1949 and how it pertains to Billy Joels' "We Didn't Start the Fire"

Essay by emilyeeinsteinCollege, Undergraduate November 2014

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Einstein 2

Emily Einstein 516 Words


English 101 B06

31 October 2014


In 1949, Billy Joel was born. In his popular song, "We Didn't Start The Fire," he listed events that happened from the year he was born until the year he died. The events that he sang about that happened in 1949 were South Pacific, Joe DiMaggio and Red China.

In 1949, a very controversial musical premiered on Broadway. South Pacific was adapted from a classic novel, Tales of the South Pacific ("Theater," 1). Its plot deals with two different relationships, both of which are complicated with racial issues. One relationship is between a young nurse in the Navy and a plantation owner, who had children with a dark-skinned Polynesian woman, which complicates things. Meanwhile, the other relationship is between a Marine lieutenant and a young Vietnamese girl. The complication of this relationship is that he does not want to marry a woman of that descent (Tobin, par.

6). This Broadway musical was an immediate hit.

Another event that happened in 1949 was when Joe DiMaggio became the first baseball player to earn $100,000 a year ("DiMaggio" par. 7). Joe DiMaggio became famous on the New York Yankees team, but he began in baseball on the San Francisco Seals. Before that, however, he spent three years in the military, serving in the Army. Some say that those three years would have been his most productive. He had very impressive batting statistics, hitting 361 homeruns in 1736 games. One of his most impressive achievements was his 56-game hitting streak. He even had a song written about him years later, called "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio." After retiring, he married Marilyn Monroe, but that only lasted a handful of months. Sadly, he passed away in March of...