Aldermaston Song Book

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ALDERMASTON SONGBOOK

(Song selection from the early 1960s peace movement)

Link to CND website: www.cnduk.org

The H-Bomb’s Thunder

(By John Brunner to tune of Miners’ Lifeguard – see Socialist Songbook – and is also the tune of Gospel number Life Is Like A Mountain Railroad. The H-Bomb’s Thunder became the Anthem of CND, sung on all demonstrations.)

Don’t you hear the H-Bomb’s thunder

Echo like the crack of doom?

Whilst they rend the skies asunder,

Fallout makes the Earth a tomb.

Do you want your homes to tumble,

Rise in smoke towards the sky?

Will you let your cities crumble,

Will you see your children die?

 

Chorus:

Men and women, stand together

Do not heed the men of war,

Make your minds up now or never,

Ban the bomb for evermore.

 

Tell the leaders of the nations,

Make the whole wide world take heed,

Poison from the radiation

Strikes at every race and creed.

Must you put mankind in danger,

Murder folk in distant lands?

Would you bring death to a stranger,

Have their blood upon your hands?

 

(Chorus)

 

Shall we lay the world in ruin?

Only you can make the choice.

Stop and think of what your doing,

Join the march and raise your voice!

Time is short – we must be speedy,

We can see the hungry filled,

House the homeless, help the needy.

Shall we blast, or shall we build?

 

(Chorus)

 

Ban The Bloody H-Bomb

(Tune: John Brown’s Body)

(These words are now dated, reproduced here as an historical document, but the eliteration and mild swearing meant it could be sung with great feeling when you were tired, bitter and cold on the third or fourth day of the Aldermaston March.)

To Hell with all the humbug

And to Hell with all the lies!

To Hell with all the strontium

Continuing to rise!

To Hell with all the Charlies

With a gift for compromise

If they won’t ban the H-Bomb now!

 

(Chorus:)

Ban, ban, ban the bloody H-Bomb!

Ban, ban, ban the bloody H-Bomb!

Ban, ban, ban the bloody H-Bomb!

If you want to stay alive next year.

 

Macmillan and the Tories

They are out to wait and see,

They think the great deterrent

Will secure the victory.

I don’t know if they scare the Reds,

By God! They frighten me,

If they won’t ban the H-Bomb now!

 

(Chorus)

 

Gaitskell’s Labour Party

Are preparing for a sell,

They want to get the votes

And keep the atom bomb as well.

But strontium will send us all

To shovel coal in Hell,

So we’re gonna ban the H-Bomb now!

 

(Chorus)

 

Now half of them are barmy,

And half of them are blind,

They’ve all been talking far too long,

It’s time they all resigned!

And the way to shift a donkey

Is to wallop its behind,

So we’re going to ban the H-Bomb now!

 

(Chorus)

 

We’re going to stop the loonies

And preserve the human race.

We’re going to save our country

‘Cos we love the dear old place.

We may have to stuff a rocket

Up the rocket-builders’ base,

But we’re going to ban the H-Bomb now!

 

(Chorus)

 

Official Secret

(Tune: I Love a Lassie)

(On the 1963 Aldermaston March, Spies For Peace announced the existence of a government bunker at Warren Row, on the route of the march. The march made an unofficial diversion to this top secret Regional Seat of Government (RSG) for use in the event of a nuclear war. Warren Row was just one of many RSGs scattered thruout the countryside. A wave of songs were written about the RSGs)

I’ve got a secret, a nice Official Secret,

And I’ll publish it for all the world to see.

They’ve got a shelter, a nice official shelter,

They call it an RSG.

 

They have got a shelter,

A nice official shelter,

They call it an RSG.

Now they’ll find room for Macmillan

And all the other villains

And the boys from the Ministry.

 

But what about the people,

All the unofficial people,

Where will we be, you and me?

We’ll be out in the fallout,

The nice official fallout,

Dying for democracy!

 

Ballad of Warren Row

(Tune: traditional Scottish folk-tune The Sour Milk Cairt)

(The references to Supermac and Mr Brooke refer to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and Home Secretary Henry Brooke.)

Oh, when I was Easter marching

A couple of months ago,

I came upon a little place

By the name of Warren Row.

I saw a copper lurking,

So I told him why I’d come:

‘I want to find a place to hide

The day they drop the bomb’.

 

‘This hole is for your betters, chum;

The ones who get the boff,

And the Army’s booked the standing room,

So you’d better bugger off!

