Songs About Nuclear War from the Eighties, Songs Beginning with S
During the eighties, the topic of nuclear war seemed to come up a lot. It was
on the news frequently due to the arms build up under the Regean era. At one
point I think there was enough fire power to destroy the world 100 times over
(it's probably still something ridiculous like that though). With the end of
the cold war all seemed fine, although recent events in India and Pakistan
does help remind us that it could be triggered by almost any mad man who is
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"The Second Day (Don't Cry)," by Sandra
This is a great song about nuclear war... "we're gonna save our lifes/an' time is on my side/don't cry/i'm gonna realize/the breakup of the world"
Takes a second to say goodbye Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh It takes a second to say goodbye Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh, say bye bye Where you going to now? Lightning flashes across the sky East to west, do or die Like a thief in the night See the world by candlelight Fall, rise and Fall, rise and In an apartment on Time Square You can assemble them anywhere Held to ransom, hell to pay A revolution everyday USSR, GDR, London, New York, Peking It's the puppets It's the puppets who pull the strings Fall, rise and Fall, rise and Say goodbye, say goodbye Say goodbye, say goodbye Say goodbye It takes a second to say goodbye Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh Push the button and pull the plug Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh Fall, rise and Fall, rise and And they're doing the atomic bomb Do they know where the dance comes from? Yes, they're doing the atomic bomb They want you to sing along Say goodbye, say goodbye Say goodbye, say goodbye.
In an apartment on Time Square You can assemble them anywhere Held to ransom, hell to pay A revolution everyday USSR, GDR, London, New York, Peking It's the puppets, It's the puppets Who pull the strings Fall, rise and...Fall, rise and... Say goodbye, say goodbye Say goodbye, say goodbye Say goodbye It takes a second to say goodbye Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh Push the button and pull the plug Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh
"Secret Missle," by Pentagram (Turkey)
i cant remember if this song is from the 80s, but it is definitely about nuclear war... part of Secret Missle: tell it in sorrow that Europe is erased from the world map. Within the nuclear explosions that still go on at the remaining parts of Asia show that millions of people will die. World HealthOrganization is insufficient and the United Nations Organization can't take the control to stop the war. Clouds of nuclear remnants and acid are still raining by and destroying forests and all living beings. The human race is vanishing and the same is the world... God save us ... Please...There is no reason to live a life in this f***ing century People dig each others graves peace disappears from coast to coast Traces of nuclear remains will lead the way to our race's dissolution Send in course to end it all Locked to it's target, secret missile Send in course Secret missile No escape the crime's epidemic all will end with a big explosion Disarmament fakes everyone soon we will end up dead Annihilated is the embryo premature death of a week's existence Technological shelter saves a few from this f***ing mess
"Self Destruct," by Anne Clark
part of the lyrics of this song are clearly reffering to the consequences of a nuclear war. Not sure if it's from the eighties though. "Blow the world apart with the press of a button We all say it shouldn't but we know it will happen Again and again like the rain and the ark Onwards forever eternally dark Eternally dark" "So we go on breeding - breeding contempt From all of the repression that this has meant If the bombs and the fire don't instantly kill Then the greed from the ashes certainly will Certainly will"
"A Sense Of Belonging," by Television Personalities
a song about the effects of and antidote to war. Once there was confidence but now there is fear Once there was laughter but now only tears Once there were reasons for our optimism But now we're all drowning in a sea of pessimism But I hope and I pray in my own naive way That one day we can reach some sort of understanding Try a little more sharing Yry a little more giving Might find a sense of belonging Might find a sense of belonging And I know you think I'm young and naive Because I go on CND marches, well that's my decision I think that you're the one who's naive If you believe all the things you see on television It's all propaganda and like a fool you accept it And like a fool you ignore it Why don't you try and stop it To try and find a sense of belonging I know you watch "World In Action" and "Panorama" And to you it's just another soap opera drama, it can't happen here Have a nice cup of tea and we'll all stay calm And we'll come to no harm in our nice warm underground shelters There'll be helter skelter There'll be babies dying, you'll hear their mothers crying I've seen the devil smiling, I've seen the devil smiling Try to find a sense of belonging A sense of belonging And you laugh and make jokes about what you will do When the button is pressed and we hear the four minute warning And if you think it's funny now wait 'till the bomb goes off You'll all be in fucking hysterics You'll see babies dying, you'll hear mothers crying I'm only asking for one thing Just want a sense of belonging No more weapons and no more wars No more violence What's it all for anyway?
