Burning House
by Cam

Album: Welcome to Cam Country (2015)
Charted: 44
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The second single from Cam's debut EP, Welcome to Cam Country, this ode to love lost was released in a hurry after it generated a buzz on the syndicated Bobby Bones Show. It leapt from obscurity into the Top 20 of the iTunes chart in the 24 hours following Cam's performance.
  • The song describes a torched relationship where the only place the former lovers can be together is in her dreams. But the dream is of a burning house that Cam can't escape.

    The song was inspired by an actual dream Cam had the night before she was due to meet up with an ex at a party. She had split with him a couple of years previously in a discourteous manner and was going though in her mind how to apologize. The songstress drifted off to sleep with those thoughts in her head and dreamt her former beau's home was in flames with him inside. She rushed into the burning house, ready to die alongside him.

    The next morning, Cam skyped her songwriting partner Tyler Johnson in Los Angeles and recounted her dream. They started working on the song and Johnson later played the unfinished demo to Fun. and Bruno Mars producer Jeff Bhasker while the two men were moving furniture. Bhasker was struck by the melody and the image of a burning house. He came up with a chorus for the tune, and the trio finished it up at the producer's home studio. "A lot of times, a production might just be there to make up for anything that the song is lacking," Bhasker told Billboard magazine. "If you've got a great song, you let it shine, and I always personally try to write a song that stands on its own, that can just be played with a guitar and piano."
  • A crackling fire was found in a sound effects library, which Bhasker laid underneath the instrumentation. "It's not very overt at all," he said, "but I did kind of think that that needed to be on there."
  • When Cam played this to Sony chairman/CEO Doug Morris at his Manhattan office, he offered her a record deal on the spot.
  • The Trey Fanjoy-directed video finds Cam at a party in a burning house. The flames in the clip proved hard to handle at times. "It's been a crazy day. From puffy sleeves that got removed on the dress, to flaming cocktails bursting, and then lighting my dress on fire," the singer told Entertainment Tonight just after the video shoot. "I just did a walk up the stairs, and the carpet caught on fire. We're really lucky everything seems to be okay, and it's going to turn out beautiful."
  • This was chosen by the staff of Rolling Stone Country as their Best Country Song of 2015. They said:

    "Unlike anything else on country radio, the spare, haunting track doused any lingering bro-country machismo... It also captured the natural confidence that defines that California-raised singer-songwriter. Instead of the usual somebody-done-me-wrong woes, she is the one who has delivers the lethal romantic blow as she yearns to 'take what's lost and broke and make it right.'"
  • Emily Ann Roberts performed the song on The Voice season finale on December 14, 2015. Her cover debuted at #4 on the country chart, two places behind Cam's original version at #2. This marked the first time ever that two takes of a composition had ranked in the Top 5 simultaneously on the chart. The previous best pairing on the country tally was back in 1959, when Buck Owens and Ray Price spent four weeks in the top 10 together with versions of the Owens-penned "Under Your Spell Again."
  • This was the only single released by a female country singer in 2015 to be certified platinum (one million units sold).
  • The song was inspired by a time that Cam spent volunteering in Nepal. She told Radio.com: "When I was on that trip, my boyfriend at the time was supposed to come meet me, and we were going to do some traveling. The day before he was supposed to come, I told him, 'If you come, we're just going to be friends.' And I told him over email. And it wasn't very nice. And that was the breakup that I felt so bad about, that I had that dream about a burning house. That's a very embarrassing story because it was a very hurtful thing to do."
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