We’ve got a pew for Supermac,

And one for Mr Brooke,

And a golden-plated RSG

For Lizzie and the Duke.’

 

So all you nuclear marchers

Just take a look around,

And see where the Establishment

Intends to go to ground.

They’ll be down the rabbit-holes,

And we’ll be down the drain.

Let’s show the world their RSGs

And make them think again!

 

God Save Our RSG

(Tune: God Save The Queen)

God save our RSG,

No room for you or me,

Where will we be?

Out in the Wilderness,

Our Queen could not care less,

Our country’s in a bloody mess!

God Save our RSG!

 

The Racing Pigeon

(Same traditional folk-tune as Ballad of Warren Row)

(This song was written following the direct action Committee of 100’s huge civil disobedience sit-down in Trafalgar Square in September 1961 when thousands were arrested. CND didn’t endorse civil disobedience at the time, but its Chair, Canon John Collins, went along to observe and give moral support. He was arrested, along with other famous people of the time who were sitting down in the Square.)

Have you ever been to London?

Well I’ll tell you of me tale,

How I landed in Trafalgar Square

And ended up in jail.

They thought I was a squatter

That was there to ban the bomb,

But I’m only a racing pigeon

And my name is Molly Vaughn.

 

There were plenty of people in the Square,

Canon Collins was there as well,

Trying to stop the nonsense

That will blast us all to Hell.

John Osborne, Sheila Delaney,

And an officer looking trim.

He arrested Canon Collins,

So I’m glad I spotted him!

 

Oh we cuddled up to Nelson

On his great masonic pile

To view the whole commotion,

We were doing it in style!

And then a rousing cheer went up

And so I fluttered down,

I had me wings forced up me back

By an officer of the Crown!

 

At the court on Monday morning

I faced a magistrate

Who said to me: ‘My feathered friend

You’re in a dreadful state.

Your charged with messing on the Force,

And truly that’s no lie,

And for causing active fallout

To come dropping from the sky!’

 

Well, although I’m only a pigeon,

I wish I was all white,

With an olive branch stuck in me gob

And putting wrongs to right.

I’d tell the human beings

That instead of dropping bombs,

They should be standing in Trafalgar Square

And only dropping crumbs.

 

Go Limp

(Tune: British version of Sweet Betsy)

(This song about the CND marches and Committee of 100 sit-down civil disobedience demonstrations is not very PC, but it is quite harmless and humorous so I am including it here. Parents were often worried, with good reason, what their offspring were doing and who they were sleeping with on the school hall floors used to accommodate the Aldermaston marchers.)

Now daughter, dear daughter

Take warning from me,

And don’t you go a-marching

With the young CND,

For they’ll rock you and roll you

And shove you into bed,

And if they pinch your cherry

You’ll wish you were dead!

 

Chorus:

With a toorali, toorali, toorali-ay.

 

O mother, dear mother, oh be not afraid,

For I’ll go on that march

And I’ll come back a maid,

With a brick in my handbag

And a scowl on my face,

And barbed wire in my underwear

To keep off disgrace.

 

(Chorus)

 

Now as they were marching

A young man came by

With a beard on his chin

And a glint in his eye

And before she had time

To remember her brick

They were holding a sit-down

On a neighboring rick.

 

(Chorus)

 

Now once at a briefing

She’d heard a man say

Go perfectly limp

And be carried away,

So when this chap suggested

It was time she was kissed

She remembered her briefing

And did not resist.

 

(Chorus)

 

Oh meeting is pleasure,

And parting is pain,

I don’t need to sing

All that folk stuff again.

O mother, o mother

I’m stiff and I’m sore

From sleeping three nights

On a hard classroom floor.

 

(Chorus)

 

Now mother, don’t flap

There’s no need for distress.

That marcher has left me

His name and address,

And if we can win,

Though a baby there be,

He won’t have to march

Like his dada and me.

 

(Chorus)

 

Bug-Eyed Martian

(Tune: Waltzing Matilda)

(Minuteman, Vostok and Polaris were all rockets used to launch nuclear warheads.)

Once a bug-eyed Martian

Riding in his rocket-ship

Made a little pleasure trip

To Planet 3,

Passing the Van Allen Belt,

When he least expected it

He bumped into a satellite

At 19G

 

Chorus:

Bumped into a satellite,

Bumped into a satellite,

He bumped into a satellite

At 19G.