In 1983 after the exile from Metallica, Lead singer and future frontman Dave Mustaine spent a week on a grey hound back to L.A. It was during this time that had saw a hand bill from then Senator Alan Cranston that stated: " The arsenal of megadeath cannot be rid..." This transformed into the song "set the world afire" which was originally called "megadeath" which in turn inspired the band name Megadeth.
"Shades of '45," by Gary 0'
Song about the droping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima
trials administer tidal oil that suffocating base the fire gold pouring mercury life given river deformed in amongst patient building raise an urgent call reformation strike the picking miners claw kick my ass waste the given gift the natural cure in the age of reason gone bad morning in between the cold stone ashes fall upon the wretched chosen ones 100 megatons evaporate those chosen vaporize case in point and deserving it vaccinate all stranger than whispering crushed velvet corpse grind awaiting underneath mask unneeded decisions come from one side of the brain insolent dented fibres optic looks the world of growth fleeting image ghost destruction t.v.screen
They gave you life and in return you gave them hell/ As cold as ice, I hope we live to tell the tale Also In vio-lent times you should-n't have to sell your soul /In black and white they real-ly, really ought to know.
From the album "Nuclear Furniture." The song is about the final showdown between the US and the USSR.
"Showdown at Big Sky," by Robbie Robertson
Soldier of fortune He's a man of war Just can't remember What he's fighting for Start a revolution Right before your eyes When you hear the big bang Don't you be surprised Can't you see it coming Shooting out across the moon Save this place In the valley of tears By the river of time From weapons race In the Book of David In the holy Bible When it's laid to waste It will be written By the children of Eden I said save this place And the Holy Ghost Showdown at big sky Darkness at high noon Showdown at big sky That day may be soon People, people
"Siberian Knights," by Electric 22
You believe every thing you see cuz you're watching the world on a color TV, you got nuclear war, atomic rain, and nuclear winter bout to freeze your brain.. Most of the old school electo is about the age of computers and Nuclear War.
Add the next lyric to this song. It reflects the desire to someday overcome the anticipated Soviet takeover with a second revolution by Americans "Swear allegiance to the flag, whatever flag they offer. Never hint at what you really feel. Teach the children quietly, for one day sons and daughters will rise up and fight while we stood still. " Gives the song a whole new meaning.
"Silent Running," by Mike + The Mechanics
Take the children and yourself And hide out in the cellar By now the fighting will be close at hand Don't believe the church and state And everything they tell you Believe in me, I'm with the high command Can you hear me, can you hear me running? Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you? Can you hear me, can you hear me running? Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you? There's a gun and ammunition Just inside the doorway Use it only in emergency Better you should pray to God The Father and the Spirit Will guide you and protect from up here
"Silos ," by Phil Ochs
In the Silos we sit and we wait for the bell that will tell us our masters have damned us to hell then the buttons we'll press and the missles, they'll fly, and what will we think as we're waiting to die We sit here each day my buddy and me and check and re-check all is as it should be and the buttons we press are apart far enough that no one man goes crazy and sets the thing off I'm just doing my job a man's got to eat there's bills to pay ad there's taxes to meet and it isn't my doing that flexes my wrist I'm just a cog on a wheel who am I to resist we sit here each day my buddy and I and try not to think of the million's who'll die but they live in my dreams and their screams fill my ears till I wake in a sweat and their eyes dissapear and where do I go for blessed relief for sleep without nightmares and days without grief these pills that i take and the whiskey and bear give me someplace to hide from the pain and the fear I'm just doing my job a man's gotta live there's church to attend and donations to give And i won't let you blame me when the order comes through, I'm just one man and I've got a job to do I dare not confess to my girl or my friends these doubts that have or the fear that descends When I think what my country is asking of me Do the others have doubts? Do they see what I see? And what if we couldn't when the final bell rang and all other silos decided the same What if no buttons were pressed and no missles flew would we be heroes or traitors to you so I just do my job and I try not to think and I hope to Christ no one brings us to the brink And i check and recheck and get lost in routine then I pop one more pill as I stare at the screen In the silos we sit and we wait for the bell that will tell us our masters have damned us to hell then the buttons we'll press and the missles they'l fly, and what will we think as we're waiting to die
"Sixty Second Interval," by Vapors
and the stars from the battlefield shiver in tears the dead bright lesson from a million light years" "New Clear Days," the album that brought us the recession driven and karaoke destine "Turning Japanese," had a loose concept of the pitfalls of modern living as the sun set on the atomic age. This song was most representative of the impending and inevitable doom we were facing.
