I need your help with the song by Elton Britt - Uranium Fever

I don't understand some things in this song.

  1. What does "sold my cad" mean?

Well, I don't know, but I've been told
Uranium ore's worth more than gold
Sold my Cad', I bought me a Jeep
I've got that bug and I can't sleep

  1. The phrase "Has done and got me down"

Uranium fever has done and got me down
Uranium fever is spreadin' all around

  1. "That bug's done caught me and I've been bit"

Well, I ain't kiddin', I ain't gonna quit
That bug's done caught me and I've been bit
So with a Geiger counter and a pick in my hand
I'll keep right on stakin' that government land

Thank you for your help.

  • The apostrophe after the Cad is a big hint.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


1) In "sold my Cad'", Cad' is short for Cadillac, a (luxury) brand of automobile.

2) The various structures that include an extra "done" are indicative of an American South or Midwest dialect. For example:

I done been told -> I was told

I done and got me a new tractor -> I got a new tractor

It done rained on her parade -> It rained on her parade

If something has "got you down" it means it has made you sad, upset, frustrated, or depressed.

The constant stream of bad news has really got me down.

3) "That bug's caught me and I've been bit". A "bug" can mean a bacteria or virus that causes disease, so "to catch a bug" means "to get sick".

Some bug is going around. All my friends caught it and are at home sick.

Since "bug" can also mean "insect", and insects can bite, idiomatically when you get a disease we can say you have been "bit" by some "bug". In this case the "bug" isn't a physical illness but rather an obsessive desire to get rich by finding uranium, i.e. "Uranium Fever".

Note that a "fever" can be a physical symptom of illness marked by elevated body temperature, but also, to be hot for something, or to have a fever for something figuratively means to be particularly excited about it, as if it makes you feel feverish.

  • 1
    "done been" is also used in the US South. I done been drug along.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 21:41
  • I learned many interesting from this. Thank you very much, Andrew, for such an extensive answer!
    – Vlad K.
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 22:59

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