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RADAR: Radiation-Related Music Page


It's really amazing. We have gotten so much done in the last couple of years putting this site together and making all of the information access so automated, we really have very little left to do with ourselves anymore. We probably should do some volunteer work in the community or something, but we decided that it would be more fun to make a compilation of radiation-related songs. Here's a list of the songs we found. If you have any suggestions for ones we could add, please let us know! We are not treating all songs dealing with nuclear weapons, just radiation directly.

The actual lyrics are copyright, so we just provide you with directions to sites where the lyrics are found. Some of these sites come with a lot of pop up ads, we tried to find the best sites for you, but some of them are still a bit annoying in that category. You're on your own for finding mp3's - just remember to get them legally, now. Hey, we actually got listed on a legitimate web site. Does that make us sorta legitimate? Ah...no sense voting on it or anything. We post crap. You decide.

General Radiation Songs

The Geiger Counter Song, by Ralph Blane and Harry Warren --- This is very good. The site actually plays the music for you, too. As I understand it, Doris Day sang this in "My Dream is Yours," a late-40s uber-technicolor piece of fluff about a girl singer who makes good by dropping the snappy ditties and going for the soulful ballads (which, oddly enough, sounded just like the snappy ditties). (Movie review and site reference provided gleefully by Nan Knight of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine staff).

Workin' at the Nuclear Power Plant --- To the tune of "Walkin in a Winter Wonderland". This is gr-r-r-reat. Thanks to Jim Herrold for finding the author. He is a nuclear engineer (would I lie to you?) and his name is Penney File (nicknamed Plentey Vile!), and he has a great, great website. You will find lots there to enjoy; I sure did.

Nuclear Beauty Parlor --- Check it out! Thanks again to Jim Herrold for this one. Cool web site, with sound, photos, lyrics. "Want to look good for the arms race? At the nuclear beauty parlor You can curl up and dye." "Have an MX perm with B1 curls, You can be the envy of all the girls." I LOVE this!

The Radiation Song, by the Aquabats --- Both the title and the song are right down center court. I think all we nukers should say "I swear I see a tear in your radiation wear" at any time to mean a flaw in your character, something wrong with what you're wearing, bad logic in your argument, etc., what say you?

Radioactive, by The Firm --- "Turn me on tonight, 'cause I'm radioactive." This is my motto in life. An often used, and rarely successful, line used in pickup situations. Try it, and tell me about your outcomes. Did you notice the word 'rarely', as distinguished from 'never'? Email me for details.

Radioactive, by Rita Ora --- This is light pop, not very high quality in this critic's opinion, but mentionable. "This love's radioactive, drop the bomb, let me feel the heat...Moving on beat as the world ends, this nuclear heat is a a beautiful end." Upbeat fatalism, ohhhhkayyyy.

Radioactive, by The Kings of Leon --- Not sure why they chose this title, nothing about radioactivity, except for something being "in the water".I don't get any radiation ideas from the video, either, but drink the water where you came from, ohhhkayyy...

Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons --- Not my favorite Dragons song, 'This is it, the apocalypse...I'm radioactive, radioactive.' Just kinda depressing to me, but OK.

Electron Romance, by Sting --- "Laser licks like lighting love, And a phaser flicks in a phaser flood...With a magical motion we dance in a dream, Happy to be Electricity!" Very nice. This from the album entitled Strontium 90.

Radioactive, by Downtown Science --- "Particles drift into atoms and separate, Developing movement known as soundwaves, That travel at mach one via the airspace, Hittin the microphone, makin it vibrate" - OK, they did not get an A in Physics, but it's a good rap song. Suggested by Henry Rose, who sent me the mp3, too, Mikey liked it.

Feelin Radioactive, by Scott Wilk and the Walls --- "Feelin radioactive, think I'm gonna melt down tonight, feelin radioactive, like uranium dynamite, you really got my Geiger counter clickin..." - Couldn't find the full lyrics, but this link allows you to hear the MP3. Suggested by Rick Timms, thanks.

Radioactive, by Gene Simmons --- Starts out talking about radioactivity being in the food and water, seems to switch to being just a love song, but puncutated frequently with "radioactive".

