One element common with the greatest hits of music is that the song’s ability to relate to different people in a completely different way. And thus it elicits a different meaning to different people. This is the same with “Sex on Fire” by Kings Of Leon, although the meaning of the song is as plain as it gets–sex!
“Sex on Fire” comes from Kings of Leon’s fourth studio album ‘Only by the Night’ released on September 04, 2008. The same album contained their other hits such as “Use Somebody,” “Crawl” and “Closer.” However, “Sex on Fire” became the band’s first major breakthrough hit, climbing to #1 in the UK. The song sold over a million copies by 2009 as per RIAA. In the UK, the song sold over 1.2 million copies by 2012.
In 2008, the song earned the band their first Grammy nomination for ‘Best Rock Song.’ However, the song won the Grammy award for ‘Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.’
Nathan Followill of the band explained that they never intended the song to be titled “Sex on Fire; “They were totally different lyrics. Depending on whether a song starts with a melody or starts with lyrics, you know if it starts with a melody you just keep playing the melody over and over until you get it down and just throw in any lyrics that fit the verbal flow. It was actually going to be “Set Us on Fire”, but one of the sound mixers in the studio walked in as we were playing and said, “‘Sex on Fire’, huh?” And it just kind of became a running joke, and we stuck with it.”
However, Caleb Followill explained that they wanted to make a song about sexuality; “There’s always been an element of sex in our music, so I thought I’d just wrap it all up in one song and be done with the sex for the rest of the record. I can’t believe the label picked it because the lyrics are pretty in-your-face sexual. I think my girlfriend hopes it’s based on her. Maybe it is my girlfriend because we’ve had some good times together… but I’m not really sure. It’s about a great sexual relationship with hot, hot sex that you remember forever.”
Watch “Sex on Fire” Video by Kings Of Leon
“Sex on Fire” Lyrics Meaning & Song Review
As the band members suggest, this song is about sexuality and a strong passion for it. “On fire” refers to something extremely good in colloquial terms. However, there have been interpretations of satanic rituals and even rape to be hidden in the lyrics of the song.
The song starts off with a sex act possibly in the public or where someone could possibly see them. This does not stop the couple. Because it’s too good to stop now. So they would be silent and keep at it.
The “commotion” is a reference to all the actions involved during sex. There is a lot of movement, grinding, and heavy breathing. Although the lyric “kiddie-like play” has earned this song a tag of pedophilia, it is not what the lyrics intend to mean. Sex makes people young at heart, and the act itself is a lot of fun and joyful. It is a children’s game, made for adults.
The famous lyrics “your sex is on fire” is a tribute to the singer’s partner. All the band members; Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill, and Nathan Followill are credited for the lyrics of the track.
In the second verse of the song, Kings of Leon list out several places where their sexual escapades have taken them. In a darkened alley, at the break of the day, and ambitiously enough, receiving oral sex while he is driving too. He loves the feel of her soft lips on him.
In the latter part of the verse, the lyrics go “Feels like you’re dyin’,” which would be innuendo for experiencing a climax.
Sex is often referred to as a ‘hot’ act due to several reasons. One, it is hot. Two, there are two bodies grinding on each other and friction makes it hotter. Three, all the energy spent on the act makes your body warm-up. It is also a good exercise.
Kings Of Leon describe this sex so good as to the extent they can ‘taste’ it. It is also not a secret that sex involved a lot of oral action.
The singer realizes that nothing lasts forever. So even if they had to enjoy this sex one last time, it will still be the best or the greatest time of their lives.
“Sex on Fire” by Kings Of Leon is a true tribute to ‘good’ sex. There may be different interpretations for the song, but one cannot simply deny the idea hidden in plain sight–just enjoying great sex. And considering the extent of their sexual adventures, the lyrics are very mild and subtle.
What do you think this song means? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch One of the Best Live Covers of “Sex on Fire” on The X Factor UK by Jamie Archer