TRAGEDY

You know when you think you have an awesome idea and then it turns out someone else has already done it?  (Everyone will know my Love Boat example.)  Well, for years now, I’ve wanted to write an updated version of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, BUT it seems that bridge has been crossed.  Here are the not-so-chronological and yet still somewhat amusing lyrics by New York Times op-ed columnist Roger Cohen:

 

Bill Clinton, Tina Fey, capitalist China, O.J.,

Asia rising, Facebook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

 

Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ugg boots, Seinfeld

West Bank, Gaza City, Tupac Amaru Shakur

 

Mohamed Atta, W.M.D., Harry Potter, Reality TV

Tom Cruise, American Beauty, MP3, Oprah Winfrey

 

Schwarzenegger, YouTube, America’s got organic food

Armstrong, blogosphere, Monica Lewinsky

 

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it

 

Vlad Putin, Medvedev, Assad, Posh-and-Becks

The West Wing, Y2K, massacre in Falluja

 

Britney Spears, Spike Lee, Kurt Cobain, Sarkozy

Mia Hamm, Heath Ledger, Viagra, Napster

 

Lindsay Lohan, skinny jeans, Boston’s got a winning team

Lehman Brothers, A.I.G., subprime, Ponzi scheme

 

Rwanda, Darfur, Bosnia, and a billion poor,

Tehran, Hezbollah, trouble with the jihadis

 

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it

 

New Orleans, Bolaño, Sarah Palin no-go

TiVo, Hu Jintao, and the vegan-eco crowd

 

Tony Blair, Paris Hilton, Princess Di, Bin Laden

Pyongyang, the renditions gang, Roger Clemens in a cloud

 

ACT UP, Infinite Jest, O.J. Part Two, Johnny Depp

iPhones, Federer, Who Let the Dogs Out?

 

Halle Berry, cloned Dolly, and another Kennedy

Jon Stewart, American Psycho, tsunami, Danger Mouse

 

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it

 

Sedaris, Unabomber, Girls Gone Wild, Nasrallah

Jay-Z, Shanghai, shock and awe in Baghdad

 

Amy Winehouse, Imus, gases of the greenhouse

Kelly Ripa, Maureen Dowd, Ted Williams gone mad

 

Outsourcing, Mumbai, so many didn’t have to die

David Blaine, human rights, and Napoleon Dynamite

 

Mandela, Madonna’s ex, abstinence, safe sex

Rabin blown away, what else do I have to say?

 

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it

 

BlackBerry, global mall, Hillary Clinton standing tall

Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, MySpace, The Corrections

 

Rushdie, Starbucks, Channel Tunnel, Spurlock

American Idol, Black Hawk Down, Miracle on the Hudson

 

Sopranos, Cougars, Da Vinci Code, life on Mars

Saddam hung, Mugabe, traumatic stress, mission creep

 

Social networks, match.com, iChat, Amazon,

Terror cells, endless war, I can’t take it anymore

 

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it

 

Hawaii, Kenya, Kansas and Jakarta

Harvard, finding God, social work, Axelrod

 

Red state, blue state, unity can no longer wait,

A time to reap, a time to sow, we will close Guantánamo

 

Iowa, Yes We Can, McCain was just an also-ran

I Have a Dream, Bush out, a black man in the White House

 

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire …

 

 

This is actually really poorly written.  Do yourself a favor and listen to the lyrics of the kid who posted his version on YouTube –– but feel free to ignore his voice.  Eesh.

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