I See Fire

Album: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Charted: 13


  • This song plays during the end credits of the Hobbit movie The Desolation of Smaug. Director Peter Jackson and his co-producer wife Fran Walsh chose to Sheeran to write and perform the tune following the advice of their daughter. "'I See Fire' is Ed's emotional response to the film," said Jackson. "It's perfect."
  • Sheeran watched the film, wrote the song, and recorded most of it in the same day. "I was allowed complete freedom to create what I thought was fitting for the film, which is very rare, and Peter, Fran and Philippa [Boyens, screenwriter] were always on hand to give notes and pointers," he said. "The entire team down in New Zealand was out of this world."
  • Despite having never played violin in his whole life, Sheeran choose to perform it himself via overdubbing. He tweeted: "I got the chance to produce and play all the instruments on it apart from the cello. Managed to learn violin for a day, hope you all dig it."
  • The Hobbit was the first book that Sheeran ever read as a child. "I'm still geeking out that I've done a song for a Peter Jackson film set in Middle-earth!," he said.
  • Sheeran tried to get into the right mindset when penning the tune. "I've never been a dwarf, but I've wrote a song from the perspective of being a dwarf," he told MTV News.

    Sheeran added that he was instructed by director Peter Jackson to focus on a particular part of the movie. "Peter said, 'Focus on the last ten minutes. That's what the song needs to reflect.'" He said, "'Write a song that takes the audience by the hand and leads them from Middle Earth back into reality.' So, yeah, I tried to do that."
  • Sheeran explained to Jam! Music why he came up with a lilting, Celtic-influenced tune for the song. "The first idea I had for this song was something epic," he said. "But it seemed like, when I watched the film, my heart was pumping so much. It's so intense, I felt I needed a way to ease people out of the theaters."
  • The song was an international hit, topping the singles chart in several countries including New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines and Sweden.
  • A cover by the pop-opera trio Sol3 Mio was released as New Zealand's anthem for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Comments: 2

  • Gabriel Oluwadamilare from Lagos Nigeriathe song is a goal
  • Garrick from Phoenix, AzI was fine up until the moment this song starts playing at the end of the movie. I loved the movie by itself, but hearing Ed's vocals come in after Smaug's pronouncement sent my emotions over the edge. Music is so important to me and hearing it placed at the right moment in a film has been known to bring me to my knees. I LOVE THIS SONG!! It was THE perfect song to end the movie with. So much of the song is about "what is coming" in the final film. Not just a great movie song. It's a great song on it's own.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Donald Fagen

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In Songs

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Petula Clark

Petula ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.

Amy Lee of Evanescence

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.