"Manhattan Project" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
Imagine a time
When it all began in the dying days of a war
A weapon, that would settle the score
Whoever found it first
Would be sure to do their worst
They always had before

Imagine a man
Where it all began
A scientist pacing the floor
In each nation, always eager to explore
To build the best big stick
To turn the winning trick
But this was something more

The big bang, took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The end was begun, it would hit everyone
When the chain reaction was done
The big shots, try to hold it back
Fools try to wish it away
The hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the hopeless may say

Imagine a place
Where it all began
They gathered from across the land
To work in the secrecy of the desert sand
All of the brightest boys
To play with the biggest toys
More than they bargained for

The big bang, took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the hopeless may say

Imagine a man
When it all began
The pilot of Enola Gay
Flying out of the shock wave
On that August day
All the powers that be
And the course of history
Would be changed for evermore

The big bang, took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The end was begun, it would hit everyone
When the chain reaction was done
The big shots, try to hold it back
Fools try to wish it away
The hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the hopeless may say

The big bang, took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the hopeless may say


Lyrics submitted by MasterDuncan03

"Manhattan Project" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., OLE MM, OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP, Peermusic Publishing

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Manhattan Project song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentWhen the first A-bomb was detonated, the scientists were unsure of what would happen. Some of them truly believed that the chain reaction would never stop and the planet would be destroyed.
    In a sense that is what did happen. With the advent of nuclear weapons, the world that changed, and the old world was gone forever.
    TonyGon April 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNeil read something around 10 books on the subject to make sure all the facts were correct, now thats dedication.
    Vannarothon July 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAsian Rush Fan-

    Re: dumping fluoride, and putting in our toothpaste and water to get rid of it, I hope you're being sarcastic...

    Kids, If he's not kidding, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel. It's put in our water because it's a necessary mineral that we don't get from our food.

    This song is great. Doesn't glorify the A-bomb. Just tells the story.
    bronchialon May 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of Rush's few entirely literal songs. There is nothing more here than Neil's retelling of the race to build the bomb. Anecdotally, this song got me to where I am today, studying nuclear engineering in college. It went from "I want to hear more about the manhattan project" to "wow this nuclear stuff is pretty amazing" to "I want to work in nuclear energy". So here I am, thank you Rush for helping me decide my career path.
    phildo123on May 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta good political song about WWII, and not chicks, as my brother seemed to think it was.
    MasterDuncan03on May 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt could be about 'chicks' symbolically (MAYBE), but in a literal sense it's totally about the atomic bombs, "fat man" and "little boy".
    watchthefireworkson May 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOr wait... now that I think about it, it could just be a metaphor for destruction.
    watchthefireworkson May 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot really, if you listen to the lyrics, it is clearly about WWII. Big Bang took and shook the world, SHOT DOWN THE RISING SUN. An obvious reference to WWII Japan. Besides, they even said it was about WWII in the booklet that came with The Chronicles album.
    MasterDuncan03on May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabout the atom bombs and how they changed the war
    beemer11on June 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about the atom bomb
    crackermcnaccaon July 08, 2002   Link

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