drawing attention to significant moments that have shaped recent history. Notably, the line, “[Donald] Trump gets impeached twice,” stands as a testament to the profound political upheavals witnessed in recent years.

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Interestingly, both versions of the song make a nod to Egypt’s Suez Canal. While Joel referred to the “Trouble in the Suez,” alluding to the 1956 Suez Crisis, Fall Out Boy adapts the lyrics to mention the “Ever Given Suez.” This clever wordplay refers to the container ship that infamously became lodged in the canal in 2021, creating a modern parallel to the historical reference.

Announcing their reimagined rendition, Fall Out Boy shared their thoughts on Instagram: “All these important people and events – some that disappeared into the sands of time – others that changed the world forever. So much has happened in the span of the last 34 years – we felt like a little system update might be fun.” This acknowledgment of the significance of the original song’s themes, as well as the band’s intention to breathe new life into it, reflects their respect for Joel’s timeless work.

Fall Out Boy’s version of “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is a testament to the enduring power of music to capture the essence of a particular era. By embracing Joel’s song and transforming it into a reflection of the world from 1989 to 2023, Fall Out Boy pays homage to both the past and the present. It stands as a testament to the ever-changing nature of our society and the role that music plays in documenting and interpreting the times we live in.

Joel’s original composition appeared on his 11th studio album, “Storm Front.” The track soared to the top of the charts, becoming his third No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Its success earned Joel a Grammy nomination for record of the year, solidifying its place in music history.