What does Radioactive mean?

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Imagine Dragons: Radioactive Meaning

Song Released: 2012


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Radioactive Lyrics

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I'm waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I'm breathing in the chemicals
I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Feb 20th, 2013 2:17am report


    I love the political undertones of this song. Just think about the symbolism to current events in the following music video.

    "Waking Up" to the actions, and defeating a certain person in a position of power... "Painted RED, to fit right in..." (Communist).

    It's a song about David vs. Goliath, the People vs. Tyrannical Government. It's a song about the INDIVIDUAL acting against "the system" to restore FREEDOM to those people in captivity of an ever-expanding government (the average American). The band is beating the drum of resistance...

    Goliath (Gov) crushes all opposition until a unique individual utilizes the full power of the Individual's hand to defeat the multiple levels of defense. This could be interpreted as voting, or more forceful measures if constitutional Rights are being violated.

    If you haven't been paying attention the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendments of the Constitution are under blatant attack from certain politicians right now...

    I don't think that there is any coincidence that this band, and this song specifically is gaining popularity right now... This song is a lot deeper than the catchy beat.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jun 5th, 2013 6:13pm report


    Woah, woah, woah
    Woah, woah, woah
    Woah, woah, woah
    Woah

    I'm waking up to ash and dust
    -Waking up to war, pollution, general destruction of the planet

    I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
    -Radiation has a scent of metal. Also, he sweating his rust. His machine like body due to repetitive, mundane work. Similar to how a robot continoulsy works. The sweating of a body that's been transformed by technology. due to possible ingested and inhaled pollutants and chemicals.

    I'm breathing in the chemicals
    - The general pollution and chemicals released in the air by the industrialized way of life. The machines, cars, factories, etc.

    I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
    -Possible workday. The feeling of being in prison on a crowded bus everyday, forced to go to work to live. To survive.

    This is it, the apocalypse
    Whoa
    -Humanity is on a collision course with unpreventable near apocalypse

    I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
    Enough to make my systems blow
    -He feels the downward spiral of earth and humanity; it's overwhelming

    Welcome to the new age, to the new age
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm radioactive, radioactive
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm radioactive, radioactive
    -The human body absorbs radiation and the body itself becomes radioactive. The more nuclear power plants and radiation released into the air, the more the body absorbs. The sun also emits radiation; however, I think he is referring to man made radiation.

    I raise my flags, dye my clothes
    It's a revolution, I suppose
    We're painted red to fit right in
    Whoa
    -He gives up, there's no need to fight the system, it will always win. Hes painted red to fit in. The world and humanity are slowly bleeding as one, and now, so is he, also red.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Apr 25th, 2013 4:36am report


    I personally believe this is an anti NWO song.

    I'm waking up to ash and dust,
    I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
    He's realizing that the old world as he knew it is no more and he has just been slaving away

    I'm breathing in, the chemicals.
    He's taking in the chemicals and poisons put in the air and food.

    I'm breaking in, shaping up, checking out on the prison bus.
    He realizes he is part of the prison planet.

    This is it, the apocalypse
    NWO take over

    I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones.
    Enough to make my systems blow.
    He's seeing the truth and has the internal instinct to tell him that something isn't right, and it makes his emotions explode.

    Welcome to the new age, to the new age.
    The age of the NWO

    Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive
    Smalls doses of radiation won't harm you while large amounts can kill the larger body. Same with people. One person can't do much to a larger organization but a group of people can.

    I raise my flags, don my clothes
    He has picked his side to fight on.

    Its a revolution I suppose.
    He is beginning the fight against tyranny with the other "awake" people

    We'll paint it red, to fit right in, whoa
    They will fight fire with fire. The NWO sheds blood and so will they.

    All systems go, sun hasn't died.
    Deep in my bones, straight from inside.
    The revolution is on, hope hasn't died. He feels from inside that there is still hope.

    Any opinions?



  4.  

    Angelboo
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    Jun 14th, 6:12am report


    I think this song is about finally facing your fears.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 29th, 12:55pm report


    This song does sound to be the sign of change is needed.
    I'm waking up to ash and dust, I wipe my brow and sweat my rust, I breathe in the chemicals.
    I'm breaking in, shaping up then checking out of the prison bus.
    (we are seeing this person's everyday life. A world of, destruction, the poisoning of the air and oppression.)
    This it, apocalypse
    (New World Order a.k.an NWO).
    I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones, enough to make my systems blow.
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age.
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age.
    (He/She is now starting to wake up from the dream world she/he had been placed in by the NWO and is very much being welcomed to a new world. QUite possibly accompanied by fellow people who too have awakened.)
    I'm Radioactive, radioactive.
    I'm Radioactive, radioactive.
    (The term "Radioactive" can be used as a metaphor, meaning he/she is a mutant or has a mutation due to the NWO).
    I raise my flag, dye my clothes, it's a revolution I suppose, we're painted red to fit right in.
    (She/He has decided to fight alongside others who want their freedom, but they have to be sneaky about->we're painted red to fit right in).
    I'm breaking in, shaping up, checking out on the prison bus.
    (Again we see the signs of oppression, only this time we know what they're awake).
    I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones, enough to make my systems overload.
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age.
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age.
    (We see the people rising up against the oppressors (NWO) and battling it out, Oppression vs Freedom).
    I'm Radioactive, radioactive.
    I'm Radioactive, radioactive.
    (Are we back to the beginning again and it is all just a dream or is the battle still raging on? ohhhh cliffhanger!)



