by Mark Seng, Cherokee High School

A World History webquest for high school students discovering the importance of events and people in Billy Joel's hit song "We Didn't Start the Fire".


"We Didn't Start the Fire"

Click HERE to watch video   

We didn't start the fire                                                                                         It was always burning,                                                                                       Since the world's been turning.                                                                           We didn't start the fire                                                                                  Well we didn't light it,                                                                                     But we tried to fight it.                                                                                                       - Billy Joel 

The above stanza is from the song "We Didn't Start the Fire" written and sung by Billy Joel. What in the world was he talking about? That will be your task of discovery in this WebQuest. In his hit song (#35 in the Billboard top 100 for 1990) Billy Joel names key historical events/people from around the world from 1949 (the year he was born) to 1989 (the year he wrote the song). By examining the events and people in this song, you and your classmates will be searching for the answer to the question found at the top of this page: "Who started the fire?" You also need to consider what Mr. Joel means when he uses the word "fire".