"Skeletons of Society,"
Very little explanation required... Minutes seemed like days Since fires ruled the sky The rich became the beggars And fools became the wise Memories linger in my brain, burning from the acid rain A pain I never have won Nothing here remains No future and no past No one could foresee The end that came so fast Hear the prophet make his guess That paradise lies in the west So join his quest for the sun Shades of death are all I see Fragments of what used to be The world slowly decays Destruction fills my eyes Harboring the image Of a spiraling demise Burning winds release their fury, simulating judge and jury Drifting flurries of pain Deafening silence reigns As twilight fills the sky Eventual supremacy As daylight waits to die Darkness always calls my name, a pawn in this recurring game Humanity going insane Shades of death are all I see [Skeletons of society Shades of death are all I see] Fragments of what used to be [Fragments of what used to be Skeletons of society] Minutes seem like days Corrosion fills the sky Morbid dreams of anarchy Brought judgment in disguise Memories linger in my brain, life with nothing more to gain Perpetual madness remains Shades of death are all I see Skeletons of society [Shades of death are all I see] Fragments of what used to be [Fragments of what used to be] Skeletons of society
"Sleeping Snakes," by Translator
The endlessly repeated chorus(Stop this missile building...) says it all.
This anti-war song from 1981 does not mention nuclear war specifically, but it's obvious from the biblical imagery included in the lyrics that the fear expressed in the song is of the end of the world. ABBA almost never did political songs. I attribute this one to the fear of nuclear war that began to grow rapidly all over Europe after Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency. "Do I hear what I think I'm hearing do I see the signs I think I see or is this just fantasy is it true that the beast is waking stirring in his restless sleep tonight in the pale moonlight in the grip of this cold December you and I have reason to remember Soldiers write the songs that soldiers sing the songs that you and I don't sing they blow their horns and march along they drum their drums and look so strong you'd think that nothing in the world was wrong soldiers write the songs that soldiers sing the songs that you and I won't sing let's not look the other way taking a chance 'cause if the bugler starts to play we too must dance"
"Some Other Time," by X
From "Wild Gift" (1981) Excerpts from lyrics: Let's not talk about bombs and the brain impulses of severed limbs. You will always subtract your arms from my arms Someone always interrupts when we talk so I'm gonna try to sing this line before my wash hangs out there for everyone to see. Stand there looking for the line the night before the world ends We can draw the line some other time. This midnight I will turn into a beer I will dream of you between nightmares and wars and toss and turn . . . . . .
I've been in this grass here for the last 10 hours My clothes are dirty but my mouth isn't dry How does it happen? Does it fly through the air? Oh I gave up asking days away I gave up asking Days away And now I'm lying here waiting for the Sound of Thunder Waiting for the Sound of Thunder Here I am, I'm a dotted line Cut the corner, stick me to your door I'm the man who stepped off the path and I just lie here It's what I was made for And now my eyes are closing, but I still feel the land Leaning out for the touch of my hand The world spins so fast that I might fly off The world spins so fast that I might fly off The world spins so fast, I might fly off
"Soviet Snow," by Shana laing
This song came up in the Cold War songs. But with the constant referal to radiation over red square, this is clearly specifically about nuclear war. And The term "Soviet Snow" clearly refers to nuclear fallout
This grossly underrated song from 1982 only made number 52 in the British Charts on it's release. The lyrics are quite interesting to know now, some 27 years later. Another one of many songs from a classic decade that grasped the fear and unrest of potential annihilation. Please look for the song and listen, it's a beauty. Here are the lyrics. Crying parents tell their children If you survive, don't do as we did a son exclaims there'll be nothing to do to Her daughter says she'll be dead with you While foreign affairs are screwing us rotten Line morale has hit rock bottom Dying embers stand forgotten Talks of peace were being trodden Stand or fall, state your peace tonight Stand or fall, state your peace tonight Is this the value of our existence Should we proclaim with such persistence Our destiny relies on conscience Red or blue what's the difference? Stand or fall, state your peace tonight Stand or fall, state your peace tonight An empty face reflects extinction Ugly scars divide the nation Desecrate the population There will be no exaltation Its the euro theater Its the euro theater Its the euro theater Stand or fall, state your peace tonight Stand or fall, state your peace tonight Its the euro theater Its the euro theater Its the euro theater Its the euro theater
"Standing in the Dark," by Platinum Blonde
This song is all about "the bomb" Even the title refers to nuclear war. Lyrics:"Maybe I'll run and hide, Tommorow change my mind, until then it's suicide" "Systems red, we switch to overload, DEFCON 5 were ready to explode, you think were humble, we take no prisoners,you drop that bomb, they'll be no prisoners!"
