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Marina and the Diamonds: Radioactive Meaning


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Song Released: 2011

Radioactive Lyrics

Lying on a fake beach
She'll never get a tan
Baby I'm gonna leave you drowning
Until you reach for my hand

In the night your heart is full
And by the morning, empty.
But baby I'm the one who left you, you're not the one who left...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jun 24th 2013 report

    To me this song is about being afraid of falling in love, maybe because your heart has been broken before, and what happens when you fall in love again.

    Perhaps this relationship is moving slowly and/or is unclear; Marina feels confused. She's not sure if the relationship is "real", therefore its comparison to a "fake beach", and when she sings "you'll never get a tan" she means that it seems like they're not going anywhere and, perhaps, that they'll never fall in love like this.

    Marina needs her lover to show her that he truly cares for her. She doesn't want to give herself away too easily, or without precaution, so she won't get her heart broken again. She basically is saying that she won't demonstrate how much she likes him ("I'm gonna leave you drowning") until he proves to her that he feels the same ("until you reach for my hand").

    The next lines could either mean that her lover is mostly using her for sex ("in the night your heart is full") and doesn't want a relationship ("and by the morning empty"); or simply that he's "hot n cold".

    "But, baby, I'm the one who left you
    You're not the one who left me"

    Marina is keeping up the "heartbreaker" façade in case things take a turn for the worst. She can't let others know if she feels down; they won't catch her vulnerable. She'll deny it and "play it cool" even if she’s the one getting “dumped”.

    "When you're around me, I'm radioactive
    My blood is burning, radioactive
    I'm turning radioactive
    My blood is radioactive"

    Like I mentioned before, Marina is falling in love with said lover.

    "My heart is nuclear
    Love is all that I fear"

    Her feelings are strong and, perhaps, even destructive ("nuclear"). Probably due to previous heartbreak Marina is afraid of falling in love and/or of love itself.

    "Waiting for the nightfall
    For my heart to light up"

    Marina feels "alive" during the night-time. This is contrast. Basically she "burns bright" when it's "dark".

    "Oh, baby, I want you to die for
    For you to die for my love"

    Since "Greek tragedy" is a part of Electra Heart this fits rather well. It's as if Marina wishes her lover to go to extreme lengths to show her his affection is true; but it's probably just an exaggeration. It's common when a songwriter wants to show how "grand" his feelings are. This might be a reference to Romeo and Juliet.

    "My heart is nuclear
    Love is all that I feel
    Ready to be let down
    Now I'm heading for a meltdown"

    Most say that she sings "love is all that I fear" throughout the whole song, others say that it's "feel"; I myself always hear "fear" except for in this particular line. Either way, Marina is afraid of love, and even if she feels it, she's prepared to be disappointed (due to previous experience). As her love life "darkens" she is in a downward spiral.

    "Tonight I feel like neon gold
    I take one look at you and I grow cold"

    She's starting to feel quite good until suddenly she grows "numb" and/or "afraid" again.

    You can hear her chant "love" in the background throughout most of the song. Knowing Marina's work this might be intentionally "cheesy" to mock today's pop music.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 26th 2013 report

    "Waiting for the nightfall
    For my heart to light up"

    Since before this she sang "In the night your heart is full/And by the morning empty" it might mean that she's only happy at night when her lover's by her side.

  3. GirlFromD2
    click a star to vote
    May 8th 2013 report

    I'm not the best person to interpret a song, but I love Marina and I'll take a risk. Ok, what I understend is that this song, like some others, is about someone broke your heart, someone that you like, but he is not the person that you think ("Lying on a fake beach/She'll never get a tan" or "In the night your heart is full/And by the morning, empty."). But, like in How To Be A Heartbreaker, we learn to don't be down when this kind of thing happen, Or she fallen on herself and saw the kind of person that he is and understand that the "broke up" was the best way ("But baby I'm the one who left you, you're not the one who left me")

    Well, it's what i think, i don't know if someone agree, but...hum, that's it. Thank you, and sorry about my english

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