Passing the Van Allen Belt,

When he least expected it

He bumped into a satellite

At 19G.

 

What in Space are Earthmen

Doing with a satellite?

Earthmen haven’t any right

To bother me.

Putting on his pressure suit,

Patching up his rocket tubes

I’d better go and take a look

Said he.

 

(Chorus)

 

So the bug-eyed Martian

Went down thru the stratosphere

Turning on his scanning gear

And E.S.P.,

He went to look at Minutemen,

Vostoks and Polarises

At Baikal, Canaveral and

Out at sea.

 

(Chorus)

 

Soon the bug-eyed Martian

Shot back thru the strastophere

Knowing that he needn’t fear

Because, you see

All those great big rocket-ships

Are loaded up with atom bombs,

They’ll never make it alive

Said he.

 

They’ll never make it,

They’ll never make it,

They’ll never make it

Alive, said he.

All those great big rocket-ships

Are loaded up with atom bombs

They’ll never make it alive

Said he.

 

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

(Alternative words to the traditional Christmas carol.)

God rest ye merry gentlemen,

Sleep easy in your beds,

The independent British bomb

Is flying overhead,

To go and kill the Russians

When the rest of us are dead

 

Chorus:

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy,

O tidings of comfort and joy.

 

I’ve got a little tin hat

And I wear it every day,

It keeps me safe by darkest night

From every gamma ray,

And saves me from the H-bombs’ power

When they have gone astray

 

(Chorus)

 

If Jesus Christ came back to Earth

To save the rich and poor

We wouldn’t crucify him

Like the Romans did before,

But I’d shoot him if I caught him

At my fallout shelter door

 

(Chorus)

 

Man With The Knob

(Tune: The Man That Waters The Workers’ Beer)

I’m the man, the well fed man

In charge of the dreadful knob.

The most pleasant thing about it is

It’s almost a permanent job.

When the atom war is over

And the Earth is split in three,

The consolation I’ve got,

Or maybe it’s not,

There’ll be nobody left but me.

 

I sit at me desk in Washington

In front of a large machine.

More vicious than Adolf Hitler,

More deadly than strychnine.

In the evening after a tiring day

Just to give myself a laugh,

I hit the button a playful belt

And listen for the blast.

 

If the Russians start their nonsense

And kick up a nasty smell,

With a wink and a nod from the President

I’ll blast them in to Hell,

And as for that fellow, Castro,

Him with the sugar cane,

He needn’t hide behind his whiskers

For I’ll get him just the same.

 

If my wife denies my conjugal rights

Or the morning milk is sour,

From 8 till 9 in the morning

You’re in for a nervous hour.

The button being so terribly close,

It’s really a dreadful joke;

A bump with me arse as I go past

And you all go up in smoke.

 

I’m thinking of joining the army,

The army to ban the bomb,

They’ll take up a collection

And I’ll donate my thumb;

For without it I am powerless,

And that’s the way to be.

You don’t have to kill the whole bloody lot

To set the people free!

 

Four Minute Warning

(Tune: traditional)

Four minutes more,

Give me four minutes more,

Only four minutes more in your arms.

Four minutes more,

Give me four minutes more,

Then the fallout will ruin all your charms.

 

Better Things

(Tune: traditional)

Kind friends I want to warn you,

Because I love us all,

No doubt you read your papers,

But the half can never be told.

Politicians they try to fool you,

And get you to agree,

To blow this world to Glory

And end humanity.

 

Chorus:

But there are better things to do

Than blow this world in two;

You can live into your old age

And your kids’ll be normal too.

There’s better things for you,

That all on Earth must do,

Gotta set your feet on the road to Peace

And see your journey thru.

 

Now some folks think that danger

Can’t reach our peaceful shore,

They must see planes and soldiers

Before they call it war.

Kind friends I would remind you

That the atom’s very small,

It can blow us all to Glory

And you can’t see it at all!

 

(Chorus)

 

Now some folks they are holy,

In the Bible it is told

That Judgment comes tomorrow

So today pray for your soul,

But that is not sufficient,

Tomorrow is today,

And they’ll blow us all to Glory

While you just sit and pray.

 

(Chorus)

 

Ding Dong Dollar

Tune: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain.

