The Fire Down Below

Album: Night Moves (1976)


  • This song is about the prostitution industry. Seger points out that the customers come from many different backgrounds and are from all over the world. The "fire down below" is the desire they're all trying to satisfy with the ladies of the night.
  • Bob Seger isn't who you'd expect to write a song about prostitutes - he's known for being rather shy and abstemious. But while many of his songs read like his journals, in others he takes the role of observer. "Fire Down Below" is one of these where he's not pouring his heart out, but having some fun.

    Seger explained that he wouldn't release a song like this on its own, but in the context of the album, it's offset by "Night Moves" - personal, poignant song that reveals his true self.

    Not everyone saw "The Fire Down Below" in the big picture: the advice columnist Ann Landers criticized it in one of her newspaper columns for glorifying sex. It wouldn't be the last time Seger dealt with this: he would later take heat from Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) for the sexual content in another one of his songs, "The Horizontal Bop."
  • This wasn't released as a single, but it still became one of Seger's most popular songs and a favorite on rock radio. It goes over very well live, and often shows up on his setlists.
  • Seger recorded this with his Silver Bullet Band, which had become a formidable live group. Their Live Bullet album, released earlier in 1976, set the stage for Night Moves, which made Seger a star. Seger, though, didn't use the band on every recording because he liked to record in Alabama with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section as well. On Night Moves, five tracks were recorded with the Silver Bullet Band, and four were done with the Swampers at Muscle Shoals.

Comments: 15

  • Jj from WyomingI heard that Moline in this song is Moline Michigan which was known for the bar area near Grand Rapids. Not Moline, Illinois. Anyone know the truth? I grew up in Moline Illinois
  • Steve Johnson from Bay City MichiganSongfacts says "The Fire Down Below" wasn't released as a single. Actually it's the B side on Seger's single "Rock and Roll Never Forgets".
  • Art from Moline, IlMatt, yes, almost. I grew up in Moline and everyone would turn this song up, waiting to sing along with "it happens in Moline!" We always wondered how he picked our city to throw in there. Obviously being from Michigan, he made stops playing here. I believe they played at my parents bar once in 75 or 76, but cant verify that... Anyway, if anyone knows how he picked Moline, please share.
  • Rick from Los AngelesAlso covered by Tina Turner.
  • Kenny from DallasJeff Morris, the movie was Stone Cold Dead 1979 with Richard Crenna.
  • Lawrence from Livonia, MiYou're all wrong... I met Rosie at a K-mart store in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Did not believe her story until she came back from a Seger concert with her and the band in the restroom.
  • Steve from Philadelphia, PaThe fire down below doesn't refer to hell, it refers to the johnson's of the men.....
  • Erica from Columbus, OhKory, you're right on. I thought the same thing so I did a little research. Ain't Got No Money is a song written by Frankie Miller and released on his own album The Rock in 1975. Seger released The Fire Down Below a year later. Seger's cover of Ain't Got No Money was released in 1978...
  • Jeff Morris from Richmond, Vathere was a movie in which prostitutes were being murdreed, this movie featured "THE FIRE DOWN BELOW' song, i can not remember the name of the movie. does any one know the movie title.,
  • Kory from Grand Haven, MiThe arrangement and chord progression is virtually the same as "Ain't Got No Money" off his Stranger in Town Album.
  • Aaron from Dallas, Txwhen he says fire down below hes referring to hell, the only thing in commen is hells flames
  • Cody from San Antonio, TxI agree Matt, Segers vocals are really something amazing, in this song particularly.
  • Matt from Charleston, ScI love how, in this song, one time when he lets out "They got the fire down below!" You can almost see the needle in the recording booth pegging the red line.
  • Matt from Charleston, ScI wonder if this song has ever been considered as a theme song by the Moline, Illinois Chamber of Commerce? Well, perhaps the Moline Chamber of Ho's.
  • Ted from Loveland, CoThis song has been covered many different ways by the likes of Bette Midler, Luther Grosvenor,
    Juice Newton, Cher and German singer Klaus Lage (1983) with German lyrics: Wenns unterm Gürtel brennt.
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