Termagant Tuesday: “Atomic Power,” The Buchanan Brothers


[Editor’s Note: Viewers, take warning – this video shows some fairly difficult visuals of people who survived the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

What a bizarre historical relic this song is.  Chester and Lester Buchanan wrote this song in, unsurprisingly, 1946.  The lyrics are a pretty interesting mash-up of war protest and church revival, the tune a blend of 40s/50s-era kitsch and “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain When She Comes.”  The song on its own is weird, but when put against the visuals of the actual bombing campaign that the song describes, it’s very unsettling.  The movie is “Atomic Cafe,” a documentary made in 1982.  I deliberately chose this YouTube video to portray the song because it hammers home the reality of the lyrics.

Why am I posting this today?  Because today is the first day of seven-party talks in Vienna on the future of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  The seven countries – Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China (basically the permanent five members of the Security Council, plus Germany and Iran) – hope to arrive at an agreement that will ease sanctions on Iran if Iran agrees to limit uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors, among other more complicated stipulations.  Keep your eyes peeled, Tune-Up fans; this could be interesting.  (More information on what’s going down can be found here and here.)


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