'Standing Outside the Fire': The Story Behind Garth Brooks' Introspective Song


Country music is about three chords and the truth. It's about enjoying the moment, working hard, and connecting with others. Every now and again, a song comes along that makes us connect with ourselves and take the time to evaluate our position in the world. Garth Brooks' "Standing Outside the Fire" is one of those songs that makes you take a look inward.

Jenny Yates and Garth Brooks co-wrote the introspective tune. It was released as the third single from his 1993 album In Pieces and landed at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

The song is a melody of inspiration with a music video to match. The video depicts a teenager with Down Syndrome, Brandon, going through milestones: learning to drive, making it through high school, and competing in sports. Brandon decides to compete in Track & Field, but not in the Special Olympics events. His parents do not see eye-to-eye on his decision, but his mother encourages him to practice and work hard for what he wants.

During the race, Brandon falls and his coach tries to run over and help him. His dad tells the coach "he's not finished" and continues to encourage Brandon to finish the race that he worked so hard for. Brandon meets his parents' embrace at the finish line. The tender moment really brings the song to life and forces viewers to feel every emotion the song evokes.

In Pieces was Brooks' third consecutive album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and the Billboard Country Albums chart. The singles from the record were "Ain't Going Down ('Til The Sun Comes Up)," "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association," "Callin' Baton Rouge," and "One Night A Day"' The record sold 10 million copies and holds some of Garth Brooks' greatest hits.

'Standing Outside the Fire' Lyrics:

We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk it the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They're so hell-bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it's not living if you stand outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

There's this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can't abide standing outside the fire


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'Standing Outside the Fire': The Story Behind Garth Brooks' Introspective Song