We go waiting for the stars To come showering down From Moscow to Mars Universe falling down You've got look real hard There's a fiery star hidden out there somewhere Not the satellite of love But a laser shooting out it's shiny tongue there God is love, God is war TV preacher tell me more Lord redeem me, am I pure? Pure as pure as Heaven Sent you money, sent you flowers Could worship you for hours In whose hands are we anyway? Go waiting for the stars To come showering down From Moscow to Mars Universe falling down You've got look real hard Is it in your heart? Yeah it's in there somewhere The power wrapped in your palm, show it to me Hit them with your wrath and thunder What's your pleasure? Tell it to me How did you know? Show your beauty In you somewhere, somewhere in me Pure as pure as Heaven Sent you money, sent you flowers Could worship you for hours In whose hands are we anyway? Yeehah Rolling along through a rose-colored glow The city looks pretty in pink Armageddon is here Did you ever have a lover leave you for another And take your love and kisses for granted? Never to discover war is not the answer Leave you only disenchanted God is love, God is war (God is love, God is war) TV preacher tell me more (God is pure as pure as Heaven) Father help me, am I pure? Pure as pure as Heaven Sent you money, sent you flowers (God is love, God is war) Could worship you for hours (God is pure as pure as Heaven) In whose hands are we anyway? Go waiting for the stars To come showering down From Moscow to Mars Universe falling down
"Static," by Planet P Project
1983: Static on the radio
Don't stay late, come home safe
You can never tell what waits for you
You knew the risks, you took the chance
Now the ones you left behind are gone
But you can't believe it, where did all the people go?
You're cryin' for an answer, static on the radio
Static on the radio
All the lights are out so far below
But you can't believe it, where did all the people go?
A finger on the button, static on the radio
Static on the radio
"Stop The World," by The Clash
The narrator (Joe Strummer) emerges from a fallout shelter or bunker of some sort to find the landscape around him devestated by nuclear war- "The panorama of the city is wrong/ In fact the city seams to be gone!/They took it into the nuclear mine/Judging by this, they left nothing behind." He contemplates what he could have done but didn't- "If i could ride a train around the city/That holds this as our fate/I'd ride from electro-circuit central/To the shock inducer gate/...Not forgetting the bypass/Across the washington hooks/Through the phones and desks and screens/Of the kremlins crook of crooks." Set to a backdrop of eerie dub rock soundtrack,this is one of the most chilling songs about nuclear war. (also for cold-war songs see "Are You Re..y by the Clash Mk II)
"Stop the Cavalry ," by Jona Lewie
Hey, Mr. Churchill comes over here to say we're doing splendidly But it's very cold out here in the snow, marching to win from the enemy Oh I say it's tough,I have had enough Can you stop the cavalry? I have had to fight, almost every night down throughout these centuries That is when I say, oh yes yet again Can you stop the cavalry? Mary Bradley waits at home in the nuclear fall-out zone Wish I could be dancing now in the arms of the girl I love Chorus: Dub a dub a dum dum Dub a dub a dum Dub a dum dum dub a dub Dub a dub a dum Dub a dub a dum dum Dub a dub a dum Dub a dum dum dub a dub Dub a dub a dum Wish I was at home for Christmas Bang! That's another bomb on another town While Luzar and Jim have tea If I get home, live to tell the tale I'll run for all presidencies If I get elected I'll stop - I will stop the cavalry Chorus Wish I was at home for Christmas Wish I could be dancing now in the arms of the girl I love Mary Bradley waits at home She has been waiting 2 years long Wish I was at home for Christmas
two icy cold hands conducting the ways...concrete and clay, general decay, nature must still find a way...will the world in the nighttime...will the world end daytime...and is there any point in ever having childern...stretch out and wait...how can you consciously contemplate when there is no debate...no debate...no debate
When the sun comes up in the dead of the night,
you won't escape from the blinding light.
