The semiempirical valence bond (VB) method, VBDFT(s), is applied to the ground states and the covalent excited states of polyenyl radicals C2n−1H2n+1(n=2–13). The method uses a single scalable parameter with a value that carries over from the study of the covalent excited states of polyenes (W. Wu, D. Danovich, A. Shurki, S. Shaik, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2000, 104, 8744). Whenever comparison is possible, the VB excitation energies are found to be in good accord with sophisticated molecular orbital (MO)-based methods like CASPT2. The symmetry-adapted Rumer structures are used to discuss the state-symmetry and VB constitution of the ground and excited states, and the expansion to VB determinants is used to gain insight on spin density patterns. The theory helps to understand in a coherent and lucid manner the properties of polyenyl radicals, such as the makeup of the various states, their geometries and energies, and the distribution of the unpaired electrons (the neutral solitons).