The 33rd President of the United States, best known for authorizing the use of atomic bombs to end World War II, defeating Thomas E. Dewey despite headlines stating the opposite and being the president when Billy Joel was born. This is why Truman kicks off the song.
Civil war in China between the Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalist party ended in 1949, when the communists founded the People's Republic of China. China is still a communist country, although Chinese Democracy finally came out in 2008.
Johnnie Ray was a 1950s crooner whose biggest hit was the song "Cry." Before getting a mention from Billy Joel, he was also name-checked at the beginning of "Come on Eileen." In fact, "Johnnie" and "Ray" are two of the only words in that song that most people can understand.
This Broadway musical, about a nurse stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II who falls in love with a French plantation owner, premiered in 1949. It was widely acclaimed for dealing with issues of racial prejudice, won 10 Tony Awards and was turned into an Oscar-winning film in 1958. So it's a pretty good musical, but it's no Movin' Out.
Walter Winchell was a prominent gossip columnist from 1924 to 1969, who gave rise to the rumor-spreading style of entertainment reporting we still see today. Which means ”” contrary to what you may have suspected ””Winchell is not the guy who owns a bunch of donut shops.
New York Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio had a record 56-game hitting streak, married Marilyn Monroe, did commercials for Mr. Coffee and was name-checked in Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." No wonder Kramer was so excited when he thought he saw DiMaggio at Dinky Donuts.
Joe McCarthy was a senator from Wisconsin from 1947 to 1957, and was known for his crusade against suspected communists and communist sympathizers in the U.S. His smear tactics were criticized as a witch-hunt, eventually leading to him being censured by the Senate in 1954. But at least the term "McCarthyism" was named after him, so that should count for something.
Nixon became vice president under Dwight Eisenhower in January, 1953. He was nearly dropped from the ticket in 1952 after being accused of possibly receiving unethical donations, but was kept on as running mate after delivering a moving speech about a dog named Checkers. I wonder if Nixon will be heard from again in this song. Hmm...
Studebaker was a popular car manufacturer in the 1950s, including this convertible with their innovative bullet-nose design. Facing competition from Ford, GM and Chrysler, the last Studebaker was produced in 1966.
The first television station was founded in 1928, but it wasn't until the late '40s when TV took off in popularity. At that point, TV entered its first Golden Age with shows like I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show and Gunsmoke. Many people believe television is now in its second Golden Age, with shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and of course, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
After World War II, Korea was split into two separate countries, with North Korea becoming a communist dictatorship. In 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea, which started the Korean War. The South was aided by U.N. forces led by troops from the U.S., while the North was aided by China and had some assistance from Russia. The war ended in a stalemate after three years, which is weird because M*A*S*H was on the air for 11.
She was a movie star, model, the subject of "Candle in the Wind" and much more. She's also responsible for the "if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best" quote that's been repeated endlessly on Facebook, but don't hold that against her.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were an American married couple who were convicted of selling information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. For this crime, the couple was executed. However, years later Ethel's brother David (who was also convicted of spying) said he lied about Ethel's involvement in order to protect his own wife.
The H-Bomb, or a thermonuclear weapon, is so powerful that it can only be detonated by first exploding an atomic bomb. The U.S. tested the first H-Bomb in 1952 on Enewetak, which is an atoll in the Pacific, and not the name of a Star Wars creature.
Sugar Ray Robinson was a welterweight and middleweight champion boxer who went on a 91-fight unbeaten streak from 1943 to 1951. However, if Billy Joel ever updates this song to include the '90s, he'll hopefully include a reference to the band Sugar Ray as well.
Panmunjom is an abandoned village that straddles the border between North and South Korea. During the Korean War, the village was the location of negotiations between North Korea and the U.N., with a truce finally being reached in 1953.
The King and I opened on Broadway in 1951, won 5 Tony Awards and was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie in 1956. Both the Broadway version and the movie version starred Yul Brynner, who paved the way for Patrick Stewart by making it cool to be bald.
