I See Fire

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"I See Fire"
Single by Ed Sheeran
from the album The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and x (Deluxe Edition)
Released 5 November 2013 (2013-11-05)
Recorded 2013
Genre Folk
Length 5:00
Label WaterTower Music, Decca Records
Writer(s) Ed Sheeran
Producer(s) Ed Sheeran, Pete Cobbin, Kirsty Whalley
Ed Sheeran singles chronology
"Old School Love"
"I See Fire"
Music sample

"I See Fire" is a song from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, written, composed and performed by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It appears as the end-credit song for the film.[1] It entered the UK Singles Chart at number 13 and reached number 1 in New Zealand on its sixth week, marking Sheeran's first number-one single in the country.

Chosen by The Hobbit director Peter Jackson, Sheeran saw the film, wrote the song, and recorded most of it on the same day.[2] The song was released as a digital download on 5 November 2013. Its music video was released on the same day. The song has also since been nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Original Song.


Peter Jackson discovered Sheeran through his daughter Katie in early 2013, and then met him while he was touring in New Zealand, when searching for an artist to record the end-credit of The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson and producer/co-writer Fran Walsh decided, following the advice of their daughter, to ask him to write and perform the song. The Hobbit was the first book Sheeran ever read, and he was a fan of both Tolkien's and Jackson's work.[3]


"Despite having never played the violin in his life, Ed thought he might try overdubbing one himself, and Katie [Jackson] raced out to borrow a rather battered one from a school friend."

Peter Jackson, November 2013[2]

In only one day, Sheeran watched the film at Park Road Post, immediately went to a room to write the song, and recorded most of it. Despite having never played the violin, he chose to perform it himself via overdubbing. Sheeran commented on the production stating, "I got the chance to produce and play all the instruments on it apart from the cello (... and I) managed to learn (the) violin for a day".[4] Flight of the Conchords' touring cellist Nigel Collins added cello parts, dictated by Sheeran. Pete Cobbin from Abbey Road Studios, responsible for mixing the musical score of The Desolation of Smaug by Howard Shore, was at Park Road at the same time and mixed "I See Fire", with Jackson being present during the whole recording.[2]


"I See Fire" was released on iTunes by WaterTower Music and Decca Records on 5 November 2013.[4] It was later released in album format in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 10 December 2013.

Live performances[edit]

Sheeran performed the song on 7 February 2014 with Taylor Swift, who he was surprise guest for, during her Red Tour at the O2 World in Berlin, Germany.[5] The song was also performed at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.

Chart performance[edit]

Since its release on 5 November 2013, "I See Fire" has been listed for 159 weeks in 19 different charts.[6] Its first appearance was on 7 November in the Ireland Singles Top 100, where it debuted at number 22.[6]

In Australia, the song debuted at number 68 and peaked at number 6.[7] It has since been certified two times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting sales of 140,000 copies.

In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 7 peaking at number 1 on the RIANZ chart.[8] The song was certified triple platinum by the Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ), denoting sales of 45, 000 copies, and has gone on to became a sleeper hit, and has so far spent 35 weeks in the top 40. The song proved to be successful in many European countries, with a peak position of number 1 in Norway and Sweden.[9][10] "I See Fire" also saw success in the Philippines, reaching number 1 in the charts.

Music video[edit]

The official music video for "I See Fire" premiered on 5 November 2013, along with the release of the song. The video shows Sheeran during the production of the song and Sheeran performing the song, as well as shots of the film. Peter Jackson stating, "it was a great experience, and what you will see in this video are moments captured by our behind the scenes team during the creation of the song".[2]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "I See Fire"   5:00

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]


Year Awards Category Work Result
2013 Satellite Award Best Original Song "I See Fire" Nominated

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide[43] 5 November 2013 Digital download WaterTower Music, Decca Records


  1. ^ "Ed Sheeran: New song, I See Fire, for Hobbit sequel". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d ""I See Fire" Music Video". thehobbitblog.com. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ed Sheeran Is 'Geeking Out' Over His 'Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' Song". mtv.com. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Ed Sheeran debuts new solo song 'I See Fire' for 'Hobbit' movie". digitalspy.com.au. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "It's getting hot in here! Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran perform I See Fire on the latest part of her Red Tour in Berlin". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". Music Charts. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ a b "Norwegiancharts.com – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". VG-lista.
  10. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". Singles Top 60.
  11. ^ The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Special Edition (Media notes). WaterTower Music, Decca Records. 2013. p. 6, 8. 
  12. ^ "I See Fire mixed and mastered by Abbey Road Studios". Abbey Road. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ed Sheeran – I See Fire – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Ed Sheeran Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Ed Sheeran.
  17. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201421 into search.
  18. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201433 into search. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". Tracklisten.
  20. ^ "Ed Sheeran: I See Fire" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  22. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 10 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  24. ^ Icelandic Singles Chart
  25. ^ "Chart Track: Week 46, 2013". Irish Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs – January 25, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Ed Sheeran search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  29. ^ Top 30 Singles Chart Philippines. Music Weekly. Retrieved and archived from 28 December 2013.
  30. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  32. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201415 into search.
  33. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201430 into search. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  34. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire" Canciones Top 50.
  35. ^ "Ed Sheeran – I See Fire – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  36. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  37. ^ "Ed Sheeran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Ed Sheeran. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  38. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  39. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Ed Sheeran in the field Interpret. Enter I See Fire in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  40. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  41. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2013" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  42. ^ "British single certifications – Ed Sheeran – I See Fire". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter I See Fire in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  43. ^ Sources for "I See Fire" single release worldwide: