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Released: 2020

“Fire on Fire” by Sam Smith is a fervent proclamation of overpowering passion and desire, brilliantly juxtaposing the danger and allure of an intoxicating love. This pop banger is about resisting societal expectations and embracing a love that is beautifully chaotic, essentially, a love that consumes like a fire on fire. Smith’s lyrics testify to a love that’s so deep it transcends rules, as well as the judgment and scorn of others.

The song opens with Smith revealing his romantic nature, ‘”My mother said I’m too romantic / She said, “You’re dancing in the movies”‘. Smith’s mother hints that his idealistic view of love might be drawn more from cinematic fantasy than reality. Nevertheless, the lover entered his life and reshaped this perspective, becoming the embodiment of the romantic love Smith had been longing for. The line, ‘”Then I saw you and I knew”‘ is all about the ‘light-bulb’ moment, the instant realization of having found ‘the one’.

One of the standout lines here is, ‘”Fire on fire, would normally kill us / With this much desire, together, we’re winners”‘. This fiery metaphor captures the essence of their love — it’s fiery, intense, potentially destructive. But even with these risks, they choose to embrace it because the level of desire they share makes them ‘winners’, even when the world dubs them as ‘out of control’ or ‘sinners’.

Breaking down the chorus, we get an even deeper glimpse into their relationship. The line, ‘”Don’t let them ruin our beautiful rhythms”‘ reads like a plea, a call for their love to stay authentic and true, despite the judgment they face from those on the outside. The ‘beautiful rhythms’ are most likely the sweet, unique moments they share as a couple.

Smith continues this strong message in the lyrics, ‘”When we fight, we fight like lions / But then we love and tell the truth”‘. Here, Smith acknowledges that their relationship is not seamless. Like lions, their fights are fierce and ferocious, yet they still end up being honest and loving with each other. The metaphor of ‘losing their minds in a city of roses’ further portrays this contradiction of chaotic passion within an image of romantic love. To abide by ‘any rules’ would limit this love, so they reject any constraints.

In sum, “Fire on Fire” is a pop anthem to an unconstrained, deeply passionate love, lived fully on its own terms. It acknowledges the challenges and societal pressures faced, yes, but ultimately, it’s a celebration of an impenetrable bond, a love that doesn’t fade or shrink under scrutiny. It’s a bold testimony to the power of love that braves the storm, a fire that lights another fire, and burns brighter for it.