Neutron Dance, by The Pointer Sisters --- I still like this song a lot. Definitely fast neutrons, resonance escape probability is zero. Whoo-hoo. Now what any of it has to do with neutrons I never understood. But you don't have to understand the deep meaning of a song to sing it badly in your car when no one's listening, right?

Hot Frogs on the Loose, by Fred Small --- As stated on the web page, "This song was inspired by a real incident: frogs breeding in contaminated ponds at the atomic energy lab in Oak Ridge, Tennessee became radioactive and were setting off detectors and alarms as they hopped around the complex. They had to build a special frog fence to contain the frogs."

Maybe It's Imaginary Lyrics, by Kirsty Maccoll --- Just a brief mention of nuclear feeeesh, but worth a mention."

Spiderman, by The Ramones --- Take heart, all you nuclear medicine patients out there, "Is he strong? Listen, Bud, he's got radioactive blood!"

Radiation, by Feeder --- There are about a dozen songs just called 'Radiation'. Here's one. I liked the flow of the lyrics on this one, would like to hear it.

Radioactivity, by Kraftwerk --- Very brief, but at least it honors the good Madame Curie. The album was also called 'Radioactivity' and has a song 'Geiger Counter' (for which I could not find lyrics; it may be an instrumental). There is also a track called 'Uranium'; the complete lyrics appear to be: "Through constant decay, uranium creates the radioactive ray."

Uranium Rock, by Warren Smith --- "I got a big geiger counter, it's a pretty good rig, When the needle starts clickin' it's where I'm gonna dig", hey, fun stuff!

Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet Near Mars, by Weird Al Yankovic --- OK, what collection would be complete without this one? Weird Al is, of course, a legend for this kind of stuff, but this did not win the award for best title on the page, remarkably. You will have to read on to find the winner and second runner up. But Al is a competitor, no one can deny.

Christmas at Ground Zero, also by Weird Al Yankovic --- We didn't cover all nuclear war related stuff here, but this one is cute and has the charming rhyme "It's Christmas at ground zero, and if the radiation level's okay, I'll go out with you and see all the new Mutations on New Year's Day".

Radiation Suit, by Hot Rod Circuit --- Check this, it's fun but a bit vague. I think it's about unrequited love at the power plant. The last line has some literary value.

Atomic Power, by Fred Kirby --- An old classic country song, circa 1946. Gotta quote the whole first chorus: "O' this world is a at a tremble with its strength and mighty power, They're sending up to heaven to get the brimstone fire, Take warning my dear brother, be careful how you plan, You're working with the power of God's own holy hand." I guess you nuke plant workers have some church and state issues to work out now.

Atomic Baby, by Amos Milburn --- This is classy. 'She keeps me so worried, that I call her U 92, She's got a high potential and a low resistance point...Yeah she heats my room, she lights my light, She starts my motor, and it runs all night...'

Sword of Damocles, by Lou Reed --- "Radiation kills both bad and good it cannot differentiate. So to cure you they must kill you, the Sword of Damocles hangs above your head." Is this, like, supposed to rhyme at some point? Whatever.

The Wild West Is Where I Want To Be, by Tom Lehrer --- "Where the scenery's attractive, and the air is radioactive". You gotta love that rhyme. Tom had several songs dealing with bomb issues, and we did not treat all of them here. One good one, however, is We Will All Go Together When We Go, that has the memorable phrase "When the air becomes uranious, And we will all go simultaneous."

Hooray for NMR Spectroscopy --- This is not "good" in the normal sense of the wordl; it's a bit like a bad car wreck that you can't look away from. A group with aspirations of being Barney the Dinosaur one day, they tell us how wonderful NMR spectroscopy can truly be!

Radiation Vibe, by Fountains of Wayne --- I have no clue what this song is about. But "It's a radiation vibe I'm groovin on", yeah, I can go with that, at least.

The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades, by Timbuk 3 --- The title of this well known 80s hit is not so important, but the song leads off with "I study nuclear science, I love my classes, I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses".

