"Set Fire to the Rain" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Set Fire to the Rain" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Angst-ridden but clean track from pop powerhouse.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Some strong feelings about the end of a relationship, though nothing necessarily positive or negative.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everyone feels the sting of a failed relationship.


A reference to kissing and "laying" with someone ("When laying with you, I could stay there").

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Set Fire to the Rain" is a somewhat intense, if not overly mature, song about a girl who feels betrayed by the person she loved. The lyrics lack profanity and references to mature topics like substance use, with only a couple of light mentions of kissing and "laying" with someone. While this melodramatic tune may encourage brooding adolescents to embrace their angst , it's clean enough to be OK for most tweens and teens.


User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byBinge W. August 7, 2018
Adult Written bymarclare January 25, 2012

Thx :)

Thank you, Adele for not featuring some lame rapper in your songs. At least I can count on you.
Kid, 11 years old September 6, 2020

Squeaky-clean, emotional tune

This breakup song is great for kids, though for sensitive listeners it might be a bit much. :)
Kid, 12 years old January 4, 2014

Adele - Set Fire to the Rain

Great, mild themes, moving song

What's the story?

"SET FIRE TO THE RAIN" is another single from the mega-hit album 21 by Adele, the young U.K. singing sensation who's taking the music world by storm. Like many other songs on the record, this track is an angst-filled expression of disappointment about a failed romance, caused by a lying partner: "'Cause there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew / All the things you'd say they were never true, never true ... but I set fire to the rain / Watched it pour as I touched your face / Let it burn while I cried, 'cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name."

Is it any good?

Adele has the kind of voice that makes a song sound effortless -- including this one. You can't help but feel her pain as she belts out these melancholy lyrics in a powerful performance that threatens to take your breath away.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to handle situations where you find out that someone close to you has been lying. What would be a constructive way to approach that person about the issue?

  • Describe some of the consequences that can happen as a result of not telling the truth.

  • What do you think makes Adele so popular? Her powerhouse vocals? Expressive lyrics? Both?

Music details

  • Artist: Adele
  • Release date: December 22, 2011
  • Type: Single
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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