Dessa - Fire Drills Lyrics

I've been Wendy
Living with the Lost Boys
Youth spent as a deckhand on the convoy
Moved every night to prove we were something
Got confused if it was from or to that we were running
I've seen Gibraltar
I've seen the Taj Mahal
Soweto, Hagia Sophia
Chefchaouen paints their walls blue
I've played to full rooms
I've played the fool too
Burning through the bottoms of a pair of new boots
Cut my hair, tape my tits down
A woman on her own must be from out of town
Funny, you don't know the concessions that you're making until you catalog em
And by then they're many and you're battle-hardened
Heat makes liquid of the asphalt
Keepsakes and parking tickets on the dashboard
I'm here to file my report as the vixen of the wolf pack;
Tell Patient Zero, he can have his rib back

You can count my ribs
Wanna know what class I'm in-
Count my
You can count my ribs

You can't be too broke to break
As a woman always something left to take
So you shouldn't try to stay too late or talk to strangers
Look too long, go too far out of range cause
Angels can't watch everybody all the time
Stay close, hems low, safe inside;
That formula works if you can live it
But it works by putting half the world off limits

You can count my ribs
Wanna know what class I'm in-
Count my
You can count my ribs, my

We don't say, "Go out and be brave"
Nah, we say "Be careful, stay safe"
In any given instance, that don't hurt
But it sinks in like stilettos in soft earth
Like the big win is not a day without an incident
I beg to differ with it
I think a woman's worth
I think that she deserves
A better line of work
Than motherfucking vigilance
Don't give me vigilance
By definition you can't make a difference
If the big ambition
Is simply standing sentry to your innocence
That's not a way to live
That can't be what a woman is
That gives her nothing to aspire to
What that is-
What that is
Is just a life of running fire drills

We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills
We're running fire drills

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Dessa Fire Drills Comments
  1. kookoo4pandas

    shes a genius...

  2. Meagan Hodges


  3. Michelle Filo

    Done running fire drills. I am going to jump in the fire!

  4. Jesse H.

    _By definition you can't make a difference_

    _If the big ambition is simply standing sentry to your innocence_

    fuuuuuuuck bro. That's powerful poetry right there.

  5. alpha orionis

    i honestly think anyone who’s ever been the victim of sexism or misogyny should listen to this song. dessa has really thought about these issues in this song and put things into words i felt like no one could communicate effectively. i’m in awe and in love.

  6. Sankalpa Chakma

    This is one of the most underrated songs ever. Should be on Billboard 100.

  7. D. Laney

    Wtnv knows what's up.

  8. Conner _brown


    D. Laney

    Sorry, what?


    Yeah, it's called a metaphor. I don't know how much to explain because I don't know how old you are. I'm sorry if you were looking for a fire drill video and found this instead.

  9. Jay Stuart

    This song is so raw like fuck

  10. Jayoinavation

    So sonically pleasing .. Thanks Delta

  11. Leo

    I love this song and adore the message, but... "Vixen of the wolf pack"... a vixen is a female fox...

    Christopher Bradford

    That's the point, she's not like them.


    There's also a part on one of Jack London's novels--I think it's White Fang?--where vixens lure the wolves away and then eat them.

    Idk if that's a message here, but that's what it reminds me of.

  12. Krystal E

    Preach Dessa preach!

  13. Hannah M

    Using this song to give me strength. My friend group and I are confronting my ex who molested and manipulated me, we are telling him he’s out of the group and to never contact any of us again. He even did it when I went to him for comfort because I was having nightmares about my child abuse. I’ve been listening to Dessa since middle school and she has always given me strength. I’m channeling her, younger me, and every other woman to get strength from this before. Here goes everything.