Fade Away and Radiate, by Blondie --- For all you Cerenkov-obsessed types out there: "Ooh baby, I hear how you spend night-time: Wrapped like candy in a pure blue neon glow. Fade away and radiate."

Atomic, by Blondie --- Another recommended hit by Blondie (LOTS of us out there still preoccupied with 1985). I can't tell what Atomic really has to do with this song, or what this song has to do with much of anything. ---NEWS FLASH--- Rock songs often aren't deep and meaningful, but are popular anyway! Cool image was given with the released single:

Radiation Ranch, by the Brian Setzer Orchestra --- One, count it, one, lyric about radiation, unless you count a reference to UFOs. The title made me expect a lot more.

Lethal Radiation, by Love Like Blood --- A pretty well crafted protest song, reminiscent of the 60's. Yes, the NINETEEN 60's. You punks.

Playing with Uranium, by Duran Duran --- "Come on over to my place, Playing with uranium, If it blows up in your face, See you on the other side". Rumor has it that they collaborated with Michael Jackson on this one.

So you'd Like to Save the World, by Lloyd Cole --- Nice little song, brief reference to radiation.

Breathing, by Kate Bush --- Cautionary fallout song, has a spoken word part describing different sized explosions. Then the memorable "Chips of plutonium are twinkling in every lung." Romantic, eh? Midnight at the Nuclear Oasis...

Atomic Punk, by van Halen --- "Nobody rules these streets at night but me. The Atomic Punk, Oh, yeah. Ah-ah!", guitar solo, whatever...

Television, Drug of the Free, by Disposable Heroes of Hipocrisy --- This song is a jumble of ideas, kinda like Steven Wright's idea that he thought the dictionary was a poem about everything. Very little reference to radiation, just the chorus, but, hey, it makes the list. Electrons are cheap.

Mercy, Mercy Me, by Marvin Gaye --- I knew this song, but never noticed the lyrics "Radiation under ground and in the sky. Animals and birds who live nearby are dying...." until noted by a RADAR visitor.

Sounds of Science, by Beastie Boys --- has a nice rhyme "Shea stadium the radium e m d squared"

Private Idaho, by the B-52's --- Thanks to Mark Hogue for this. Kinda cryptic - "Don't go on the patio. Beware of the pool, blue bottomless pool." "Well, don't be blind to the big surprise swimming round and round like the deadly hand of a radium clock, at the bottom of the pool." Mark thinks it may be about INEEL. Works for me. Guess I won't download this one to my mp3 player right yet.

Why Does the Sun Shine, by They Might Be Giants --- "The sun is mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees." Informative, perhaps, but doesn't seem like a real toe-tapper.

Nuclear Themes

Say it with the President: "Nyu-kyu-ler". We are not going to cover every song about the bomb, nuclear war, etc., we will just stick to radiation/radioactivity songs.

Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb, by Lee McCollum --- Recorded by at least a half a dozen artists, I like this one.

Nuclear Infected, by Alice Cooper --- "I'm nuclear infected, looking for a mate, so slip on something lead, babe, and go out on a date". "I'm nuclear infected, I need something to eat, a China Syndrome Salad with plutonium and cheese." Says it all.

Nuclear Guru, by Orange Goblin --- real cheery stuff - "Astro-palace, fourth dimension, neutrons gathered in a cosmagnetic shell, he's Satan's scientific offspring, nuclear Guru of interplanetary hell". Didn't Dolly Parton adapt this for a Christmas special?

Watching Joey Glow, by Steve Goodman --- Submitted by Jeremy Boak. "Down here in the shelter, we've got everything we need. Mom put up her peach preserves, Pa's got a book to read. Sister knits some bandages, and we turn the lights down low, and play some Scrabble, watching Joey glow." Brilliant!

Nuclear Waste, by Oi Polloi --- slightly misguided anti-nuke song. Hard to understand how it can be sung, it's quite wordy.

Nuclear Love Machine, by Ugly Americans --- could not find these lyrics, but the title is promising, eh? If you have a link to these lyrics, let me know.

