Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Harry Nilsson, “Jump Into The Fire”

Jim assigned us the prompts "Hop/Jump/Leap/Pounce/Spring" for today’s blog hop. I’ve had a while to look at the songs everyone else has chosen (as of 1700 UTC on Sunday), and noticed one big omission…

"Jump Into The Fire" was from Harry Nilsson’s 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson. It was the second single from that album after "Without You," and was released in 1972. The Blogger’s Best Friend β„’ tells us

"Jump into the Fire" is a rock song written and performed in a style that music journalist Matthew Greenwald likens to the early-1970s sound of the Rolling Stones. He adds: "Lyrically, on the surface, it’s a hot lovers plea; however, it could easily be taken as a plea to society as a whole. Like a lot of Nilsson’s greatest songs, it works on many different levels." Stephen Thomas Erlewine describes the track as "surging hard rock", while James Parker of The Atlantic calls it "livid, dragon-bones funk".

The musicians on the basic track were Nilsson (piano), Chris Spedding (guitar), Herbie Flowers (bass) and Jim Gordon (drums). Flowers recalls that Nilsson gave only vague instructions: "lots of tom-toms, a bass riff in D major." The bass part includes a section where, following Gordon’s drum solo, Flowers detunes as he plays. According to Flowers, he began loosening the bottom string "for a laugh", believing that by that point in the song, the performance would be faded out on the released recording. Overdubs on this master take included Nilsson’s vocals, guitar solos by John Uribe and another rhythm guitar part, by Klaus Voormann.

The song peaked at #27 on the Hot 100 and #16 in Canada.

The lyrics, from MetroLyrics:

You can climb a mountain
You can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire
But you’ll never be free

You can shake me up
Or I can break you down
Whoa-o-o-o-
Whoa-o-o-o-
We can make each other happy (4X)

You can climb a mountain
You can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire
But you’ll never be free

You can shake me up
Or I can break you down
Whoa-o-o-o-
Whoa-o-o-o-
We can make each other happy (4X)

You can climb a mountain
You can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire
But you’ll never be free

You can shake me up
Or I can break you down
Whoa-o-o-o-
Whoa-o-o-o-
We can make each other happy (4X)

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for March 21, 2021.

17 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Harry Nilsson, “Jump Into The Fire”

  1. New one for me and I really liked it. Interesting to read about it, so I was concentrating on listening to the bass trying to hear when the change going way low happened. Very cool song! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whenever I hear this song I think of Goodfellas…it could have been a Stones song also. Harry didn’t do rock songs a lot…but this one is.

    Like

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