Fire in the Hole cover
Fire in the Hole cover

Fire in the Hole Lyrics Meanings
by Steely Dan

Rock
1998
642

Fire in the Hole Lyrics

I decline
To walk the line
They tell me that I'm lazy
Worldly wise
I realize
That everybody's crazy
A woman's voice reminds me
To serve and not to speak
Am I myself or just another freak

Don't you know
There's fire in the hole
And nothing left to burn
I'd like to run out now
There's nowhere left to turn

With a cough
I shake it off
And work around my yellow stripe
Should I hide
And eat my pride
Or wait until it's good and ripe
My life is boiling over
It's happened once before
I wish someone would open up the door

Don't you know
There's fire in the hole
And nothing left to burn
I'd like to run out now
There's nowhere left to turn

Writer(s): Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Copyright: DONALD JAY FAGEN, WALTER CARL BECKER
Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

What's Your Interpretation?

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1 Thoughts & Meanings

I've heard that this song is essentially describing a draftee for the Vietnam War. It makes perfect sense if you view it that way. Someone who is a conscientious objector would "decline to walk the line" (the lineup of other draftees being given physicals), and be described as "lazy." The woman (presumably a nurse) would ask the man to keep his opinions to himself, and just do his civic duty. "Fire in the hole" from the chorus is a term used most frequently with explosives / armaments. "With a cough" - another term used when given a physical (if you are male.) "Yellow stripe" - he is now owning up to being scared, and basically just wants to bolt for the door - "love to run out now, there's nowhere left to turn."

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