Friday Five: Atomic Bombs
Dozens of classic country, bluegrass, and rock ‘n’ roll songs reference atomic bombs, including “Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb,” “There’s a Power Greater Than Atomic,” Hawkshaw Hawkins’ “When They Found the Atomic Power,” Chris Cerf’s “Fallout Filly,” and, of course, Wanda Jackson’s “Fujiyama Mama,” to name just a few. Here are five more.
5. Red Foley – “Atomic Power”
The Buchanan Brothers recorded this Fred Kirby-penned song first, but I’m partial to Foley’s version.
4. Hank King with Bud Williams & His Smilin’ Buddies – “Your Atom Bomb Heart”
Hank, Bud, and their Smilin’ Buddies can wipe the grin off any face with these harsh lyrics: “You possess all the words of old Satan himself/The men that you ruined are like sand on a shelf/They fall in your love trap that’s so cold and dark/From your devil-filled kisses and your atom bomb heart.”
3. Johnny Paycheck – “The Cave”
A cave protects a young man from the widespread destruction of an atomic bomb. The song ends before he breaks his glasses, forever preventing him from reading his beloved books.
2. Sons of the Pioneers – “Old Man Atom”
“When Einstein’s scared, brother, you better be scared.” That seems reasonable.
1. Louvin Brothers – “Great Atomic Power”
Lots of folks have covered this classic, including Raul Malo, Elizabeth Cook (backed by The Grascals), and Uncle Tupelo, but Charlie and Ira’s version is still the best.
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Barry Mazor: It may be over-stated, in arriving at practically a single explanation of everything, but Adam Gussow's book on lynching and …
- Leeann: Wow! Heavy topic and horrifying indeed! "Beer for My Horses" was all fun and games until that reference, I'll have …
- Barry Mazor: Everything else aside, the way that reporter fills us in, with must-have, pointless generational snark included, about who this "Little …
- luckyoldsun: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" seems to be about a lynching--even if there's something about a judge …
- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- bob: Powerful songs. I read the book "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison about a dozen years ago. …
- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."