The Meaning Behind the Witchy Woman in Deep Purple’s “Burn”

The Meaning Behind the Witchy Woman in Deep Purple’s “Burn”

Deep Purple first achieved success with covers. Their model of “Hush” by Joe South was an enormous hit, and so they adopted that up with “Kentucky Woman” by Neil Diamond. They even launched a dramatically completely different model of “Help” by The Beatles.

Purple was all the time attempting completely different preparations and pushing the boundaries of rock music. They additionally modified lineups usually. The second incarnation of the band was essentially the most profitable after releasing the track with essentially the most ubiquitous riff in rock, “Smoke on the Water.” Another hit in “Woman from Tokyo” adopted as Purple morphed additional towards what would develop into generally known as heavy metallic.

While Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath likewise continued pushing their music towards a tougher area, Deep Purple bought burnt out from fixed touring. Lead singer Ian Gillan give up, and Blackmore kicked out bassist Roger Glover. Future Whitesnake crooner David Coverdale was introduced in, and he and Blackmore clicked. The band was re-invigorated once more (though it didn’t take lengthy for Blackmore himself to go away the group for the primary of many occasions).   

Breaking (Melting?) the Ice with “Burn

David Coverdale wrote the lyrics to “Burn” simply after he joined Deep Purple in 1973. “So, the very first thing I needed to do was go all the way down to Ritchie Blackmore’s home and see if we linked,” the singer shared on an episode of Apple Music’s Rock Classics Radio with Jenn

Blackmore was already a rock legend. He had performed guitar behind the scenes on many periods by the nice producer Joe Meek. He first tasted fame in The Outlaws. And with Purple, he—properly, he wrote the riff to friggin’ “Smoke on the Water.” So he had that goin’ for him.

[RELATED: The Casino Fire That Inspired the Meaning Behind the 1972 Deep Purple Classic “Smoke on the Water”]

Coverdale had solely simply joined the band when he pitched fairly a number of lyrics to Blackmore, who went by and picked those he wished to make use of. “Burn” originated from these less-than-romantic beginnings.

A Touch of Gershwin

Blackmore’s majestic however darkish model was famously influenced by his love for classical music, and certainly, the guitar determine originally of “Burn” derived from “Fascinating Rhythm” by George Gershwin. (On the opposite aspect of the spectrum, Paul Stanley has credited this Deep Purple minimize with inspiring the riff in “I Stole Your Love,” the opening observe on KISS’ Love Gun. Inspired may be an understatement…)

Images of the Middle Ages
The sky is crimson, I don’t perceive
Past midnight I nonetheless see the land
People are sayin’ the lady is damned
She makes you burn with a wave of her hand
The metropolis’s ablaze, the city’s on fireplace
The girl’s flames are reaching greater
We had been fools, we known as her liar
All I hear is, “Burn”

Coverdale was attempting to arrange the track with imagery of the Middle Ages. The first verses allude to a witch being accused of beginning fires with the wave of her hand. The group that has gathered is supplying the decision: “BURN.”

I didn’t consider she was satan’s sperm
She mentioned, “Curse you all, you’ll by no means study
When I depart there’s no return”
The folks laughed until she mentioned, “Burn”
Warning got here, nobody cared
Earth was shakin’, we stood and stared
When it got here, nobody was spared
Still I hear, “Burn”

The narrator admits he disagrees with the mob’s mentality. But it’s too late; she’s unleashed her vengeance, and the destruction is huge. No one is spared.

The argument could be made that this isn’t about witches in any respect. It might merely be symbolic of a “girl scorned,” the concept being that girls are nonetheless persecuted and unfairly accused of all types of injustices at present.

The Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693 are essentially the most high-profile examples of a “witch hunt” gone dangerous. In actuality, not one of the “witches” discovered responsible had been burned. They had been all hanged.

You know we had no time
We couldn’t even strive
You know we had no time

The metropolis’s ablaze, the city’s on fireplace
The girl’s flames are reaching greater
We had been fools, we known as her liar
All I hear is, “Burn”

Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns


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November 11, 2023 at 03:26AM

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