Enola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday
Aha, words can't describe the feeling and the way you lied
These games you play, they're gonna end it more than tears someday
Aha, Enola Gay, it shouldn't ever have to end this way

It's 8:15, and that's the time that it's always been
We got your message on the radio, conditions normal and you're coming home

Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today?
Aha, this kiss you give, it's never ever gonna fade away

Enola Gay, it shouldn't ever have to end this way
Aha, Enola Gay, it shouldn't fade in our dreams away
It's 8:15, and that's the time that it's always been
We got your message on the radio, conditions normal and you're coming home

Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today?
Aha, this kiss you give, it's never ever gonna fade away


Lyrics submitted by fletch699

Enola Gay Lyrics as written by Andrew Mccluskey

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Enola Gay song meanings
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  • +11
    General Comment

    The 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
  • +6
    Song Meaning

    It 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
  • +3
    General Comment

    This 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 Comment

    Yes, 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
  • +2
    General Comment

    My 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 Comment

    The 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 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "do you see what you're writing? can you think? Do you think, that this bomb helped end ww2? eh, children, what the propaganda can make with you... :/"

    I disagree, I think Japan being removed from the fighting completely shortened the war's duration significantly. I'm not saying whether or not I agree with it being dropped, since it seems futile to take sides on something which has already happened, but there's no denying that it helped the war to shorten. Whether the cost was worth it or not is the bit which needs deciding.

    DeltaTheNoobon May 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    To anybody who is interested...

    Just do a little reading to get the facts, or failing that watch a few movies. The truth is that the Japanese were already attacking Pearl Harbor when they declared war. To some it would seem fitting that the bombs were dropped after the Japanese surrendered. That isn't true though. Sure, the bombings were an atrocity, and should never have taken place, however...

    The official surrender by the Japanese didn't happen until several days after "Fat Man" was detonated 1800 feet above Nagasaki. The surrender was not only the result of the second detonation, but also in response to the Soviet invasion of Manchuria which happened on the same day.

    Moreover, I would like to reinforce the fact that OMD are not in awe of the bombings. The song is deliberately melancholic because it is intended to evoke an emotional response to these terrible events.

    And for anyone who really wonders why the bombs were dropped: they were intended as a display of power for the benefit of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviets already had a functional nuclear program and the Cold War was already underway in Germany when the USSR took control of what became East Germany.

    sugarfishon February 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    For those who are unaware of history:

    6th August - Enola gay drops Little Boy on Hiroshima 9th August - Bockscar drops Fat Man on Nagasaki 14th August - Japan Surrenders

    So people saying the bombs dropped after Japan surrendered are just plain wrong. Also, it quite definitively ended the war, as the US and Japan were the last belligerent nations (Germany had surrendered back in May). And considering that almost a MILLION Japanese lives had been lost in a single firebombing raid on Tokyo, the atom bombs were almost mercies in comparison.

    The bombs ended the war. Emperor Hirohito said as much when announcing the surrender.

    Some notes on the song:

    -"Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today" - I think this is meant to be a question, asking either the bomber or the woman if they're proud of it -"It cant describe the feeling and the way you lied" - The Japanese saw three planes in the sky and assumed it was a recon flight, not a raid, as all the other raids had been dozens or hundreds of bombers, not three.

    Starman1992on February 27, 2012   Link

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