J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951 and quickly became a classic...that was occasionally censored at schools. Since its release, many people including Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and even Jerry Lewis have all tried to adapt it into a movie, but Salinger repeatedly declined. Which is why we never got to hear Holden Caulfield refer to prostitute Sunny as a "nice laaaaay-deeeeeee!!!"
Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th president of the United States in 1953. He was also a 5-star general during World War II, but is probably best remembered for having the nickname Ike despite having the first name Dwight.
The first polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk (pictured above), first tested in 1952 and announced to the world in 1955. A second polio vaccine developed by Albert Sabin was approved in 1962. Together, both vaccines have erased polio from most of the world. (So you should probably, you know, still vaccinate your children.)
Rocky Marciano was the heavyweight champ from 1952 to 1956. He finished his boxing career with 49 wins and zero losses or draws. But he never fought against Apollo Creed or Ivan Drago, so he's still boxing's second-greatest Rocky.
Liberace was a pianist and entertainer known for his over-the-top costumes. He mixed schmaltz and humor to become a huge star on TV and in Vegas. Liberace got his own show in 1952, and later even played a villain on the Batman TV series.
George Santayana was a highly influential philosopher who was born in Spain in 1863, raised in the U.S. and who died in 1952. Many of his quotes became well-known, including "only the dead have seen the end of war" and "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The latter would go on to be co-opted by your high school history teacher to get you to study more.
Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953 who was responsible for sending several people to labor camps or having them executed. When Stalin died in 1953, he was succeeded by Georgy Malenkov until 1955. And then many years later, communist leadership in Russia would help create the career of Yakov Smirnoff, who for some reason is not mentioned in this song.
Sergei Prokofiev, the Russian pianist who died in 1953, was one of the greatest classical composers of the 20th century. His work includes ballets from both Romeo and Juliet and Peter and the Wolf, which makes him almost as important as whoever made the music for the Tetris video game.
In the song, Billy Joel is referring to either Winthrop or Nelson Rockefeller (above), the sons of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. In 1953, Nelson was appointed Chair of President's Advisory Committee on Government Organization, and he would go on to be the governor of New York and vice president under Gerald Ford. Meanwhile, 1953 was also the year Winthrop moved from New York to Arkansas, where he would go on to become governor. Either way, the Rockefeller in this song is different from the one mentioned in Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank."
Roy Campanella was a Hall of Fame catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1948 to 1957. He broke into the Majors one year after Jackie Robinson. Roy was an 8-time All-Star and 3-time MVP, but his career was cut short when he was paralyzed in a car accident in 1958.
The Communist Bloc, AKA The Eastern Bloc, refers to communist countries of central and eastern Europe that were aligned with the Soviet Union until revolutions dissolved the bloc in the late '80s and early '90s. And, of course, the collapse of the bloc led to David Hasselhoff singing at the Berlin Wall.
Controversial attorney Roy Cohn was Senator Joseph McCarthy's advisor during the McCarthy Hearings. He also helped instigate the Lavender Scare, which attempted to convince Americans that closeted homosexuals were passing along government secrets. He was portrayed by Al Pacino in the HBO version of Angels in America, and by James Woods in the HBO movie Citizen Cohn, so at least he's got that going for him.
Juan Domingo Perón was the president of Argentina from 1946 to 1955, and was popular for policies empowering the working class. He was overthrown in a military coup in 1955, but became president again from 1973 to 1974. His second wife Eva was known for helping the poor and was the subject of the smash stage musical Evita. So don't cry for her, Argentina.
Acclaimed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was the music director of La Scala Milan, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. His work with the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1954 on TV and radio made him a household name. He was known for having a photographic memory, but after a memory lapse while conducting a radio broadcast in 1954, he retired.
Dacron is the brand name of polyethylene terephthalate, a multi-purpose material used for clothes, food containers and more. It was trademarked by DuPont in 1951, and was the first polyester fiber available on the consumer market. Why that means that Dacron ought to be a law, we're still not sure.