Feel the blood running through your veins.
See the madness burning in their brains.
Nowhere to run.
No place to hide.
We're all along for that one-way ride.
I don't wanna go to war, I don't wanna go to war I said I know what I want and I don't wanna go war - do you follow me? I saw a soldier standing in a bar looked so tired he'd come so far he said "I need to love someone, before they drop the atom bomb"
This somber song describes an incident in the mid-50's when a japanese fishing boat was accidentally caught within the fallout zone from one of our H-bomb tests. "On the edge of the bay A day just like the next They gather their nets And face their boats around Over the rooftops Hear the hum of wings In seventeen seconds The world explodes And it buries the night a brave new sunrise With a sweep of the sword, a blood red sunrise You'll never see the faces Of the fishermen But you may see their shadows Burned against the wall And in the temple grounds New bamboo grows again As if the heat of the flame Had left no trace at all And there's a light in the eastern sky ... sunrise And there's no place a man can hide, the sunrise Well, it buries the night, a brave new sunrise With a sweep of the sword, a blood red sunrise But in the cool of the evening When the children sleep The old mountain remembers And hangs his head in clouds And there's a light in the eastern sky, yeah, ... sunrise And there's no place a man can hide, the sunrise Well, it buries the night, a brave new sunrise With a sweep of the sword, a blood red ... sunrise. "
A song about the U.S. Air Force Minuteman Missile crews and the Strategic Air Command. "It's lonely in the field that we send our fighters to wander They leave with minds of steel, It's their training solution We've programmed the way It's leads us to order There's no turning back A Surgical Strike We've taught them not to feel Performance is their task A Surgical Strike Its time is arriving now for you The plan for the day will be swift as the lightning they harness The atom display is not mindless solution At master control, assessment will not be by humans-There's no turning back A Surgical Strike We've taught them not to feel, performance is their task A Surgical Strike Its time is arriving now for you
"Surrender," by Jon Anderson
What a way to Surrender -- Surrender What a way to Surrender -- Surrender It was a mid-summer night dream long ago I kinda got me a mood About me, hit me, Something was trying to tell me something I know it sounds pretty crazy really When you think about it, but I, Heard voices calling me saying Have you heard the good news personified You realise what we're talking about About the power of love Why don't the United Nations Declare a special night celebration We're gonna send the weapons up on a starry night Explode them above the atmosphere, it sounds right The whole damn world will be watching The magic mushrooms in the bright sky Such a night of splendour What a way to surrender What a way to surrender See me off down to grab the colonels and the generals To write a letter to the heads of the Government -- Government Asking them to name, the day-ay-ay If you think anything of anyone Why don't sit right down and write that letter Getting rid of that fear the sooner the better How about this for a mid-summer night dream A night we all will remember All will remember We're gonna send the weapons up on a starry night Explode them above the atmosphere, It sure sounds right (believe me) The whole damn world will be watching The whole damn world will be cheering Such a night of splendour What a way to surrender What a way to surrender What a way to surrender What a way to surrender
"Sweethearts," by Camper Van Beethoven
late 1980s song that envisions Ronald Reagan living in a fantasy world where warfare is romanticized as in an old fashioned Hollywood movie, with potentially dire consequences. Can't think of one that better encapsulates the fear (fortunately not borne out) that Reagan was exactly the wrong person to entrust with the nuclear button. lyric: 'Cause he's always living back in Dixon Circa 1949 And we're all sitting at the fountain, at the five and dime 'Cause he's living in some B-movie The lines they are so clearly drawn In black and white life is so easy And we're all coming along on this one 'Cause he's on a secret mission Headquarters just radioed in He left his baby at the dance hall While the band plays on some sweet song And on a mission over China The lady opens up her arms The flowers bloom where you have placed them And the lady smiles, just like mom Angels wings are icing over McDonnell-Douglas olive drab They bear the names of our sweethearts And the captain smiles, as we crash 'Cause in the mind of Ronald Reagan Wheels they turn and gears they grind Buildings collapse in slow motion And trains collide, everything is fine Everything is fine Everything is fine
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