Enola Gay
by OMD

Album: Organisation (1980)
Charted: 8


  • The Enola Gay was the American plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima in World War II. It was named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the plane's pilot, Paul Tibbets. So why did the electronic music group OMD write a song about it? In our 2010 interview, we asked their lead singer Andy McCluskey, who replied: "Many people simply don't know what it's actually about. Some even thought it was a coded message that we were gay. We were both geeks about WWII airplanes. The most famous and influential single bomber was Enola Gay. Obvious choice for us, really."
  • OMD is the shortened form of the band's full name: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. This was the first of 7 Top-10 UK singles for the group; their only US hit was "If You Leave," which was written for the 1985 movie Pretty In Pink.
  • OMD played this in the 1981 cult film Urgh! A Music War, which is a collection of Punk and New Wave band performances. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Slatington, PA
  • Andy McCluskey of OMD explained in a September 2010 interview with CMU how the OMD duo create a track. "The music always comes first, usually inspired by a noise or drum pattern, or a sample or something. But I do have ideas about songs I want to write, lyrically or thematically. In the early days I was Mr. Anorak, I had a ring binder full of proposed song titles and ideas that I tried to marry with the music we made and I'd go, 'Oh, that might go on that'. So the music always comes first and the words go on top."
  • The BBC misperceived "Enola Gay" as being a homosexual love song and banned it on the kids' show Swap Shop.

Comments: 10

  • Georgette from Faroe Islands I remember that I used to sing this in the morning when I had 6th years in on first period when we had history lessons.
  • Kenny from Princeton, Nj"It's 8:15 and that's the time that it's always been" refers to all the clocks and watches in Hiroshima frozen at 8:15 AM by the electromagnetic pulse created by the atomic detonation.
  • Sioraf from Macroon, IrelandThere was a French play called Les Franglaises where they would sing English songs in French. What they didn't realise was that Enola Gay was named after the pilot's mother and that in those days gay meant happy so they translated it as Enola Homosexual instead of Enola Jolie.
  • Andy from Southend, Essex, United KingdomDid you know they did a radio interview last week and have reformed with a new album and tour
  • Walt from Astoria, Or"It's eight fifteen" refers to the time that the atomic bomb exploded on Hiroshima. After a forty five second free fall, the bomb (nick-named "little boy") exploded at 8:15:17 AM.
  • Alan from Singapore, SingaporeAnd McCluskey did a collaboration with Sash! on a remake of this song. The Sash! remix of "Enola Gay" sampled news broadcasts announcing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, as well as the Robert Oppenheimer quote, "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds." Chilling, I thought.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesFormer OMD frontman Andy McCluskey stated in 1997 that comeback hit "Walking On The Milky Way" was his resignation statement - their comeback hit after a long absence, the song was their last big hit in the UK, and after the "Universal" album flopped, Andy decided that the band had finally run it's course, so they split up in 1998, reuniting briefly in 2000 tio issue a 'best of' album. Andy is now an acclaimed producer and songwriter - indeed, it's be hard to imagine how Atomic Kitten would have changed so dramatically from bargain-bin fayre to chart superstars had Andy not taken pity on them and provided them with a sure fire hit in "Whole Again".
  • Tiago from Lisbon, Portugal"Little boy" was the name given to the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroxima. The other one was the Fat Man.
  • Mike from Indianapolis, InI was a big OMD fan myself. A friend knew someone who did some radio and passed on the album ARCHITECTURE AND MORALITY. My brother was given the same album by someone he knew in college radio and never listened to it until I told him I knew what it was and it was cool. In college I would play their music in my room with the door open and occasionally someone stop by and would know what I was listening to. We felt we belonged to this exclusive club. Their music was so different than anything else that I had ever heard. At one point, I had a roommate that had been in Europe and he said he heard them all the time over there. I began to be very interested in finding good music off the beaten path that wasn't played to death on the radio.
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InI am a huge OMD fan, but they never got the respect they deserved if you ask me. I have everything they put out, either on CD or cassette. They have some really wild songs from some of their earlier recordings, but well worth a listen. I wish they would reunite and put out some new stuff.
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