When France lost control of Indo-China after the fall of the city of Dien Bien Phu to communist forces in 1954, it led to the creation of North and South Vietnam. Which hopefully did not lead to any further problems...
In 1955, "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and his Comets was the first rock and roll song to reach #1, which music historians use to mark the beginning of the Rock Era. The song would later be used as the original theme to Happy Days and you know a song is cool if it's cool enough for the Fonz.
Albert Einstein was the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who developed the general theory of relativity. We could try to explain exactly what that means in a short little paragraph, but instead we'll just say he's the first person to make it cool to stick out your tongue. So we have Einstein to thank for both Michael Jordan and Miley Cyrus.
James Dean became a cultural icon for playing rebellious teens in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, but only filmed three movies before his death in 1955. He's not to be confused with Jimmy Dean, the country singer who rebelled against Nashville by making sausages.
The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers faced each other in the World Series 5 times between 1947 and 1955. The Yankees won the first four of these series, but the Dodgers finally won in 1955. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, making the rivalry less heated. But in total, the teams have faced each other 11 times in the World Series, with the Dodgers winning three.
Five one-hour episodes about frontiersman Davy Crockett were aired as part of the Disneyland TV series in the '50s. The show became an unexpected smash and led to the sale of $300 million in Crockett merchandise by the end of 1955. Crockett was portrayed by Fess Parker and his sidekick George was played by Buddy Ebsen. Ebsen would go on to star as Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies, who's an even bigger American hero.
In 1955, the hit Broadway musical Peter Panstarring Mary Martin as Peter was telecast live on NBC. It was so successful that NBC broadcast other live productions ofPan in 1956 and 1960. The musical gave people everywhere the belief they could fly...as long as they were attached to a harness.
1955 was the year of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, which began when Rosa Parks sat in a seat designated as "for whites only" and refused to move. In November of 1956, the Supreme Court ruled against segregation on public transportation and the buses were finally integrated.
Grace Kelly starred in many great movies in the '50s, including High Noon, Rear Window and Dial M for Murder. But her acting career came to an abrupt end in 1956, at age 26. Probably because she married Prince Rainier of Morocco in 1956 and became Princess Grace.
Peyton Place was a hit novel by Grace Metalious about a small New England town with many deep, dark secrets. It was later adapted into a movie and then a TV show in 1964, which became the first prime time soap opera in the U.S. And that means without Peyton Place, there's no Melrose Place.
This refers to the Suez crisis, in which Israel, Britain and France invaded Egypt to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and remove Egyptian President Nasser from power. After being pressured by both the U.S. and the USSR, the three countries withdrew from Egypt. Which explains why the lyric is "trouble in the Suez," even though it can easily be misheard as "trouble in the sewers."
In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus tried to prevent nine African-American students from entering the segregated Little Rock Central High School, even though the Supreme Court had ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround the school, but the students were eventually were escorted in by the 101st Airborne Division under the orders of President Eisenhower. So it's safe to say that they liked Ike.
Jack Kerouac was a poet and author, probably best known for the book On the Road, which is one of the defining works of the Beat movement. Kerouac and other Beat writers would become huge influences on The Beatles, Jim Morrison and Mike Myers in So I Married An Axe Murderer.
Sputnik was the first artificial Earth satellite, which was launched into space by the Soviet Union in 1957, triggering the Space Race between the U.S. and Russia. More importantly, it also eventually led to satellite TV.
In 1958, riots broke out in Lebanon after Lebanese President Camille Chamoun attempted to illegally seek a second term. Order was eventually restored and a new president was elected. But at least there were no hanging chads.
In 1958, the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants moved to San Francisco. Eventually, the Athletics, Angels and Padres would also become California-based baseball teams. Which was good for people living in the Golden State, but bad for people on the east coast who would have to stay up until 1 a.m. to watch their teams on a western road trip.