Scottish anti-Polaris song against the American base on the Holy Loch, near Dunoon. A variation of Ye Cannae Shove Your Granny Off A Bus (Ye cannae shove your granny off a bus, Oh ye cannae shove your granny off a bus, Oh ye cannae shove your granny, ‘Cos she’s your mammy’s mammy, No ye cannae shove your granny off a bus.)

Och, the Yanks hae just drapp’d anchor in Dunoon

And they had a civic welcome frae the toon,

As they measured up the mile

Bonnie Mary o’ Argyle

Wis wearin’ spangled drawers below her goon.

 

Chorus:

Oh ye cannae spend a dollar when you’re dead

No ye cannae spend a dollar when you’re dead

Och ye cannae spend a dollar,

Everybody holler,

Ye cannae spend a dollar when you’re dead.

 

And the publicans will all be doin’ swell,

For it’s just the thing that’s sure to ring the bell,

Och the dollars they will jingle

There’ll be no lassie single

Even though they’re here to blow us all to Hell.

 

(Chorus)

 

But the Glesgae Moderator disnae mind

In fact he thinks the Yanks are awfy kind

For if it’s Heaven that you’re going

It’s a quicker way than rowing

And there’s sure to be naebody left behind.

 

(Chorus).

Strangest Dream

Last night I had the strangest dream,

I’d never dreamed before,

I dreamed the world had all agreed,

To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room,

The room was full of men,

And the paper they were signing said

They’d never fight again.

 

And when that paper was all signed,

And a million copies made,

They all joined hands and bowed their heads,

And grateful prayers were prayed,

And people in the streets below

Were dancing round and round,

And guns and swords and uniforms

Lay scattered on the ground.

 

Today I saw a dream come true,

I never thought I’d see,

Ten thousand marched on London town,

On one thing they agree:

The future of the human race

Must never again depend

On politics and business men,

Protest, your lives defend!

 

We Shall Overcome

(American civil rights anthem, adopted by the British peace movement with some new words).

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,

We shall overcome some day,

Deep in my heart,

I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

 

We will ban the bomb, we will ban the bomb,

We will ban the bomb some day,

Deep in my heart,

I do believe,

We shall ban the bomb some day.

 

We shall live in peace….. etc.

 

We are not afraid, we are not afraid,

We are not afraid today….. etc.

 

Mack The Bomb

(Variation of Mack The Knife. AEC = Atomic Energy Commission.)

Oh the shark has pretty teeth, dear,

And he shows them pearly white,

And the AEC has figures,

But it keeps them out of sight.

 

When the shark bites with is teeth, dear,

Scarlet billows start to spread;

Strontium 90 shows no color,

But it leaves you just as dead.

 

Strontium 90 leaves no clue, dear,

It’s not like thalidomide;

If the baby is deformed, dear,

You just blame the other side.

 

Strontium 90 leaves no trace, dear,

No one knows who gets the knife,

You can always say that background

Radiation took the life.

 

In your milk on Monday mornig

Comes an extra little kick,

Well, the taste is just the same, dear,

But the Geiger counters tick.

 

Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear,

And he shows them, pearly white;

And the AEC has figures,

But they keep them out of sight.

 

Old Smoky

On top of Old Smoky

All covered in snow

There’s Strontium 90

From the H-Bomb below.

 

Now living’s a pleasure,

And the H-bomb’s a grief,

And Strontium 90

Is worse than a thief.

 

For a thief will just rob you,

Pinch money you save,

But Strontium 90

Will send you to your grave.

 

The grave will decay you,

And turn you to dust,

There’s no politician

A worker can trust.

 

They’ll kid you and fool you,

And tell you more lies

Than deaths from leukemia

Or stars in the sky.

 

For the H-bomb’s explosioin

Will cut like a knife

Thru the ranks of our people

And poison all life.

 

The leaves they will wither,

All life it will die,

You’ll be incinerated

And never know why.

 

So come all you people,

And listen to me,

Get rid of the H-bomb

And Strontium 90.

 

A Little Bomb Like You

(Tune: Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya)

Charles de Gaulle, he said to me:

I want to have a little bomb like you,

Independent mine will be,

I want to have a little bomb like you,

I like you and you like me

But just in case we don’t agree,

I want a little bomb like you, Mac,

I want a little bomb like you.

 

Mao to Krushchov turned and said:

I want to have a little bomb like you,

My bomb will be twice as Red,

I want to have a little bomb like you,

East is East and West is West,

The Chinese bomb will be the best,

I want to have a little bomb like you, Nik,

I want a little bomb like you.

