"Atom Tan" as written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones....
Now the corporations stopped!
Stopped pushing fast food
Been a multiple shooting
Downtown at the bank
Reluctantly the panic begins
To catch fire
But it did not affect
The steady sale of jun
The state office looked
It looked like Hollywood
With make-up bleeding all over the cracks
Wo he blew his lines
Facing the cameras
He suffered the first

All live heart attack
Oh you've caught an even atom tan

The motor-cyanide
Cyanide suicide
He finally found the brick wall in his life
Shining up his engine
He dressed right up for it
At the top of the speedo
He crumpled the bike
There's plenty people runnin' runnin' for cover-
Hoping at best to hold off all the rest
Once last stand at the bunker fire
Machine gun and pitchfork and breast


But it isn't so easy
So easy for lovers
Chained in love
Stained at the top of the tower
The pink hearse is leaving at funeral speed
Driving your heart
Away with the flowers
All night I waited
I waited for a horseman
His ever faithful
His Indian friend
I'm not the only one
Of the caped crusader fan club watching the sky
For mankind's friend


Oh you've caught an even atom tan

Lyrics submitted by aebassist

"Atom Tan" as written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Atom Tan song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningThis is certainly about nuclear war, the ‘atom’ tan if you will. Numerous lines talk about things that will happen during a nuclear war. Such as corporations stopped pushing fast food, the panic begins, cyanide suicide, at the top of the speedo he crumpled his bike, people running for cover, last stand in a bunker.
    1AltManon March 28, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commentatom tan is what happens when you get exposed to radiation. you're skin goes red and blisters
    kdanceon April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love Atom Tan. It's one of my favorites off of Combat Rock as well. I believe this song is about life becoming as gritty and repulsive as Hollywood, where death and horror are taken at entertainment value.
    saystheshotgunon October 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about the apocalypse. I took someone as getting an Atom tan as somebody getting killed by an atom bomb.
    billydruidon February 10, 2009   Link
  • -2
    General CommentI'm surprised no one has commented on this song yet. One of my faves on Combat Rock. I love the vocal mixing is great.

    Anyway, about the meaning, I don't think it has one meaning, I think different areas of the song tackle different stuff.
    Bigson July 27, 2006   Link

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