This is where the summer ends
In a flash of pure destruction,
No-one wins

Goin' nuclear

Violets in my eyelids goin' red
Sentimental geek
Shut up and go to sleep, oh

The calm, the beach and the remains
Of the bathing suit and Porsches all in flames

Goin' Nuclear

And when I saw her, the Yankees lost to Braves
Sentimental geek
Sentimental geek
Sentimental geek
Shut up and go to sleep

Give me an answer
Give me an answer
Give me an answer
Give me an answer
Give me an answer
Give me an answer

Lyrics submitted by Shadee01

Nuclear Lyrics as written by Ryan Adams

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Nuclear song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationFor me as a cultural historian, the line the "Yankees lost to the Braves" indicates a lot more on the connotative level than merely the primary denotation of it being two baseball teams - in this case one in NYC, the other in Atlanta.

    If we follow the song's main motive of "going nuclear", i.e. a complete change taken place, I would suggest the line could also mean "a total reverse" of history and therefore all logic of previously experienced crackling apart. This probably works also on the sports metaphor, since the Yankees being a predominant team that is always expected or under the pressure to succeed (and also it could have to do something with his Southern heritage as somebody tried to interpret).

    But I think the sports teams could also be allegoric representatives here, rather as an implicit allusion to American Civil War. Meaning the fact of the lyrical I seeing her (like this) made the world of popular logic as we know it go upside down, as if the "Yankees" (Northern States) lost to the "Braves" (= Confederates)...and therefore all previous history doesn't exist, lost in space and time. All logic going nuclear, only the setting of the presence counts.

    Overall, a really witty line referring to all sorts of associations that come with it.
    DyngSlowlyon December 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst of all, the lyrics are incorrect. It's "They combed the beach and the remains"

    Ryan Adams has said himself that this song is about change. It's about meeting somone incredibly intense and it changes your own personality as a result, so much so that there is nothing left of your old self. You go "nuclear".
    dontgetsentimentalon August 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with you (and ryan adams) dontgetsentimental. I especially love the imagery in this song of porches, swimsuits, baseball games, and all of it going up in flames because of his feelings for the person and the end of the time he has been alloted to spend with (assumingly) her.
    This song reminds me of an old love of mine who introduced me to Ryan Adams - he said he was my "sentimental geek..."
    boo hoo hoo barf...
    acaciaon August 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdon'tgetsentimental, I like that interpretation.
    strangersatelliteon August 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWait a minute WAIT A MINUTE!? 3 posts?!!! This his best song!! When I saw her the Yankees lost to the Braves...GENIUS
    ed_cefaluon July 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is sad... very sad... it's about change, change for the worse that Ryan seems to claim he'll never get used to. He wrote this song for Carrie Hamilton, his close friend who contributed a lot to the writing on "Demoltion". He was heartbroken and dedicated most of the album and his next two Eps "Love Is Hell pts1 and 2" to her.
    nononononononoon August 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti should've been more clear: he was heartbroken we she passed away from cancer...
    nononononononoon August 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me it's when you feel like you're about to explode with anticipation from waiting for an answer. That's how I felt when I first decided to trace my birth relatives and I was waiting for a response. I had just met with my adoption counsellor and he gave me the "don't call us we'll call you if it's a go" line...I went nuclear for months and decided to stop hoping...but I'm still waiting. My friends say that there must have been a glitch, cause they usually don't leave you hanging like that.

    I don't know, but I'm too scared to make waves, maybe my parents got cold feet and couldn't go through with it. I'd rather not know, I'm too sentimental, I can't take the dissapointment. Anyways, that's how I relate to the songs.
    quaosqueenon December 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm a baseball fanatic so I love the line but I think the Yankees lost to the Braves thing isnt even about baseball, I could be totally wrong here but my take on it is Ryan is born and raised in the south but moved to New York (Yankees) and has had a hard time escaping his past (which represents the Braves who are in Atlanta), again I could be 100% wrong
    BoltKomine728on July 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the song Nuclear. For some reason I keep coming back and back to it, the comments are right it's the imagery,the beach and the Porsches all in flames. I love the Yankees and Braves part. It's just, haunting, must be one of my favourite songs. I wish I knew what was in his mind when he wrote it. The comments have helped, especially about his friend Carrie. Am suddenly obsessed with Ryan Adams all because of this song.
    Angie3000on May 22, 2010   Link

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