 

Come Away, Melinda

‘Mummy, mummy, come and look and see what I

have found,

A little way away from here while digging in the

ground.’

‘Come away, Melinda, come in and close the door,

It’s nothing but a picture book they had before the

War.’

 

‘Mummy, mummy, come and see,

Oh, mummy, come and look

There’s four or five Melinda girls inside this

picture book.’

‘Come away, Melinda, come in and close the door,

There were lots of little girls like you before they

had the War.’

 

‘Mummy, mummy, come and see,

Oh mummy hurry, do.

Here’s someone grown up very tall

who doesn’t look like you.’

‘Come away, Melinda, come in and close the door,

Your father was a man like that before they had

the war.’

 

‘Mummy, mummy, come and see, such things I’ve

never seen

There’s happy faces all around and all the ground

is green.’

‘Come away, Melinda, come in and close the door,

That’s just the way it used to be before they had

the War.’

 

‘Mummy, mummy, come and see and tell me if you

can,

Why can’t it be the way it was before the War

began?’

‘Come away, Melinda, come in and close the door,

The answer lies in yesterday – before they had the

War.’

 

We’ll All Go Together

(Tune: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain.)

Oh we’ll all go together when we go,

Oh we’ll all go togethr when we go,

Yes, we’ll all go together,

However nice the weather,

Yes, we’ll all go together when we go.

 

It’ll all be accidental when it comes,

It’ll all be accidental when it comes,

It’ll all be accidental,

Just that some poor guy went mental,

It’ll all be accidental when it comes.

 

Oh we’ll all go together when we go,

Oh we’ll all go together when we go,

Universal bereavement,

An astounding achievement,

Yes we’ll all go together when we go.

 

It’ll be too late to stop it when it comes,

It’ll be too late to stop it when it comes,

It’ll be to late to stop it

When we’re about to cop it,

It’ll be too late to stop it when it comes.

 

So, let’s stop it now before it comes,

Let’s stop it now before it comes,

Yes, let’s stop it now,

Make a devil of a row,

Let’s stop it now before it comes.

 

Oh Freedom

Civil rights movement song, adopted by peace and anti-Vietnam War movement. Jim Crow is a slang term for the U.S. segregation system. (The Americans used to ‘fence in’ what the called ‘strategic hamlets’ to try to prevent the Vietcong taking them over.)

Oh Freedom, Oh Freedom,

Oh Freedom over me,

And before I’ll be a slave

I’ll be buried in my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free.

 

No more fighting, no more fighting,

No more fighting over me,

And before I’ll be a slave

I’ll be buried in my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free.

 

No more Jim Crow, no more Jim Crow,

No more Jim Crow over me,

And before I’ll be a slave

I’ll be buried in my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free.

 

No more H-bomb, no more H-bomb,

No more H-bomb over me,

And before I’ll be a slave

I’ll be buried in my grave

And go home to my Lord and be free.

 

Oh Freedom, Oh Freedom,

Oh Freedom over me,

And before I’ll be fenced-in

I’ll vote for Ho Chi-Minh

And go home to the North

And be free.

 

What Did You Learn In School Today?

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie,

I learned that soldiers never die,

I learned that everybody’s free,

And that’s what the teacher said to me,

That’s what I learned in school, today,

That’s what I learned in school.

 

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that policemen are my friends,

I learned that justice never ends,

I learned that murderers die for their crimes,

Even if we make a mistake sometimes,

That’s what I learned in school today,

That’s what I learned in school.

 

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that war is not so bad,

I learned of the great ones we have had,

We fought in Germany and in France,

And someday I might get my chance,

That’s what I learned in school today,

That’s what I learned in school.

 

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned our government must be strong,

It’s always right and never wrong,

Our leaders are the finest men,

And we elect them again and again,

That’s what I learned in school today,

That’s what I learned in school.

 

The Hammer Song

(Later Trini Lopez had a hit record with his version ‘If I Had A Hammer’)

If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning,

I’d hammer in the evening all over this land,

I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out a

warning,

I’d hammer out a love between all my brothers,

All over this land.

 

If I had a bell, I’d ring it in the morning… etc.

 

If I had a song, I’d sing it in the morning… etc.

 

Now I’ve got a hammer, and I’ve got a bell,

And I’ve got a song to sing

All over the world,

It’s the hammer of justice, it’s the bell of freedom,

And it’s the song about a love between

My brothers and my sisters

All over the world.

