It was with utmost sarcasm that I wrote “Atomic Girl,” but underneath its layer of drunken belligerence beat a genuine heart. The song is at once a scathing indictment of the manipulative, self-destructive S and an admission of my own part in creating the terrible situation from which I’d been forced to escape. It’s a step-by-step dissection of a habit I’d developed in my life of being enticed by half-heartedly suicidal girls, allowing them to pull me into their terrible worlds instead of pulling them out. I was protesting the atomic bomb with my finger on the button, and it took a situation as exaggerated as this one to finally allow me to see the caricature I’d become.

And truthfully, it’s a bit of fiction on top of that. A young Justin Currie–one of my idols–once said this about his own lyrics: “There are lots of personal snippets thrown in there, but half of them are about fictitious people. For example, the chap who’s singing ‘Keepers’ certainly isn’t me, but the chap on ‘I Was Here’ is.”

Since first reading this quote some years ago, I’ve gradually realized that Currie’s is a great technique for alleviating pressure from the lyric-writing process. Just because the song’s about you doesn’t mean it’s true. Even if it sorta is. Incidentally, both “Keepers” and “I Was Here” influenced this song tremendously.

And it goes like this.

I’ve been looking for pain
And you radiate it like fallout
What do I gain when I call your name out?
‘Cos seconds ago you said
That you were dying slowly
Experience dictates that this is a test
You’re still alive, baby
You’re just livin’ lowly
And I’m here to handle the rest
I’m here to handle your stress

Oh, I’m here to suit you, to pass every test
I’m here to fix you, to clean up your mess
You’re here to hate me, berate me, and slug me
I’m here to handle your stress

Oh, where is my head? It’s stuck in the clouds
And where are the clouds? They’re under your dress
I’ll let you have me if you let me rummage
Through all the wrong places, it’s what I do best
Oh yes!

Too-ra-loo-ra loo-ra loo-ra
Too-ra-loo-ra loo-ra-li
Why do you want to die?

But I’ve a penchant for pain
Which you fight by slittin’ them wrists
You think the thrill of it keeps you alive
But I’ll see the death of you yet!

For I’m here to calm you, to put you to rest
To tend to your wounds and fulfill your requests
You’re here to lend me some feeling of purpose
And deepen my Jesus complex
Oh yes!

But where is my head? It’s stuck in the ground
And look what I found inside of your bed 
I’ll let you pillage if you let me plunder
I’ll feed you prozac if you think it’s best
Oh yes!

Too-ra-loo-ra loo-ra loo-ra
Too-ra-loo-ra loo-ra-li (x2)

For I am the shelter and you are the blast
And we fit together like Passion and Death
I am the Bomb Squad but I’ll eat my hat
If you don’t explode, girl, let’s leave it at that!

But I’ve a sixth sense for pain
You radiate like nuclear fallout
And blacken like ash in the rain.