Burnin' Down the Spark

Album: Nancy Sinatra (2004)

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Joey Burns, who is the frontman for the Tucson band Calexico. In 2000, Calexico recorded a song Burns wrote called "Ballad of Cable Hogue," which was titled after a 1970 film of that name. Shortly thereafter, they met Lee Hazlewood, who told them the song reminded him of a duet he did with Nancy Sinatra called "Summer Wine."

    A few years later, Burns learned that Nancy was looking for songs for her 2004 album, so he wrote "Burnin' Down the Spark" for her. He wrote the song in New York City on the Fourth of July, 2003. Burns put himself in Nancy's mindset, thinking about what it would be like looking over a city her father influenced in so many ways.

    "It's about chasing down that love you have for someone," Burns told us. "The only thing Nancy said was, 'Can you re-record it and I'll sing on top of it? Can you transpose it to a different key?' And I said, 'No problem.' So it was so easy to work with her. And then a couple of years later we were performing at The Getty Museum in Los Angeles and she came to the show. She loved it and we breakfast together - she bought the whole band breakfast. It was with her daughter A.J. It was really cool. So it was a very special time to get to meet her and since then I've followed what she's been doing. She's great. She's very true to some of her causes, like performing for troops and veterans of the Vietnam War. That's something I really admire about someone of that caliber: she's still really connected and grounded."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Name the Character in the SongMusic Quiz

With a few clues (Works at a diner, dreams of running away), can you name the character in the song?

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Supertramp founder Roger HodgsonSongwriter Interviews

Roger tells the stories behind some of his biggest hits, including "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song."