The Avett Brothers – The Fire lyrics

A young child sits quiet, the forest is dark
Possibilities overflow his unbroken heart
I ask him well after the brush takes the spark
What do you see in the fire?
I see light within color and color in light
Trophies I’ll take home and battles I’ll fight
A bright blue horizon with no pain in sight
I’ll be there and so will my parents and you’re invited too

A life-sentence inmate in orange prisoner clothes
Who’s been told his whole life that’s just how it goes
Who came out swinging from poverty row
Sits a bit close to the dangerous glow
What do ya see in the fire?
I see rich people laughin’ with food on their plates
And neighborhood bullies imprinted with hate
Moms and dads screaming at each other insane
And hard grey redemption a little too late
And I see myself as I might’ve been
I’m handsome, and capable, and funny

A young woman in college entranced by the flames is pondering silent how perfectly strange
A girl could be called by so many names and not one be the one she was given
What do you see in the fire?
I see myself in the mirror, not pretty enough
And digital images reducing love
My roommate enslaved by expectations above
And then I see the face of my mother

A first year preacher stands on his feet
His love for man kind is true and complete
While the frigid wind blows through the trees
I ask as he leans away from the heat
“What do you see in the fire?”
I see swirling confusion, question, and loss
And I know all about Christ and the cross
But I cannot explain the Holocaust
I stuttered when a young man asked me to
I just couldn’t find the words

A woman of ninety with wisdom in spades
Her mind still as sharp as her kitchen blades
I ask as her memory nonetheless fades
“What do you see in the fire?”
I see the touch of my husband who recently passed
Our hometown before the roads got so fast
And I see it now in an impatient blur
And I see how in love we were
I see the good Lord offering mercy
I see the good Lord offering mercy
I see the good Lord offering mercy

Someone I care for, she sits by my side
I can feel the past and the future collide
She leans in and whispers, “Don’t think, just decide”
What do you see in the fire?
I see the faces of my victims whose hearts I once broke
Calm and alive in the curling smoke
All I can do is sit here and hope
They may find a way to forgive me

There’s something unspoken there in your eyes
A pain or a love I don’t recognize
I better ask you now before it dies
What do you see in the fire?