Nuclear War on the Dance Floor, by Electric Six --- Not much to this one, but there is some limited literary value: "Electric lovin a sex crime, You're a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty girl. You can do a lot of things with that." Memorable, well, in a 'Memento' kind of way.

Two Monstrous Nuclear Stockpiles, by Discharge --- The song has two lines. The title is almost longer. These guys weren't overachievers, I guess.

Just the X-rays, Ma'am

X-ray, by Black Lab --- I don't know if that's 'Lab' for 'Labrador' or 'Laboratory'. And I don't much care. Nice enough little song, though.

X-ray, by The Kinks --- More introspective than one would expect from a rock song. They pegged me with the "inside every straight upright citizen a tormented emotionally impaired psychologically damaged personality resides", wellllll, OK, except for that "upright citizen" part.

X-ray Man, by Liz Phair --- An OK little song.

X-ray Eyes, by Guster --- We have four, count 'em four, "x ray eyes" to get through. This one's a bit funky.

X-ray Eyes, by Kiss --- Standard, formula rock 'n' roll.

X-ray Eyes, by Randy --- An OK, nostalgic piece.

X-ray Eyes, by The Bee Gees --- Oh yeah, here we go, this is nice. "She's kind of supernatural, a human laserbeam. A magical phenomenon that penetrates my dreams" and more "ah-ee-ah-ee-yah"s than you can shake a stick at. Good stuff.

X-ray Mind, by Mad Season --- A little bit dark, but not enough to get moved to "The DARK Side", below.

X-ray Blues, by Ray Charles --- Mr. Class. But major bummer, I could not find these lyrics. Any suggestions for a site are appreciated. Someone suggested that it might be just an instrumental. If anyone knows, tell me, OK?

[CAUTION, OFFENSIVE LYRICS] X-ray Specs, by The Sweet --- You may want to rinse off after reading this one.

X-ray Style, by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros --- A lively sounding little piece. Good band name.

X-ray Mirror, by Voivod --- Very interesting imagery. Borders on actual poetry for me. Then there's....

Neutrino, by Voivod --- This borders on disjointed stream of consciousness: "dark neutrino, low frequency, false memory, no compromise, all hope denied, planet creation, psycho transformer, subject retention, reset dead people". If you get it, please don't tell me, K?

Little Neutrino, by Klaatu --- "I am someone you'll never know, I am the little neutrino, And now I'm passing through, The one who is known as you". Kinda cute.

X-ray Hamburger, by The Network --- Sketchy, some sci fi imagery. I really don't know what they are trying to communicate.

The Man with the X-ray Eyes, by Bauhaus --- Vague, sort of angry song. "The atomic open house is really here" - if you say so, son.

Childhood Memories, By British Sea Power --- "no a little electricity won't hurt...God help us if the radiation leaks, God help us if nobody knows for weeks..." Kind of a disturbed childhood, I guess. A little therapy wouldn't hurt, either.

Redemption Song, by Bob Marley --- "Have no fear for atomic energy, 'Cause none of them can stop the time. How long shall they kill our prophets, While we stand aside and look? Ooh!" Bob only gets so angry, ya know? Could have to do with a certain mellowing substance oft nearby.

[CAUTION, OFFENSIVE STUFF] I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas, by the Butthole Surfers --- I tried to keep this site, and page, classy. This is trashy, but you gotta put it in, dontcha think? No, the lyrics don't get classier than the title, as you might imagine. Confused, but perhaps fun if the shoe fits (see note above about "impaired psychologically damaged personality").

[CAUTION, OFFENSIVE LYRICS] Your X-Rays Have Just Come Back From The Lab And We Think We Know What Your Problem Is, by Jets To Brazil --- o-o-o-o-o-k. Just one bad word in an otherwise interesting little ramble which, however, has nothing much to do with the title, as far as I can tell. Just some general commentary on societal problems. "I am the rabbit wrapped in panic actor"? I think I would like to hear this one sometime, but I could be wrong.

The DARK Side

Thank God For The Bomb, by Ozzy Osbourne --- "Nuke ya, nuke ya", a cheery sentiment by our wild and crazy brother Ozzy.