    Lola Lafleur

    Hope things are better for you now! ❤

  14. graypetcoyle

    I’m not a woman, but being born AFAB helps me relate to this song, especially since I’m pre transition (thus everyone else thinks I’m a woman). Being a victim of multiple sexual crimes from as young as 7 has really affected me, and the notion of constantly running “fire drills” reminds me of how I have systems to prevent another attack no matter where I am or when it is. Always looking for where the closest 24H business is, aware of all open exits, making sure I have something I could use to protect myself, making sure I never run into the men who’ve attacked me, being constantly aware of where my attackers live and work and travel to, etc... it’s all so taxing and really feels like I’m constants running through worst case scenarios so I’m always ready to run or fight.


    You'll always understand what its like to be born "the weaker sex"- that is the female experience- regardless of how you feel inside. I hope your transition is going well and you are happy

  15. Ingrid Elkner Music

    Goosebumps every time I hear this song. Amazing.

  16. Josie Bachman

    I love this song

  17. EarthlingsIdeas

    Is there an instrumental version?

  18. ottam

    Dessa is criminally underrated.

  19. nick guir

    You can count my ribs?

    Elizabeth Mahoney

    cameron bowling the line is likely referring to genesis in the Bible where Eve was made from one of Adam’s ribs. Hence the “tell patient zero he can have his rib back”. The idea being that it can suck being a woman in society, so we would be happy if that whole being built out of a rib thing had never started

    Ben Milli

    I take it as she's saying she fits the fits the Shallow perception of thinking females have to look like the models in magazines.

    Cas M

    I think it is biblical like Elizabeth Mahoney said, but since men and women Actually have the same number of ribs it's a reference to that. "Wanna know what class I'm in? You can count my ribs." BUT....
    I also wonder if it was a reference to the socioeconomic status of women relative to their thinness which has also been referenced in other songs, like 551. "The nervous disorder only the rich are afforded."

  20. Catherine R

    I really like this song. The Patient 0 line is so good I wish I could listen to it on repeat. I do wish that the line “that formula works” had a qualifier like “might” or “could.” You can do everything we’re told to do for our safety and still get attacked. I am glad to have a song that gives voice to our fire drills. It would have been better if it acknowledged we still get burned and that the fault/responsibility lies with the pyros.


    It's cause it's half a line. That formula works, but what it works at doing is putting the world off-limits.

  21. Elena

    Chills I have chills

  22. Emilio Arena

    Nicki Minaj who?

  23. Veronica

    This is an amazing song!!! I love it!

  24. Gabriel 2018

    Been a long time fan of Dessa...This is definitively next level. Heavy stuff with velvet voice...Won't forget this one.

  25. Ataleofcoffee

    It's like she put words to everything I've felt since I was 13.

  26. KaysinKacei

    fuck this gave me chills

  27. Danger Darth

    Eieeeee!!!! I cannot wait for a new album.

  28. Mike Fimbres

    So pleased with dessa the music is Phenomenal

  29. D C


  30. SnowingWolfGirl

    "Tell patient zero he can have his rib back" damn what a POWER MOVE.

    Ben Milli

    That line is


    It would be, if the story weren't allegory for a cannibal's conversion to omnivorousness by a succulent morsel.

    Few can decode that though, so she gets a pass.

    Jesse H.

    @CanadianDaves sure, dude.

  31. AlexDoesThings

    I'm sending this to my father and grandmother who can't understand why I moved across the world to see what else there is when I had a nice little picket fence laid out for me to pop babies into if I only put on that ring. No thanks

  32. Nikki Nelson-Hicks


  33. Vesmé

    Love it!

  34. Thidwicks Ultimatum

    Dessa just now breaching after all these years... hasnt even reached her potential and shes already creating new shades of gray.

  35. Anna Vogel

    Battle cry <3

  36. fillibustercat

    Well damn

  37. ¿Pero que?

    Wtnv weather is back on point!

  38. Jayoinavation

    Shots of Jameson.

  39. Brent Weigelt

    Wow!!! Killer!!!

