"Enola Gay" as written by and Andrew Mc Cluskey....
Enola gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday
Oho it can't describe the feeling and the way you lied
These games you play, they're gonna end it all in tears someday
Oho Enola gay, it shouldn't ever have to end this way

It's 8:15, that's the time that it's always been
We got your message on the radio, condition's normal and you're coming home
Enola gay, is mother proud of little boy today
Oho, this kiss you give, it's never ever gonna fade away

Enola gay, it shouldn't ever have to end this way
Oho Enola gay, it should've faded our dreams away
It's 8:15, oh that's the time that it's always been
We got your message on the radio, condition's normal and you're coming home
Enola gay, is mother proud of little boy today
Oho, this you give, it's never ever gonna fade away


Lyrics submitted by fletch699

"Enola Gay" as written by Andrew Mc Cluskey

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Enola Gay song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentThe Cold War was the subject of many 80s synthpop songs, among which "Enola Gay" is one of the best known. The other posters who point out the obvious reference to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima ("Little Boy"), and the evocation of the imagery of a mother and her child as an ironic metaphor for the relationship between the bomber and the bomb, are all correct. The song is even more specific -- it is about living in the 1980s under the shadow of Cold War fears of atomic war and nuclear annihilation, which many people at the time viewed as inevitable given the way world events seemed to be going. The song looks back almost wistfully to the point in history when that state of existence was brought into being.

    The motif of the clock stopped at 8:15, the indelible kiss (of the heat flash from the bomb blast), and the call of "conditions normal," all reference that sense of history frozen on the precipice of armageddon. (The melancholy, bittersweet yet strangely kicky tune of the original song also expresses that feeling -- for young people at the time a song that they could dance to in the shadow of their own impending destruction seemed perfectly appropriate.) In many places throughout popular culture, not just song lyrics,

    But in saying, "It shouldn't ever have to end this way," the song is also making a tacit plea to change the direction of world events, challenging just a tiny bit the idea that nuclear destruction was completely inevitable. Many people living at the time truly believed that the Cold War would still be going on long after they were no longer alive -- if the world was not destroyed first -- yet because of "Enola Gay" and many other forms of popular expression that reminded people of these issues and gave them a way to articulate their fears (and hopes), popular movements around the world eventually forced a change of heart by political leaders.

    By the early 1990s, America has begun extensive nuclear disarmament and Soviet Russia had completely collapsed. The Cold War was over. But the disconsolate lyrics and eerie tune of "Enola Gay" still evoke the anxiety, fear, and determination of that strange era.

    fructivoreon December 12, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima which helped to end WWII.

    The name of the plane was Enola Gay. 8:15 AM on August 6, 1945 was the time the bomb was dropped. The name of the bomb was "Little Boy."
    squidboyon June 30, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYes, this song literally is about Hiroshima's atomic bomb, but this event is also used as a metaphor of all little actions with huge and devastating consequences, like infidelity.

    Pressing a button can be like giving an "inocent" kiss... with death following afterwards.
    Alienoon November 30, 2004   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningIt is well known what this song means. Its about the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hirosima, Japan by America in 1945 and the wrongness of it.
    'Enola Gay' was the name of the plane that dropped the bomb.
    From the start we know the narrator disagrees with the bomb dropped because he says 'Enola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday' and should'nt have gone out on the mission. This also tells us that the narrator is telling this story of how he regrets the dropping of the bomb, straight after it he knows the actual effects, only the day after. He then goes on to say that 'words cant describe the feeling in the way you lied' I believe 'the way you lied' refers to the fact that the war was more or less finished (already peace in Europe) and even though war was'nt officially over between America and Japan, it must have been a big surprise when war was probably thought to have finished.
    'these games you play, they're going to end in more tears someday' means that the more we experiment with so destructable weapons, the more destructable we wil become and will cause even more suffering. 'It shouldnt have to end this way' simply means that there was no real need for the dropping and even if there was much more need, it should'nt never ever happened.
    'Its 8:15 and thats the time that its always been' simply refers to the time the bomb was dropped as planned. 'We got your message on the radio: Conditions normal and you're coming home' is pretty self explanitry as well, being about the pilot in the plane reporting that he's dropped the bomb and is coming home. When I hear 'conditions normal' it makes me think that the narrator is angry that all these people are dying and all that matters is that the pilot is fine.
    'Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today' has two meanings of which i think both can and are correct. Firstly it is refering to the pilot. The plane is named after the pilot who flyed it's mother and secondary, 'little boy' was the name of the atomic bomb itself and so, the narrator is asking the pilots mother (and the rest of the people who were involved in the devlopment and plan of the bomb dropping) if she is proud of her son, dropping the bomb, and the bomb itself, causing so much misery and suffering.
    'This kiss you give, its never ever gonna fade away' shows us that the kiss, the activation of the bomb, is never going to fade away, mostly in the term that the disaster will be remembered for always, and never forgetten in history, but also physically, in that you can still see where it was hit.
    This is a beautiful, powerful and clever song, about a real sad and important issue. I love it that it seems like just a love song on the outside but if you look into it, its actually about something completly different.
    Muffingirlon February 18, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy favourite 80's song by far!

    just great. although its about war and the enola gay bomber (by the way is this also the first romantic song ever about an aircraft bomber??), i like the fact the upbeat and general feel-good tone to the song somewhat hides this and makes it seem happy.

    just love that 80's synth sound!

    and this is also about the only song i can do well on karaoke!
    Paul_draperon March 28, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment'Little Boy' was the name of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. 'Fat Man' was the bomb later dropped on Nagasaki.

    Hence the references to being proud of little boy. Just to clear that up.
    daborgon August 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits just a fuckin rad song
    numbon April 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentxian-thir, the Japanese didn't surrender until August 14, and didn't sign surrender papers until September 2. The Soviet Union declared war on Japan on August 8. Your history is defective.
    squidboyon June 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI doupt he's blaming the pilot.. ffs
    Durang0on February 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe pilot named the plane after his mother, so you can bet the topic of 'Is mother proud of Little Boy today' is pretty damn valid.

    Lyrically this song is amazing. To the casual listener it may seem like a break-up song, like the narrator is lamenting after his break-up with a girl called 'Enola Gay'. But of course, we know what the song is really about- a bombing that would provide a kiss which would truly never, ever fade away. Pure genius.
    MaskOfSanityon April 09, 2006   Link

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