Birth by Radiation, by Deceased --- Yes, yes, 'Birth' by 'Deceased'; you think too much. Good, nasty heavy metal imagery. Gotta be some heavy, pounding guitar music to go with this one, I'll bet.

Electric Funeral, by Black Sabbath --- "Flashes in the sky turns houses into sties, Turns people into clay, radiation minds decay." It's Black Sabbath, you were expecting maybe kittens and flowers? Of course I don't know what that last phrase is supposed to mean; they probably didn't either.

Radiation Sickness, by Nuclear Assault--- The feel-good hit of the new millennium. Yup, these guys are current. If you're having a tough day, just sing a little chorus of "Die, slow, death, Die, slow, death, Die, slow, death, Die, slow, death" and you'll perk right up. Well, at least if you are Invader Zim, I guess.

[CAUTION, OFFENSIVE LYRICS] Radiation Sickness, by Repulsion --- Two great tastes that taste great together, radiation sickness and repulsion. Another really uplifting ditty. Just one bad word, lots of dark imagery.

Radioactive Toy, by Porcupine Tree --- There seems to be a group called 'Cemetery Scream" (who apparently recorded at the 'Gamma Studio' in Krakow, Poland, can it be??) that has a song by the same name, but I can't find their lyrics. Not sure a lot of searching is worth the further depression of my nervous system should I succeed.

Unfinished Radiation, by Gore --- I don't think this is Al Gore, and I KNOW it ain't Tipper. Al always has some unfinished business, or some other excuse for making a speech, but this seems a bit dark for him, even if he's thinking of George on his Radiation Ranch. There are some other, ahem, cute lyrics by this apparently disturbed group of, ahem, individuals, but we cannot fail to mention......

Attenuated Mutant Worms, by Gore --- Their grasp of radiation attenuation physics and radiation biology may be a bit weak, but they get FIRST RUNNER UP for the best title on the page.

Radioactive, by Septic Flesh --- Two great tastes ... wait, I used that dumb joke already. 'Septic Flesh'? OK, whatever. A delightful song of minefields, shattered limbs and cockroach eggs. Do we sense a literary trend here? Do we want to change jobs suddenly??? I think I need a shower, hot one, very hot.

Your Love is Like Nuclear Waste, by Tuff Darts --- Jim Herrold transcribed the lyrics for us (what a guy!) Here's some: "Your love is like nuclear waste. Your body is a danger to the human race. They should stamp 'contaminated' right across your face." "I'd rather crawl through poison ivy or grab high tension lines, cut my legs off at my knees or set myself on fire than be between the sheets with you, for any time or feel your scaley flesh moving onto mine." Hopeless romantics, obviously, but can they sing?

Miscellaneous Bits

Whiskey-Faced-Radioactive-Blowdryin'-Lady --- Well, this one is way out there. Not a really great song by any stretch, but a way cool song title, no? Our **WINNER** for best song title on the page.

The Radium Dance, by Jean Schwartz --- Originally done in a musical called "Piff! Paff! Pouf!". A nice description can be found at the PTP historical collection website on this topic.

Radioactive, an album by AM Radio --- Original, hand-written lyrics, scanned in. Can't tell if there is really much about radiation.

The Atomic Cafe --- Billed as "satirical documentary on the subject of American propaganda". Includes a soundtrack with songs like "Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb", "Atom Bomb Baby" and "Sputniks and Mutniks". Supposedly available on DVD now.

Cs-137 --- Check out this duo! According to their bio, "Isaac Glendening and Matthew Cargil formed Cesium-137 in 1998. Experimenting with various forms of dance music and making an effort to generate new tones within their compositions, the duo began performing at various underground nightspots in their native Philadelphia area." I didn't see much in their lyrics about radiation, but they do report a "chemical high, demons in my mind".

The Radioactive Goldfish --- An early 1990's band....and the corollary...

The Radioactive Cats --- Also a 1990's band, not much about radiation I can perceive. This is, however the name of an interesting art piece of some acclaim, by Sandy Skoglund:


The Radiators --- A late 1990's band.

David Lindley & El Rayo X --- Current band.

Do not fail to notice the all time winner, of course, for Song of the Site, scrolling by below....