This song is not about me! In fact, it's the only one on the album that isn't.
It's based on a book of the same title, about a girl who, guess what, gets burned in a fire. I wish I remembered the author's name; I would write her. I tried to look it up just now on Amazon— they have everything, right? Instead of an emotional YA novel, I found two erotica novels with that title. (The song is not about them.)
[Okay, it's there, out of print, but writing to a stranger with an out of print book makes me uncomfortable. I mean, what if she's become a nun and sworn off computers or something? I wouldn't want to disturb her.]
Writing this song was an important stepping stone for me. As a person, I struggle constantly to step out of my own head. As a writer, I've gotten wrapped up in thinking that my own thoughts are all I have to say. "Out of the Fire" was the first song I wrote "on command," so to speak. But it was also my first glimpse of universal themes— on what I, a self-made outcast, have in common with the rest of humanity.
It gave me a glimmer of hope that I wouldn't remain imprisoned in my own mind forever.