Billy Joel flubs lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire," says it's the worst melody ever

Billy Joel performs at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 27, 2014, in New York. Getty Images

Billy Joel can hardly hide his disdain for "We Didn't Start the Fire." Heck, the guy hardly got the lyrics right in concert last Sunday night.

Granted, there are quite a few words that make up Joel's 1989 hit song. And while performing at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, he ended up flubbing a few of them up.

While singing "Rosenberg's H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom," Joel got tripped up. "Wait a minute," he said while asking his band to stop. "That ain't right. All you gotta do is f*** up one word in that song and it's a train wreck."


After suggesting just nixing "We Didn't Start the Fire" completely, Joel sensed some disappointment from the crowd. "It's the same thing verse after verse," he told the audience. "Just the words change. It's one of the worst melodies I ever wrote."

When he picked up the song again, he skipped some of that second verse and went with the next one: "Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev..."

By the end of the song, Joel said, "That'll be all over YouTube tomorrow. It's okay. It was an authentic rock and roll f***-up. We're not on tape. You don't see much of that anymore. OK, let's hope we get through this one."

Joel was right. Watch a fan's video below (Warning: you may want to wear headphones) and check out the song's lyrics at MetroLyrics.com.

The Toronto concert is just one of the many stops on Joel's tour this year. Check out his tour schedule here.


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