"Set Fire to the Rain" (CD Single) Music Poster Image

"Set Fire to the Rain" (CD Single)



Angst-ridden but clean track from pop powerhouse.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Positive role models

Everyone feels the sting of a failed relationship.

Not applicable

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

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.


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.   

Families can talk 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

Release date:December 22, 2011
Label:XL Recordings
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Set Fire to the Rain" (CD Single) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byIsabel14 February 27, 2013

Great song by Adele

I really like this song. It is my favorite song by Adele.
Teen, 13 years old Written bysourcecoderocks March 3, 2012

A great song

I LOVE this song!
Kid, 12 years old January 4, 2014

Adele - Set Fire to the Rain

Great, mild themes, moving song
What other families should know
Too much sex