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Old Man Atom

This song is by Sons of the Pioneers and appears on the compilation Atomic Platters: Cold War Music From the Golden Age of Homeland Security (2005) and on the compilation Protest Songs of America (2011).

Well, I'm gonna preach you a sermon 'bout Old Man Atom
I don't mean the Adam in the Bible datum
I don't mean the Adam that Mother Eve mated
I mean that thing that science liberated
Einstein says he's scared
And when Einstein's scared, I'm scared
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini...

Here's my moral, plain as day
Old Man Atom is here to stay
He's gonna hang around, it's plain to see
But, ah, my dearly beloved, are we?
We hold these truths to be self-evident
All men may be cremated equal

Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- here's my text
Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- Lordy, who'll be next

The science guys, from every clime
They all pitched in with overtime
Before they knew it, the job was done
They'd hitched up the power of the gosh-darn sun
They put a harness on Old Sol
Splittin' atoms, while the diplomats was splittin' hairs...

Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- what'll we do?
Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- they both went up the blue

Then the cartel crowd put on a show
To turn back the clock on the UNO
To get a corner on atoms and maybe extinguish
Every darned atom that can't speak English
Down with foreign-born atoms
Yes, Sir

Hiroshima, Nagasaki...

But the atom's international, in spite of hysteria
Flourishes in Utah, also Siberia
And whether you're white, black, red or brown
The question is this, when you boil it down:
To be or not to be
That is the question...
Atoms to atoms, and dust to dust
If the world makes A-bombs, something's bound to bust

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamogordo, Bikini...

No, the answer to it all isn't military datum
Like "Who gets there fustest with the mostest atoms"
But the people of the world must decide their fate
We got to stick together or disintegrate
World peace and the atomic golden age or a push-button war
Mass cooperation or mass annihilation
Civilian international control of the atom -- one world or none
If you're gonna split atoms, well, you can't split ranks

Hiroshima, Nagasaki...

It's up to the people, cause the atom don't care
You can't fence him in, he's just like air
He doesn't give a darn about politics
Or who got who into whatever fix
All he wants to do is sit around and have his nucleus bombarded by neutrons

Hiroshima, Nagasaki...

So if you're scared of the A-bomb, I'll tell you what to do:
You got to get with all the people in the world with you
You got to get together and let out a yell
Or the first thing you know we'll blow this world to...
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Moscow, too
New York, London, Timbuktu
Shanghai, Paris, up the flue
Hiroshima, Nagasaki...
We must choose between
The brotherhood of man or smithereens
The people of the world must pick out a thesis:
"Peace in the world, or the world in pieces!"


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