  40. Γιάννης Τριανταφύλλου


  41. Angela PS

    I love this. So happy to have new music from Dessa again; never disappoints. Never Dessappoints. :-D

  42. Ben Caughers

    I never pre-order albums! I just made an exception for CHIME!

  43. Ramakrishnan Mohan

    Damn! This is a fantastic song! That's a hell of a first verse!

  44. A Casali

    Half these views are me

  45. xxSabriel xx

    So good! Can't get why she isn't popular.

    Bad Dub

    This. It annoys me people look up to the likes of Nicki Minaj when females like Dessa exist.

    xxSabriel xx

    Bad Dub Exactly! Same for me.


    Too woke for the masses

    Herr Neureiter

    Agreed. I was introduced to her a few days ago when watching Mark Grondin’s review of “Chime,” and the record absolutely blew me away. It’s an amazing genre-pushing hip hop album, and in my opinion, “Fire Drills” is by far the strongest song off of it – it’s one of the best songs I have ever heard. An utterly phenomenal piece of commentary on street harassment and the culture that enables it.
    Honestly, one of the most infuriating things in mainstream hip hop during the last couple of years was hearing Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” be praised as feminist. Of course, I’m not saying that female empowerment cannot be sexual; however, buying into the role as an object and embracing the idea of being eye candy is definitely NOT feminist. If you truly want good rap music about the ways the patriarchy affects women in their everyday lives, “Fire Drills” is exactly the song to listen to.
    However, I believe that is exactly why she is not popular. It’s kind of hard to be a woman in mainstream hip hop, especially if you don’t like the idea of being viewed the way the patriarchy wants you to.


    It's not because she's a woman. You cited Nicki Minaj, and she's massively popular. As for not following "the patriarchy", Lauryn Hill didn't sexualize herself and she was huge.

    Dessa isn't mainstream because she is too intelligent and won't compromise her craft. Nobody wants to hear about Bertrand Russell, Prometheus, St Thomas Aquinas, and "Death of a Salesman" in hip-hop. People are too stupid to understand it. Go listen to "Velodrome" and her brilliant take on the philosophical problem of free will, or listen to POS' "Low Light Low Life" and listen to her line about melting down (liberty) bells.

    You don't need to needlessly complicate it with patriarchy theory. She's just too smart for the average person to appreciate.

  46. kay tea


  47. A Nau

    Another awesome song, and video... Blew the MFN walls off!!

  48. Darwin's Beer Reviews

    Yes! She's back!

    Scott Ross

    I hear that! So powerful.

  49. Miranda Jackson

    yesssss dessa thank you!!

  50. Moira Russell


  51. Alice Keri Reininger

    Already pre-ordered this album! Man I wish she would come to my state, I would love to see her live.

  52. Bad Dub

    Still waiting for Dessa and Atmosphere to collab

    First Last

    No thanks. Atmosphere is overrated.

    Bad Dub

    I have to disagree wholeheartedly


    "alanis morrisette...."


    Atmosphere fell off over a decade ago. I'd like to see her collaborate with ceschi or sadistik

  53. Mickey

    Does anyone know what's layered over the part where she's saying "We're running fire drills" at the end? It looks like something under a magnifying glass.

    Evil Ice Cream Pictures

    the visual? Its a film burn like what happens when film gets caught in the gate and heats up and melts.

    Josh G

    I think it is supposed to be paint that is bubbling and melting in the heat of a fire. Cool visual.

    Tximino M

    Evil Ice Cream Pictures, the fact that people don't know this makes me feel incredibly old.

    Megan Lowe

    Josh G No, as Evil Ice Cream Pictures said, it's a film burn, when film heats up and melts.

  54. Sarah Gregory

    Dessa thank you so much <3

  55. Lucky Lab Rat

    go out and be brave... i love that

  56. Sarah

    omg Dessa

  57. umdroid

    Honestly these lyrics could be easily read as a manifesto! So powerful!

    Mr. Limbs

    Couldn't agree more.