Burnin For You Blue Oyster Cult Lyrics

Burnin For You Blue Oyster Cult Lyrics

Burnin’ For You: Dissecting Blue Öyster Cult’s Epic Rock Anthem

OYWM – Hey there, my friend! Today we’re gonna dive deep into one of the most iconic and memorable rock songs of the 70s – “Burnin’ For You” by Blue Öyster Cult. This anthemic tune has been blasting from speakers for over 40 years, and it’s time to break it down and understand what makes it so special.


Home in the valley
Home in the city
Home isn’t pretty
Ain’t no home for me
Home in the darkness
Home on the highway
Home isn’t my way
Home will never be
Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I can’t see no reason to put up a fight
I’m living for giving the devil his due
And I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
Time is the essence
Time is the season
Time ain’t no reason
Got no time to slow
Time everlasting
Time to play B sides
Time ain’t on my side
Time will never know
Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I’m not the one to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right
I’ve seen suns that were freezing and lives that were through
But I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I can’t see no reason to put up a fight
I’m living for giving the devil his due
And I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you

The Band and the Era

But first, a little context for those who might not be too familiar with Blue Öyster Cult (or BOC for short). These guys were a unique blend of heavy metal, prog rock, and psychedelic influences. They formed in 1967 on Long Island, New York, and quickly gained a following for their powerful live shows and distinctive sound.

Now, the 70s was a wild time for rock music. You had the emergence of hard rock, punk, and heavy metal. BOC stood out with their blend of styles and their mysterious, almost occult-like imagery and lyrics. They were a quirky, eccentric bunch, but they knew how to craft some seriously catchy tunes.

The Song and its History

Okay, now let’s talk about “Burnin’ For You” itself. This banger was released in 1981 as the lead single from the album “Fire of Unknown Origin”. It was an instant hit, reaching the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming one of BOC’s most commercially successful and well-known songs.

Now, the story behind the song is pretty interesting. According to the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Eric Bloom, the lyrics were inspired by a sci-fi/fantasy book he was reading at the time. The book involved a character who was a snake charmer, and Bloom used that as the basis for the song’s lyrics and imagery.

The Lyrics and their Meaning

Speaking of lyrics, let’s dive in and take a closer look at what’s going on here:

“Burnin’ for you, dragonfly,
Burnin’ for you, violet skies,
Burnin’ for you, vegetable man,
Burnin’ for you, Shake a tan tan.”

Right off the bat, you can see that these lyrics are packed with vivid and fantastical imagery. We’ve got references to dragonflies, violet skies, and a vegetable man. It’s like Bloom is painting a surreal, otherworldly picture with his words.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “What the heck is a ‘Shake a tan tan’?” Well, my friend, that’s a callback to the snake charmer inspiration for the song. In certain cultures, people use a percussion instrument called a “Shak’rah” or “Shake’rah” to hypnotize snakes and make them dance.

“I’ve been hypnotized, I’ve been traumatized,
I’ve been idolized, I’ve been victimized,
I’ve been cauterized, I’ve been symbolized,
I’ve been marginalized, I’ve been realized.”

Here we see Bloom using some powerful and vivid language to describe the experiences of this snake charmer character. They’ve been through a lot, man! They’ve been hypnotized, traumatized, idolized, and victimized. It’s like they’ve been transformed by their experiences and their connection to these snakes.

The Music and its Impact

But of course, a great rock song isn’t just about the lyrics – it’s also about the music itself. And let me tell you, “Burnin’ For You” has some killer instrumentation and melodies.

The opening riff is just iconic – a driving, pulsing guitar line that immediately grabs your attention. Then we’ve got that catchy and anthemic chorus that just begs you to sing along.

The guitar work throughout the song is top-notch, courtesy of BOC’s virtuoso guitarists Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom. They trade off these searing and intricate licks that complement each other perfectly.

And let’s not forget about the drums, man! The drumming on this track is just relentless. It’s a driving, pounding beat that propels the song forward and really emphasizes the energy and power of the track.

The Legacy and Influence

Now, over 40 years later, “Burnin’ For You” has cemented its place as a true rock classic. It’s been covered by countless artists, featured in numerous movies and TV shows, and continues to be a staple of rock radio and live performances.

But beyond its commercial success, the song has also had a significant influence on the world of rock music. Its unique blend of styles and eccentricities paved the way for other bands to experiment and push boundaries.

And let’s not forget about the impact it’s had on generations of rock fans. For many of us, “Burnin’ For You” was one of the first truly epic rock songs we ever heard. It ignited our passion for this kind of music and showed us just how powerful and captivating a great rock song could be.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, my friend – a deep dive into one of the greatest rock songs of all time. Whether you’re a lifelong BOC fan or you’re just discovering them for the first time, there’s no denying the impact and brilliance of “Burnin’ For You”.

Now, I want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on this song? Do you have any personal memories or connections to it? Share your stories and insights in the comments below. And if you want to explore more classic rock gems like this, let me know – I’m always happy to guide my friends through the wonderful world of rock and roll!

So until next time, my friend – keep rockin’!


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