Album: Halcyon Days (2013)
Charted: 1 13
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the first single released by the UK singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding from Halycon Days, which was her repacked edition of her sophomore album. The re-issue, featuring ten additional tracks, was made available less than a year after Halcyon's release.

    The song has a very positive message, with Goulding asking us to light the fire that impels us to great things, and to let it burn for all to see.
  • The song was written by Goulding with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (Adele, Beyoncé), Noel Zancenella (Demi Lovato) and Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic's bassist). It was produced by Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson, Pink). "It's something different for me," Goulding enthused to Radio.com. "It has a different rhythm, it's a different kind of vibe and I really enjoy performing it and singing it.
  • This was originally demoed by Leona Lewis in 2011 for her Glassheart album, but the X factor alumna scrapped the tune when the project was retooled to include more ballads. Lewis told Pop Justice that she doesn't regret giving away the song. "Actually, I've recorded quite a few songs that other artists have done really well with," she said, referring to having also originally recorded Rihanna's "We Found Love."

    "They should all, clearly, buy me Christmas presents," Lewis joked, adding: "The thing is, if I had released 'Burn', I don't think it would have gone on to do as well as Ellie's version. It wouldn't have worked for me. It just wouldn't have. It was meant to be hers, I'm glad she did it, and I think she did it really well. I really like Ellie Goulding, I'm a big fan."
  • The accompanying music video was directed by Mike Sharpe (Cher Lloyd, Depeche Mode). It sees Goulding performing the tune on an airstrip, as giant globes illuminate the empty field adjacent to the runway. As the sun sets a group of young people plant lights to brighten up the space for an airport dance party. "I did a Vine video where I got all of my fans to do their own interpretation of 'Burn' and what the song meant to them," explained Goulding to Radio.com. "Then I did my own video featuring lots of kids wanting to be in a music video, and then (multiply) them by like a thousand. We did it on an airstrip. It was just a bunch of us having fun, and that's kind of what I wanted to do."
  • This blazed to the top of the UK singles charts, Ellie Goulding's first #1 single in her native country. Her previous highest charting song was her cover of Elton John's "Your Song," which peaked at #2 in 2010.
  • The original Halcyon album contained much dark lyrical content, a testament to Goulding's breakup with BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James. However, the ten new tracks she recorded for Halcyon Days were notable for their vibrancy and joy. "I wanted to do that because I needed a closure on that album," Goulding explained to Q magazine. "I wrote that album about someone that's not in my life any more. And I felt there was something missing on the album – the silver lining, the calm after the storm. So these songs are just my absolute love of pop music. It made me happy that I got to be so absolutely disgustingly brutally honest with Halcyon. And then Halcyon Days is just my love of music again."
  • Ellie Goulding is a talented lyricist - she had a book deal for her poetry before the music took off. Speaking to The Observer the English singer explained how her love for words matches up with this song's imprecise sentiments. Goulding explained that it's a pop song. "Probably the most poppy song I've released," she said. "But it's all me. I wanted to release 'Burn,' I loved it, even if it is a vague sentiment. I think it's a truly great song."

    "It's a tough one, because if you have that one song that catapults you, and takes you to a level where you can perform the songs that are really true to your heart, really vulnerable, really deep, whatever," she added. "If that one song gets you to a place where you can fulfill what you want to fulfill as an artist."
  • Halcyon Days reached #1 on the UK album chart on January 5, 2014, 65 weeks after the original collection was officially released.
  • Goulding told The Sun that she is proud of this song. "I hear it everywhere and it never annoys me, even if it might annoy other people," she said. "That's really rare and I love performing it because it makes people's faces light up."
  • Ryan Tedder told the story of the song to Billboard magazine: "I wrote it on a tour bus in Chicago, me and Brent [Kutzle]. I was so ecstatic about the song that our show was probably delayed five minutes because I couldn't stop listening to it. Ellie cut the vocal, killed it, she didn't mess around. And then it sat for a year."

    "[Interscope] came back to me and I told my manager, 'I can't even look at it and I will give up publishing to do it.' We had a list of two or three producers -- the name [Greg] Kurstin came up," he continued. "I don't think I let them finish the sentence because I had just spent time with him on the Beyoncé camp. And I said, 'Absolutely Greg Kurstin! I know that he is the guy.' I sent him a list of comments, he gave it a second pass, and it was done."

Comments: 5

  • Clite Alyx from Ugandai enjoy my work while listening to Burn by Ellie Goulding
    ohhh ! much love from Uganda
  • Keanna Frappier from MaineMy absolute favorite song ever. I listen to it everyday.
  • Peter from Coventry, United KingdomShe is a very good singer.
  • Ellie from London, United KingdomEllie Goulding has been out with a radio 1 presenter.
  • Ellie from London, United KingdomI absolutely love this Ellie Goulding song. I love all of her songs but this one is the best. I live for ellie Goulding - I have posters, all of my screen savers as her and all of her albums and have been to 7 of her concerts I love her!

    I just keep listening to this song, it's sooooo addictive!
see more comments

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