Charles Starkweather was a serial killer who murdered 11 people in Nebraska and Wyoming in 1958 and was executed in 1959. The killings partially inspired the movies Kalifornia and Natural Born Killers.
Thalidomide was a medication given to pregnant women to treat morning sickness, but it wound up causing major birth defects. 5,000 kids born with defects from Thalidomide died before reaching adulthood. The drug finally stopped being prescribed to pregnant women in 1962.
Hmm...a lot of the stuff in this song is actually incredibly depressing. Hopefully the next item on the list is a little happier...
Oh good, Buddy Holly. This is bound to be a happier topic. Buddy was one of first stars of rock & roll, with upbeat songs like "Peggy Sue" and "Oh, Boy!" And then... oh, right. That plane crash that killed him, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and others. Never mind.
Ben-Hur, the Roman epic movie starring Charlton Heston, won 11 Oscars in 1960. The movie ends with Heston spotting the Statue of Liberty, causing him to realize Rome has been earth this whole time! Or at least that's how we want it to end.
To test out space travel, the U.S. sent several monkeys into space starting in 1948. Unfortunately, for the first 11 years, every monkey astronaut died during its flight. But things changed in 1959 when rhesus monkey Able and squirrel monkey Miss Baker went into space and successfully returned to Earth. Space travel is a pretty big deal for a monkey. Almost as big as starring in Dunston Checks In.
In 1957, over 100 mob bosses gathered in Apalachin, NY in order to make their organized crimes even more organized. The FBI learned of the meeting, causing them to step up their efforts to bust members of the Mafia. In 1959, Vito Genovese (above) of the Luciano crime family was convicted on charges of selling heroin. Genovese would not admit to the charges, just like he would not admit to being the one who started the fire.
Fidel Castro became Prime Minister of Cuba in 1959 after he led the revolution to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and transformed the country into a communist nation. In other words, he was quite different from the best-known Cuban in the U.S. at the time, Ricky Ricardo.
For the 1958 model year, Ford unveiled their line of Edsel cars, which were expected to be the company's next big thing. Instead, the Edsel was a huge flop and productions ceased after three years. So it was basically the Crystal Pepsi of the '50s.
In 1957, the United States began using a U-2 plane to fly over the Soviet Union for the purpose of spying. Then in 1960, the Soviet Union finally detected the plane, shot it down and took in the pilot as a prisoner. The pilot was later released in exchange for a Soviet spy who had been captured by the U.S. Hopefully, just before their release, the prisoners were told, "Hey U-2 guys, get outta here!"
Syngman Rhee was the first president of South Korea, starting in 1948. After protests against a disputed election in 1960, Rhee was forced to resign. He spent the rest of his life living in exile...in Hawaii. Kind of makes you want to live in exile too, doesn't it?
Payola is the illegal practice of record companies paying radio stations to play specific songs. There was a big payola scandal in the early '60s, which led to the firing of legendary DJ Alan Freed (pictured), who is also credited with coining the term "rock & roll."
John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States in 1960. At 43, he was the youngest person to be elected president (Teddy Roosevelt was a year younger when he became president, but that was after the assassination of William McKinley; not the result of an election). A young, bright, attractive president with a beautiful wife, what could possibly go wrong?
In 1960, Chubby Checker's song "The Twist" went to number one and the dance became huge among teenagers. Two years later, the dance caught on with grown-ups, and the song went to number one a second time. Checker would record several other Twist-themed songs with varying success, which means he was probably a huge inspiration to M. Night Shyamalan.
The Belgian Congo was a colony of Belgium from 1908 until the year 1960, when it gained independence and became known simply as The Congo. Which proves that independence is even more important than having easy access to tasty waffles.
Adolf Eichmann was a former German leader under Hitler who was discovered living in Argentina in 1960, then brought to Israel and hanged in 1962 for war crimes. Just in case people were on the fence about the name Adolf....
