When I ask someone what their favourite Bob Seger song is, I typically hear “Turn the Page,” “Like A Rock,” or “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Which is fair those are all good songs, but my two favourites have always been “Still the Same,” and “The Fire Inside.” Some people know “Still the Same,” which is a great song, but for whatever reason at least three people, who really should know the song, are not familiar with “The Fire Inside.”
If you have never heard “The Fire Inside,” which is probably by far Seger’s best song ever, then you probably do not realize quite how good he is.
This changes now.
There is honesty to Bob Seger I really love. He is not trying to convince or persuade you of anything. The way he makes statements in his music, it is more like a matter of fact, and it is completely irrelevant if you agree or not, because this is the way it is. In “The Fire Inside,” the pace is fast, maybe not obnoxious gibberish fast like some rap music, but intelligently fast. It says a lot about the dismay of life and the desire to try regardless. There is no time taken to stop and describe intricate details as to why things are the way they are, this simply is the way it is, and if you can’t see that then you are not looking hard enough. The whole life of bars, clubs, gambling, and cheap thrills, is an empty existence, and I worked in bars for five to six years, the statements in “Fire Inside” are so true.
Know now how totally awesome and cool Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band are. Fire Inside is a true gem of classic rock.
The lyrics in this song are powerful, so here they are;
There's a hard moon rising on the streets tonight,
There's a reckless feeling in your heart as you head out tonight.
Through the concrete canyons to the midtown lights,
Where the latest neon promises are burning bright.
Past the open windows on the darker streets,
Where unseen angry voices flash and children cry,
Past the phony posers with their worn out lines,
The tired new money dressed to the nines,
The low life dealers with their bad designs,
And the dilettantes with their open minds.
You're out on the town, safe in the crowd,
Ready to go for the ride.
Searching the eyes, looking for clues,
There's no way you can hide.
The fire inside.
Well you've been to the clubs and the discotheques,
Where they deal one another from the bottom of a deck of promises.
Where the cautious loners and emotional wrecks,
Do an acting stretch as a way to hide the obvious.
And the lights go down and they dance real close,
And for one brief instant they pretend they're safe and warm.
Then the beat gets louder and the mood is gone,
The darkness scatters as the lights flash on,
They hold one another just a little too long,
And they move apart and then move on.
On to the street, on to the next,
Safe in the knowledge that they tried.
Faking the smile, hiding the pain,
The fire inside.
Now the hour is late and he thinks you're asleep,
You listen to him dress and you listen to him leave like you knew he would.
You hear his car pull away in the street,
Then you move to the door and you lock it when he's gone for good.
Then you walk to the window and stare at the moon,
Riding high and lonesome through a starlit sky,
And it comes to you how it all slips away,
Youth and beauty are gone one day,
No matter what you dream or feel or say,
It ends in dust and disarray.
Like wind on the plains, sand through the glass,
Waves rolling in with the tide.
Dreams die hard and we watch them erode,
But we cannot be denied.
The fire inside.
Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.
- Colin Kelly