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

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


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    Jul 10th, 2013 7:08pm report

    Age of Aquarius, anyone? Welcome to the New Age.
    "Waking up" is a theme throughout the song as it is mentioned many times. An "awakening" is taking place in the singer and also those he is encountering this "revolution" with - a spiritual awakening perhaps.
    The real world manifestations he encounters is war and destruction, changes in social structures, technological advances, "radioactive" may refer to nuclear weaponry as many have pointed out, the "apocalypse" of one world view to give rise to another. Welcome to the New Age.


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    Jun 23rd, 2013 6:53pm report

    I think this is about what would happen if the U.S. got involved in nuclear war or any sorta war for that matter. Thus the use of terms like "apocalypse", "revolution", "radioactive", and the like.


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    Jun 21st, 2013 6:40am report

    Like any good song/story its meaning is whatever you want to take from it.


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    Jun 4th, 2013 6:35pm report

    The lyrics are I raise my flags, dye my clothes
    It's a revolution, I suppose
    We're painted red to fit right in whoa not "don" or "we'll" lol


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    Jun 1st, 2013 6:33am report

    It's about North Korea, and other countries engaging in Nuclear war with America.
    I mean come on, I'm waking up to ash and dust, And then the part where he says All systems go. Then there's just the whole chorus.


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    May 29th, 2013 5:21am report

    I don't really know. But I think that when he sings "I'm breathing in.....the chemicals" might be about our polluted, metallic air, not drugs.


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    May 10th, 2013 5:09pm 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."
    that's what the actual author said


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    May 9th, 2013 5:48pm report

    I think this song is personal and about him fighting depression and it can talk about other people that are fighting hard thiings in their life like addection, depression, insecurity... And specially the people that fight themselves. If u saw the video, it also have a powreful meaning: u see that big mean teddy bear? I believe that it is the beggist rivel, or bully u have, and this bully isnt just human it might be other thing that took over ur life. Like i said before an addiction, depression....... And those little weak bears that the monster bear kills are all presends u as u thought u might lose this war but then that pink bear that take over the monster, is u after u believed in ur self and got stronger.


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    Apr 20th, 2013 4:34am report

    To me, this song is not about drugs, or war. It is about a man breaking up with the love of his life. He's waking up to the aftermath of a very feirce argument and he is not ready to move on (he's radioactive). He's had enough of her "poison" and its building up in him enough to make his systems blow.
    He's ready to go out on the town and behave like all the other single people and "paint the town red" really party it up. He's not going to live in her prison anymore. And he then realizes that the sun WILL come up tomorrow, the world is not over, and his systems will be OK.

    People will hold their own interpretations based on their mindset. You can guess what happened to me recently. :/

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Apr 17th, 2013 4:01pm report

    A new age, era is beginning, consisting on nuclear, 'hinting radioactive', type weapons, bringing forth a apocolypse type senario. "sweat my rust" i still cant decide if its trying to say we have become a type of machine, or is it refering to being chained up or handcuffed. ?i would pick the 2nd choice tho, considering the next line says breaking out of the prison bus, i thought it was pretty intense they actually say that it in the song, for my fear of fema camps has been a ongoing subject. on going to the middle of the song, raise our flags don our clothes its a revolution i suppose were painted red to fit right in, i agree with a above comment on this one, politics have something to do with it, everyones going to be painted red metaphorically, rasing our flags of america, symbolising we want freedom. the new revolution(war)is beginning. towards the end "all systems go, the sun hasnt died" i think this is us fighting back, the sun is not dead and neither our we, yet. we need to fight back.


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    Apr 5th, 2013 4:04pm report

    I think this song is about the apocalypse and it is like them against the world... or whats left of it anyways because you know APOCALYPSE. Anyways does anyone else think it should be on The Walking Dead???


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    Feb 9th, 2013 2:05pm report

    Its about a nuclear war. Thats why they say its a new age, also all systems go could refer to a missle laun hing, and radioactive from the. fallout caused by the war


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    Jan 19th, 2013 1:46pm report

    I think it is about being avoided or being an outcast... But judging by the music video I think the artist wrote it for fun :)


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    Jan 3rd, 2013 1:05pm report

    the song is good because of the good tune

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Dec 13th, 2012 12:41am report

    I'd like to think that it's just flat out about the apocalypse, or over coming a power that is trying to bring you down (I'm waking up to ash and dust)

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