This novel by Robert A. Heinlein from 1961 is about a human who comes to earth after being raised by Martians. With its message of free love, the book became a favorite of the '60s counterculture movement. Which makes it an extremely important story about a visitor from another planet. Almost as important as ALF.
Bob Dylan's self-titled debut album came out in 1962. His 1963 follow-up, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, was his major breakthrough and a cornerstone of the '60s folk music revival. It was a different time, when people could actually understand what Dylan was saying.
The Berlin Wall, designed to keep people from fleeing communist-controlled East Germany, was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1961. It wasn't until 1989 that East Germans were finally allowed to freely cross the wall and the Soviet Union fell a couple years later.
In 1960, President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to make a plan to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro. In 1961, newly-elected President Kennedy approved the plan and the invasion occurred on April 17. However, Castro became aware of the plan and the attack failed, making it a major embarrassment for American foreign policy. Cuba was not happy about the attack and much preferred the 2015 Cuban invasion by Conan O'Brien.
The 1962 film was about British army officer T.E. Lawrence's experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. It won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. However, one wonders if the movie would have been as successful if it had been called Larry of Arabia.
Beatlemania was the term coined to describe the fan frenzy surrounding The Beatles as their popularity in England was booming in 1963. By 1964, the mania spread to the U.S. when The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. And teen girls have been screaming incessantly at random things ever since.
In 1962, after a lengthy battle in which state governor Ross Barnett attempted to keep the school segregated, the University of Mississippi admitted their first African-American student, James Meredith. The school later paid tribute to Meredith with his own statue on campus.
Heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson fought challenger Sonny Liston in 1962. Liston was one of the most feared boxers of the era, due to his intimidating appearance and powerful punches. He was also one of the most despised boxers of the era and had ties to organized crime, which prompted many (including President Kennedy) to advise Patterson not to fight Liston. Patterson finally agreed to a fight and most people expected him to win. Instead, Liston knocked him out in the first round. At the time, it was the third-fastest knockout in boxing history.
Malcolm X was one of the most influential African American leaders in history, who first became prominent as a member of the Nation of Islam. By 1964, he became disillusioned with the Nation of Islam for views he believed were too radical and he instead embraced Sunni Islam. He was assassinated in 1965 by three Nation of Islam members.
In 1963, British Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigned after it was discovered that he had an affair with model and showgirl Christine Keeler. Back then it was known as the Profumo Affair, but if it had happened today, it'd be known as the Most Tame Political Sex-Scandal Ever.
The FDA approved the birth control pill in 1960, allowing women to have the same sexual independence as men. It later became the subject of the controversial (at the time) 1975 Loretta Lynn song, "The Pill."
Ho Chi Minh led the movement for Vietnam's independence from France, leading to the creation of communist North Vietnam, where he was prime minister and president. He stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems while the Vietnam War was still in full swing.
He was vice president under Eisenhower and lost the presidential election to Kennedy in 1960, but Nixon was back again when he became president in 1968. We can only assume his presidency was completely uneventful and that nothing connected to him will be mentioned later in the song.
In 1969, the United States became the first country to have humans land on the moon. It was one of the biggest accomplishments in history, mostly because it led to the phrase "they can put a man on the moon, but they can't [insert some task that seems much simpler by comparison but is somehow still unattainable]."
Woodstock was a three-day music festival held in upstate New York in 1969 which became the pinnacle of the hippie movement. It included performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and of course, Sha Na Na. And how many people showed up? Not the paltry 90,000 you'd find at Coachella, but 400,000 PEOPLE. So it kind of makes Coachella look like a county fair concert by a Smash Mouth cover band.
More Nixon! In 1972, five supporters and staff members of President Nixon broke into the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel to spy on the opposing party. Nixon then tried to cover up the break-in, but they were eventually found out, with the help of an informant named Deep Throat (who was later revealed to be the deputy director of the FBI). Nixon was forced to resign, although he claimed to have no prior knowledge of the plan.
