‘On Fire’

‘On Fire’ is a beautiful song of the 1996 album ‘Harmacy‘ by the American band Sebadoh.  With the confirmation of a new album scheduled for release on the 17th of September this year (2013), the first new album by the band for 14 years, I for one will be eagerly awaiting it.  The new album, entitled ‘Defend Yourself’, will mark the return of the band self recording their albums, and represents a change of record label from to Sub Pop to Joyful Noise (in the US at least).  For anyone interested in the back history and formation of Sebadoh, I highly recommend reading the engaging and wonderfully wrote biography of the American indie underground by Michael Azerrad, entitled ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life‘.  It is a beautifully realised book profiling the important American indie bands of the 1980’s and early 1990’s, with some of my favourite bands featured including Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Butthole Surfers and Mudhoney.

Although one of the founders of Sebadoh, Lou Barlow, was kicked out of Dinosaur Jr in the late 1980’s (after the release of ‘Bug’) following various disagreements with the bands singer and guitarist J Mascis, Barlow returned to Dinosaur Jr in 2005.  Dinosaur Jr have continued to release fantastic albums in the past decade, and are well worth a listen in their own right.  Thankfully Barlow has also kept up the sterling work with Sebadoh and other musical projects. The lyrics of the song ‘On Fire’ particularly struck me tonight, helping to highlight as they do the changing human nature of thoughts and actions and their consequences.  So, for your pleasure, here are the lyrics…

“My opinion could change today, but I’m responsible anyway
For second or third hand information
That complicates the complication
And I don’t think before I speak
And I don’t know how far my words reach
So wrong nearly every time, that I’m sorry I speak my mind
If what I said was unkind,

Now it feels like I’m on fire
It’s burning the world through
But don’t hold it against me, ‘cuz I know you’re lying, too,

Is there any need for apology? There’s no reason to believe me
Judgments born in my jealous mind, creeping inside outside
Connections I’ve made never follow through
And sooner or later disappoint you
Or cross you twice when your back is turned, that’s how I’ve learned
That someone has got to be burned,

Now it feels like I’m on fire, these words are not the truth
But don’t hold it against me, ‘cuz I know you’re lying, too
Feels like I’m on fire, it’s burning the world through
Don’t let me fall without someone to hold on to
Someone to hold to, someone to hold on to”.


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