 

The Family Of Man

I belong to a family, the biggest on Earth,

A thousand every day are coming to birth,

Our name isn’t Dallas or Hasted or Jones,

It’s a name every man should be proud he owns.

 

Chorus:

It’s the family of man keeps growing,

The family of man keeps sowing

The seeds of a new life every day.

 

I’ve got a sister in Melbourne, a brother in Paree,

The whole wide world is dad and mother to me,

Wherever you turn you will find my kin,

Whatever the creed or the color of their skin.

 

(Chorus)

 

The miner in the Rhondda, the coolie in Peking,

Men across the world who reap and plow and

spin,

They’ve all got a life and others to share it,

Let’s bridge the oceans and declare it.

 

(Chorus)

 

From the North Pole ice to the snow at the other,

There isn’t a man I wouldn’t call brother,

But I haven’t much time, I’ve had my fill

Of the men of war who want to kill.

 

(Chorus)

 

Some people say the world is a horrible place,

But it’s just as good or bad as the human race,

Dirt and misery or health and joy,

Man can build or can destroy.

 

(Chorus)

 

The Crow On The Cradle

The sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn,

Now is the time for a child to be born,

He’ll cry for the moon, and he’ll laugh at the sun,

If he’s a boy he’ll carry a gun,

Sang the crow on the cradle.

 

If it should be that our baby’s a girl,

Never you mind if her hair doesn’t curl,

With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,

And a bomber above her wherever she goes,

Sang the crow on the cradle.

 

Rockabye baby, the dark and the light,

Somebody’s baby is born for a fight,

Rockabye baby, the white and the black,

Somebody’s baby is not coming back,

Sung the crow on the cradle.

 

Your mammy and pappy, they’ll scrape and they’ll

save,

Build you a coffin and dig you a grave,

Rockabye little one, why do you weep?

We’ve got a toy which will put you to sleep,

Sang the crow on the cradle.

 

The crow on the cradle is a bird that I hate!

The crow and you darling are making a date,

The crow’s on my cradle, oh what shall I do?

That is a thing that I leave to you,

Sang the crow on the cradle.

 

(Alternative last verse)

Oh give me a gun and I’ll shoot that bird dead,

That’s what your mammy and pappy once said,

Crow on the cradle, oh what shall I do?

That is a thing that I leave to you,

Sang the crow on the cradle.

 

A Mighty Song Of Peace

(Tune: Down in Demerara)

A mighty song of peace will soon be ringing,

Soon be ringing, soon be ringing,

A mighty song of peace will soon be ringing,

All over this land,

All over this land, this land,

All over this land,

A mighty song of peace will soon be ringing,

All over this land.

 

A mighty song of unity and peace will…. etc.

 

A mighty song of justice, unity and peace… etc.

 

A mighty song of freedom, justice, unity and

peace… etc.

 

A mighty song of friendship, freedom, justice,

unity and peace…. etc.

 

Song of Hiroshima

In the place where our city was destroyed,

Where we buried the ashes of the ones that we

loved,

There the green grass grows and the white waving

weeds,

Deadly the harvest of two atom bombs,

Then brothers and sisters you must watch, and

take care,

That the third atom bomb never comes.

 

Gentle rain gathers poison from the sky

And the fish carry death in the depths of the sea,

Fishing boats are idle, their owners are blind,

Deadly the harvest of two atom bombs,

Then, landsmen and seamen you must watch, and

take care,

That the third atom bomb never comes.

 

The sky hangs like a shroud overhead

And the sun’s in the cage of the black, lowering

cloud,

No birds fly in the leaden sky,

Deadly the harvest of two atom bombs,

Then brothers and sisters you must watch, and

take care,

That the third atom bomb never comes.

 

All that men have created with their hands

And their minds, for the glory of the world we live

in,

Now it can be smashed, in a moment destroyed,

Deadly the harvest of two atom bombs,

Then people of the world you must watch, and

take care,

That the third atom bomb never comes.

 

Bunk, Bunk, Bunkum

(Tune: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain)

We’re campaigning for your future and for ours,

For if the big bang coms there’ll be no flowers,

There’ll be no people left to buy them,

No florists to supply them,

No people and no nation and no powers.

Singing bunk, bunk, bunkum ballyhoo,

Don’t believe those soothing lies they’re telling

you,

When they talk about disarming

We find it quite alarming,

Not because of what they say but what they do.

