"We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel (Neil Diamond?)

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"We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel (Neil Diamond?)

Post by rogerwimmer » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:25 am

Doc: What do you know about the email going around about Billy Joel's song titled, "We Didn't Start the Fire?" - Anonymous

Anon: Well, the emails I have received, along with the information on the Internet, indicate that the Final Jeopardy answer (question) on December 9, 2010 was, "The Billboard Book of No. 1 Hits says this song brought mail from history teachers who hailed it as an educational aid." The question (answer) was, "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel.

Since the Jeopardy mention about the song, emails and other postings have been popping up on the Internet about Billy Joel's song and its historical significance and supposed use by teachers as a tool for teaching history. If you haven't heard the song, released in 1989, here is a visual presentation that is rather interesting - click here.

Cool, eh? But there is another song that is being neglected in most of the discussions of Billy Joel's song on the Internet. In 1970, nearly 20 years before Joel's song, Neil Diamond released a song called, "Done Too Soon." If you haven't heard it before, check it out and see if you think there are any similarities to Billy Joel's song – click here. Hmm.

In later years, Neil Diamond upped the tempo of the song, as demonstrated in this video from 1972.


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Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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