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 11th, 2017 12:20am report


    Reynolds explained the song's meaning to MTV News: "'Radioactive,' to me, it's very masculine, powerful-sounding song, and the lyrics behind it, there's a lot of personal story behind it, but generally speaking, it's a song about having an awakening; kind of waking up one day and deciding to do something new, and see life in a fresh way," he said. "A lot of people hear it in a dark way, but, I think, without saying the word too many times, it's empowering, and so we wanted to display that in a way that the listener wouldn't see normally." song facts
    ~ Unruffled



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 10th, 2017 12:51am report


    I think it’s about someone that’s been in prison for so long that the world is change completely and he has to adjust to the new world. It would make sense because the first verse could be talking about the hard labour in the prison and him taking drugs or smoking to get through the toughness.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 22nd, 2017 11:41pm report


    I have always felt these lyrics are the thoughts of an addict, specific to meth, as they contemplate the moment they are in, waking up.... breathing in the chemicals, Where they are going and ...why...how, breaking in, shaping up, checking out on the prison bus, and their reflection on how everything has come so far from what it was and this life is a new age, then their finding no hope, getting high, I'm waking up I feel it in my bones, all systems go...., Then the acceptance of their future, the sun hasn't died, which gives them the strength to fight another day.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 31st, 2017 7:02pm report


    The lyrics are pretty clear in painting a picture of a destructive future, however, this song chants over and over "welcome to the new age"....the real message....the new age it is referring to is the 5th age... the Aeon of Horus. The age of the crowned and conquering child...the age of "do what thou wilt" spoken by the Satanist Aleister Crowley....



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 5th, 2017 1:31am report


    Smoking drugs and in prison.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  11.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 14th, 2016 12:20am report


    It's about the spirit of Christmas and stuffy fights

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  12.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 21st, 2015 11:58pm report


    I feel that this is actually about the "New Age Movement" I think they are singing from the point of veiw of the people who have "woken up" and know that humanity is going in the wrong direction and there needs to be a change and the awakened ones are here to help that change begin. Of course I know this on only my opinon and I am not saying this is for sure the actual meaning its just how i feel when i listen to this song since i feel as if i am one of the awakened ones. To me the lyrics "im radioactive" is not about the pollution (although our world to day is very polluted) but rather the energy within us that gives us the power we need to make the difference this world needs today.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 14th, 2015 6:18pm report


    9/11



  14.  

    drgummybears
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    May 11th, 2015 5:56am report


    I'm waking up to ash and dust- He is starting to see the dangers in our world that he needs to overcome.

    I wipe my brow and sweat my rust- He realizes that he is becoming one of his own obstacles.

    I'm breathing in the chemicals- He is only hurting himself more by standing up to this, but he needs to in order to overcome his fears

    I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus. This is it, the apocalypse- He stops listening to other people that bring him down and breaks through his most challenging obstacles.

    I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
    Enough to make my systems glow
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age
    Welcome to the new age, to the new age
    Whoa, whoa, I'm radioactive, radioactive
    Whoa, whoa, I'm radioactive, radioactive- He is open to his surroundings and is getting even stronger

    raise my flags, don my clothes
    It's a revolution, I suppose
    We'll paint it red to fit right in
    Whoa
    I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
    This is it, the apocalypse
    Whoa- He gets other people to join him, so he is not alone in the war.

    All systems go, sun hasn't died
    Deep in my bones, straight from inside- He beats the evil in the world



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 17th, 2015 3:15pm report


    I see this song as someone trying his hardest to fit into society. Especially with when he says "paint it red to fit right in". Red is actually a metaphor and is the color that describes society itself. Magicians have a saying "paint it red to fit right in"



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 19th, 2015 2:55pm report


    It is about and I quote "That's basically a song about my struggle with anxiety and depression. It's about becoming self-empowered and rising above that. I wanted to write a masculine and primal song about conjuring and rising above human weakness"



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 19th, 2015 2:49pm report


    It about how the new world order has cause the apocalypse and that's when the people finaly wake up and revolt



  18.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 24th, 2015 1:38pm report


    I think its about how you were brought down by something and now your going to stand up for yourself. You're waking up from letting your dreams or whatever crushed. And now your going to fight for what's right.



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