 

Roll This Campaign On

(Tune: When The Saints Go Marching In)

We’re gonna roll, we’re gonna roll,

We’re gonna roll this campaign on,

We’re gonna roll, we’re gonna roll,

We’re gonna roll this campaign on.

And if the Yanks get in the way,

We’re gonna roll right over them,

We’re gonna roll this campaign on,

We’re gonna roll…. etc.

 

And if the Reds get inthe way…. etc.

 

The Sun Is Burning

The sun is burning in the sky,

Strands of cloud are softly drifting by,

In the park the dreamy bees

Are droning in the flowers among the trees,

And the sun burns in the sky.

 

Now the sun is sinking low,

Children playing know its time to go,

And the couples in the park

Are holding hands and waiting for the dark,

And the sun is sinking low.

 

Nnow the sun is in the West,

Little kids lie down to take their rest,

High above a spot appears,

A little blossom blooms and then draws near,

And the sun is in the West.

 

Now the sun has come to Earth

Shrouded in a mushroom cloud of death,

Death comes in a blinding flash

Of hellish heat and leaves a smear of ash,

And the sun has come to Earth.

 

Now the sun has disappeared,

All is darkness, anger, pain and fear,

Twisted, sightless wrecks of men

Go crawling on their knees and cry in pain,

And the sun has disappeared.

 

A New Day

I can see a new day,

A new day soon to be,

When the storm clouds are all past,

And the sun shines on a world that is free.

 

I can see a new world,

A new world coming fast,

When all men are brothers,

And hatred is forgotten at last.

 

I can see a new man,

A new man standing tall,

With his head high and his heart proud,

And afraid of nothing at all.

 

Writing On The Wall

(Tune: Yankee Doodle)

Old Belshazzar had a wall,

Someone chalked a slogan,

Belshazzar got his chips that night,

Which proved that they weren’t joking.

 

Here’s the writing on the wall,

This is what is written:

Boot the bases, ban the bomb

And up with neutral Britain!

 

Moving On To Victory

We’re moving on to victory,

We’re moving on to victory,

We’re moving on to victory,

With hope and dignity.

 

Black and white all are brothers,

Black and white all are brothers,

Bland and white all are brothers,

In the land of liberty.

 

We are going to ban the H-bomb,

We are going to ban the H-bomb,

We are going to ban the H-bomb,

For all eternity.

 

One Man’s Hands

One man’s hands can’t put an end to war,

Two men’s hands can’t put an end to war,

But if two and two and fifty make a million,

We’ll see that day come round,

We’ll see that day come round.

 

One man’s voice can’t shout to make them hear,

Two men’s voices can’t shout to make them hear,

But if…. etc.

 

One man’s strength can’t ban the atom bomb,

Two men’s strength can’t ban the atom bomb,

But if… etc.

 

We Shall Not Be Moved

(American civil rights movement song adapted and the adopted by direct action Committee of 100 as their anthem, sung on all sit-down demonstrations.)

We shall not, we shall not be moved

We shall not, we shall not be moved

Just like a tree that’s standing by the water (waterside)

We shall not be moved.

 

We ‘re fighting for our children,

We shall not be moved,

We’fe fighting for our children,

We shall not be moved,

Just like a tree….. (etc.)

 

We don’t want Polaris,

It shall be removed,

We don’t want Polaris,

It shall be removed,

Just like the scum that’s floating on the Holy Loch

It shall be removed.

 

No more Hiroshimas,

We shall not be moved,

No more Hiroshimas,

We shall not be moved,

Just like a tree… (etc.)

 

(The variations were endless – you could just go on and on making up new verses as you sat and waited to be arrested.)

 

Monster In The Loch

(Another of the Scottish protest songs against the American Polaris Holy Loch base near Dunoon.)

Och, och! There’s a monster in the loch,

A monster in the loch, a monster in the loch,

Och, och! There’s a monster in the loch,

And we dinnae want Polaris!

 

The USA are giving subs away,

Giving subs away, giving subs away,

The USA are giving subs away,

But we dinnae want Polaris!

 

The mayor o’ Dunoon has sold the toon for half-a-croon,

The toon for half-a-croon, the toon for half-a-croon,

The mayor o’ Dunoon has sold the toon for half-a-croon,

But we dinnae want Polaris!

 

Tell the Yanks tae drap ’em doon the stanks,

Drap ’em doon the stanks, drap ’em doon the stanks,

Tell the Yanks tae drap ’em doon the stanks,

‘Cos we dinnae want Polaris!

