• I'm assuming that it refers to old-fashioned style electric heaters you used to get which had a series of heat-emitting bars- the 1st bar would give you gentle heat, the second slightly higher, the third even warmer and so on. The song seems to be about the cold and lonely feeling of being a long way apart from someone you love and "we'd set the fire to the third bar" about the increased warmth you would feel if you were with them.
  • I'm a huge Snow Patrol fan. I like the creativity of the answer, but I do have my own theory, as Snow Patrol has never answered this question. I think a bar refers to a pub, drinkery, or club. He goes to the first to drink away the pain. He skips the second in the song because he knows there are going to be more visits to other bars. He hopes, like most of us do, that he could be magically sent to the third bar. Where! You would be sitting and everything will pick up where left and the passion between you would set the third bar ablaze. And! By passing the second bar, he escapes the disappointment of that fantasy not being there.
  • The old fashioned electric heaters had 3 bars of which you could set on 1,2 or 3, 3 being the hottest!
  • the meaning of Set the fire to the third bar is both the setting on an old electric heater and a pub or bar, it is a pun or play on words, pretty clever too i might admit but it doesn't make sense for it only to be about pubs/ bars or only about electric heaters. pun, final answer

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