The lyric tells of a man catching sight of a woman and spending the rest of the song trying to catch up with her. The narrative song structure, which featured a basic four verses with no bridge and the use of imagery ("coffee-colored Cadillac") was an influence on many songwriters. Here's what Roger Reale of Rue Morgue had to say about it
"Chuck Berry remains the premier American lyricist, and anybody who wants to know about American culture in the '50s, or early '60s, starts here.
The cadence of 'Nadine' is irresistible:As I got on a city bus and found a vacant seat
I thought I saw my future bride walking up the street
This is poetry of the highest order for me, with a vocal delivery to match."