 

Anchors away for poppa Kenned-ay,

Poppa Kenned-ay, poppa Kenned-ay,

Anchors away for poppa Kenned-ay,

For we dinnae want Polaris!

 

Put the whole damn show in the River Alamo,

River Alamo, River Alamo,

Put the whole damn show in the River Alamo,

‘Cos we dinnae want Polaris!

 

It’s suicide to hae them on the Clyde,

Hae them on the Clyde, hae them on the Clyde,

Sheer suicide to hae them on the Clyde

And we dinnae want Polaris!

 

Off, off, get off the Holy Loch,

Off the Holy Loch, off the Holy Loch,

Off, off, get off the Holy Loch,

For we dinnae want Polaris!

 

Put My Name Down

(Jim Crow was slang for the segretation system)

I’ve got a brother in the infantry,

I thought you know’d,

I’ve got a brother in the infantry,

Right down the road,

He’s got a home and a wife and a baby,

He don’t want war and he don’t mean maybe,

So he’s gonna put his name down.

 

Chorus:

Put my name down, brother,

Where do I sign?

I’m gonna fight for peace

Right down the line,

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust,

If you don’t sign up the world goes bust,

So I’m gonna put my name down.

 

I’ve got a sister in Portland, Maine,

I thought you know’d,

I’ve got a sister in Portland, Maine,

Right down the road,

She lost a son at Anzio,

And now she wants the world to know,

That she’s gonna put her name down.

 

(Chorus)

 

I’ve got a brother in Birmingham,

I thought you know’d,

I’ve got a brother in Birmingham,

Right down the road,

He don’t want an ocean trip

In a Jim Crow Navy, on a Jim Crow ship,

So he’s gonna put his name down.

 

(Chorus)

 

I’ve got a brother in Stalingrad,

I thought you know’d,

I’ve got a brother in Stalingrad,

Right down the road,

On lots of things we don’t agree,

But he wants peace, just like me,

So he’s gonna put his name down.

 

(Chorus)

 

I’ve got brothers thruout this land,

I thought you know’d,

I’ve got brothers thruout this land,

Right down the road,

From the Golden Gate to Baltimore

We all say we don’t want war,

So we’re gonna put our names down.

 

Free The Prisoners, Frederika!

(Tune: John Brown’s Body)

(In the 1960s the Greek junta murdered leftwing Greek MP Lambrakis, who had taken part in a British Aldermaston march. When Queen Frederika of Greece visited London, the anti-nuclear movement got involved in protests. The Queen of England was booed for the first time, according to tabloid headlines. Queen Frederika was the main target of the demonstrators, however, since she was very close to the rightwing junta and had been photographed in Hitler Youth uniform as a teenager. This song was sung outside Claridges where she was staying during her State visit.)

In the cradle of democracy a thousand prisoners rot,

Starvation, pain and misery for years have been their lot,

They guard the flame of liberty, shall these men be forgot?

Whilst the royal trip goes on?

 

Chorus:

Free the prisoners, Frederika,

Free the prisoners, Frederika,

Free the prisoners, Frederika,

And we’ll welcome you to London town.

 

4 thoughts on “Aldermaston Song Book

  1. Hi Tony,

    I hope this note finds you well.

    It’s been a great pleasure reading your writings. I first came across your YouTube videos (CND songs) and then your website, and I was hoping to find an email address for you.

    I’m in the early stages of a curatorial project which explores the history of the peace symbol in London, and of course incorporates discussions of the Aldermaston marches and CND. I’d really love to discuss some of these with you – your insight and first hand experience would inform and enrichen the project no end.

    I’d be thrilled if you’d be kind enough to share your insights with me. If you find time and would be willing, please do send me an email at lydiarosekeli@hotmail.com.

    With very best wishes,
    Lydia

  2. Hi tony, this brought back some memories!i met a fellow on one of the marches who wrote out some of these songs.his letter was signed ” you fellow traveller”!
    Put my name down tune was by woody Guthrie.
    We will all go together had the lyrics
    “when the world becomes uranius(sic)
    We will all go simultaneous”
    Aah, happy memories!

    Jh

  3. Hi John, didn’t know you were on some of the marches. Yes, I recall all those old songs we used to sing. Some are on YouTube under my name, though I’m no great shakes at singing unaccompanied!

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