The scandal led to people having greater distrust of public officials...plus that annoying -gate suffix that gets added to words anytime there's some sort of controversy.
Menachem Begin was the Prime Minister of Israel from 1977 to 1983 who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1979 after they signed a peace treaty. Which probably led to peace throughout the entire Middle East, right?
We could try to explain the history of the Palestinian people and give a detailed account of Israeli-Palestinian relations throughout time, but that would be like cutting and pasting the entire text of War and Peace. So we're instead going to assume you pretty much know what Palestine is and move on.
The late '70s and early '80s featured a particularly high number of plane hijackings. In fact, Wikipedia lists 18 significant hijackings from 1976 to 1982. So maybe those long lines at airport security aren't such a bad thing.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the 1979 Iranian Revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran, who was supported by the U.S. The incident led to Khomeini becoming the country's Supreme Leader...and to the creation of one of Homer Simpson's favorite shirts.
In 1979, Russian troops attempted to protect communism by going to Afghanistan in order to fight rebel forces (supported by the U.S.). Soviet forces finally withdrew in 1989 and the war resulted in a stalemate, prompting some to refer to it as "The Soviet Union's Vietnam."
Sometimes a woman might ask you to "give her some space," but Sally Ride really meant it ”” she became the first American woman in space in 1983. (However, the first woman in space overall was Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union in 1963.)
Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne were both sued for allegedly creating music that encouraged listeners to commit suicide. The Judas Priest lawsuit claimed a Priest song contained the subliminal message "do it," even though the "it" would not have been referring to anything in particular. Eventually, both Ozzy and Priest were found not guilty and no one ever sued Nike for their slogan, "Just Do It."
In the '80s, it was discovered that many veterans of the Vietnam War had become homeless. After returning from the war, a combination of public scorn and a poor economy made it difficult for many to find jobs. In addition, alcoholism and drug addiction also became a problem for many vets. This struggle was brought to further attention by Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." despite Ronald Reagan mistaking the song for a patriotic anthem.
AIDS first emerged in the 1920s and was first observed in the U.S. in 1981. However, the disease didn't become nationally known until 1984, when AIDS took the life of '50s heartthrob actor Rock Hudson.
In the '80s, drug dealers discovered they could sell cheaper cocaine to more people by converting the powder to rocks known as crack cocaine. This form of cocaine proved to be even more addictive and led to an epidemic, particularly in impoverished inner cities.
While riding a New York subway in 1984, Bernie Goetz shot and seriously wounded four African-American men who attempted to mug him. The men were unarmed (except for screwdrivers). Goetz was initially charged with attempted murder and assault, but was only found guilty of carrying an unlicensed weapon and spent eight months in jail. The incident sparked a debate over guns, excessive force and race relations, which unfortunately remain as relevant topics as ever.
Syringes and other medical waste washed up on beaches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in the late '80s, in an event referred to as Syringe Tide. An investigation into the environmental disaster revealed that the waste came from the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. Who knew a landfill by the name of Fresh Kills could wind up being so hazardous?
In 1989, after students gathered at China's Tiananmen Square to protest the government, China declared martial law to stop the protests. The law stated that anyone opposing the government would be declared as a foreign enemy who could be stopped with lethal force. Due to China preferring to release as little information as possible, the death toll from China's martial law is believed to be somewhere between 200 and 2,600.
Coke and Pepsi battled each other for soda supremacy by bringing in a seemingly never-ending line of musical superstars, such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul and more. There are many wars mentioned in "We Didn't Start The Fire," but this is the one that finally causes Billy to exclaim...
Why was "Rock and Roller Cola Wars" the thing that finally sent Billy Joel over the edge? We may never know for sure. But we do know that this is the last item mentioned in "We Didn't Start The Fire" (not counting the chorus).
After reading this list, we hope you find this song even more edu-taining than ever before. And stay tuned for our upcoming article*, "Everything R.E.M. Is Talking About In 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It.'"
*Not an actual article we are planning on writing.