"Uranium Rock" as written by and Alonzo Jr. Hopson....
Well I'm gettin' tired workin' as hard every day
Workin' as hard and not a-gettin' much pay
I got a big geiger counter, it's a pretty good rig
When the needle starts clickin' it's where I'm gonna dig
Money-money honey, and the kind you fold
Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
Rake it in, bale it up like hay
Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away

Well, I can see me now in my long Cadillac
Hinges in the middle, spare wheel on the back
Man, don't you know I'd be hard to stop
When I find that big uranium rock
Money-money honey, and the kind you fold
Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
Rake it in, bale it up like hay
Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away

Yes, that's me in my long Cadillac
Headin' down the road and I ain't comin' back
I ain't no red light gonna make me stop
When I find that big uranium rock
Money-money honey, and the kind you fold
Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
Rake it in, bale it up like hay
Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away


Lyrics submitted by ecorchee1

Uranium Rock song meanings
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    General CommentThis song was originally recorded in 1958, during the height of the uranium boom-and my hometown of Moab, Utah was ground zero for the madness.

    The lyrics remind me of Charlie Steen, the miner who kicked off the great uranium boom. "Hard Luck Charlie", as he was known before his big strike, moved to the Moab area to prospect. He livd in a tar paper shack with his wife and four young boys, living on deer that he had poached and doing their laundry in the Colorado River. The relevant lyrics:

    "Well I'm gettin' tired workin' as hard every day
    Workin' as hard and not a-gettin' much pay"

    That was Charlie, but he had high hopes of finding "that big uranium rock". He promised his wife that when he finally struck it rich, he would build her a mansion in Moab. On July 4th, 1952, he hit it.

    "I got a big geiger counter, it's a pretty good rig
    When the needle starts clickin' it's where I'm gonna dig"

    Charlie knew immediately that he was rich. As news spread, more prospectors flooded into Moab. Within six months, Moab's population climbed from 1200 to over 6000. It was pandemonium for a time-there was no available housing and only two small motels. Moab was still on the 'party line' phone system, and waitng 4 to 12 hours to make a 10 minute phone call was the norm. The sewage system was not ready for the influx, and raw sewage ran in the gutters. The schools ran three sessions per day. But Charlie kept his promise and built his wife a mansion, which still stands. His wife's first request was for a washer and dryer, but Charlie insisted that she had already done enough laundry, and he paid to have it flown to Gran Junction, Colorado for cleaning.

    "Money-money honey, and the kind you fold
    Money-money honey, rock 'n' roll
    Rake it in, bale it up like hay
    Have a rockin' good time and throw it all away"

    And he did have a rockin' good time and threw it all away. Besides numerous charitable donations, he threw huge parties at the town airport where ALL were invited to eat, drink and enjoy top-caliber entertainment. These parties were attended by thousands of locals. He would host fancy parties at his mansion that were regularly attended by Hollywood celebrities like Henry Fonda. He got a pilots license and would fly to Salt Lake City every week for rhumba lessons, or just to pick up tulip bulbs. TV reception in Moab was terrible (surrounded by sheer cliffs), so every Thursday night he would pilot the plane and fly circles high above the valley so his family could watch "I Love Lucy" in the darkened cabin (he even appeared in an episode of 'Lucy' in 1958). When the city of Moab finally installed parking meters, Charlie was so angry that he purchased them all. There are still no parking meters in Moab.
    His mine was ultimately valued at over $500,000,000 (nearly 5 BILLION today).

    "Yes, that's me in my long Cadillac"

    Charlie never had a Cadillac in Moab-but he did drive around in his trademark red Lincoln convertible. He even got one son a pet monkey. Alas, the good times didn't last long. A series of bad business investments and living the high life drained his fortune, and the Federal Government eventually popped hard-luck Charlie for income tax evasion. The government even impounded the pet monkey! After the feds were finished with him, the vast majority of his fortune was gone. Although he wasn't quite back to the tar-paper shack, he wasn't far from it. He died January 1, 2006 with only one son by his side.

    I am no relation to Charlie Steen, but his nephew is my barber...


    MoabBombon April 30, 2010   Link

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