Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

Fire & Sound (A Song from the Cold War)


Get Flash to see this player.

Description
Let's see. How do I do this? It's been a long time since I uploaded a song. And this is not a new song. In fact, I wrote and recorded this piece in 1979, when I was 22-years old, at the height of the Cold War. It's a song about nuclear war, something no one seems to talk about much these days. Actually, the piece is about a nuclear bomb exploding, "all fire and sound." I just discovered this recording in a pile in the basement and thought I'd add it to all my other songs on Macjams. Forgive the poor audio and young voice.

I also found another rough recording of a more current protest song, written shortly after the bombing of Afghanistan began in 2001. It is titled "Rain, Rain, Rain (Stop the Bombing"). I'll post it soon.

Peace & Love.
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Lyrics
Morning comes the day
So peacefully
Stars fade away
Then a cloud appears
Rising from the ground
All fire & sound
All fire & sound

Then the earth screams
Sky disappears
And the people ask
"Where are the angels?"
And the angels weep.

Morning comes the day
So peacefully
Stars fade away
Then a cloud appears
Rising from the ground
All fire & sound
All fire & sound
Song Stats
Hits: 2097
Comments: 18
Fans: 8
Plays: 172
Downloads: 84
Votes: 4
Uploaded: Jun 09, 2010 - 03:17:22 PM
Last Updated: Jun 09, 2010 - 08:34:51 PM Last Played: Mar 21, 2017 - 08:42:19 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Hardware:
Alvarez guitar
Eric Berry's multi-track Ampex reel-to-reel recorder
Software:
Comments
composerclark said 2601 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
1979
Hmm... that's interesting... I was 22 in 1979 too — that was also the beginning of the Soviet war in Afghanistan — and I remember being worried about the escalation of tension in the cold war too, but my worries REALLY increased a couple of years later, when the 40th president of the U.S. took office.

This is a deceptive song; it is very pretty, and, if I didn't know what the song was about, I might think that is a love song at the beginning, but then you hear the rest and realize that it's much more grim than that. I guess you could call it a beautiful but sobering song. You clearly had a very well-developed talent at 22.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Tom Atwood said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Reagan
True story: my wife and I were burglarized the day Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. We came home (Springfield, IL) to watch the returns and saw that her dresser drawer had been rifled - all her family jewelry had been stolen. We suspected the landlord. But, to this day we feel like we were robbed the day Pres Reagan was elected. Politics aside, thanks for listening to this old song and for your comments, Clark. I'm not sure if I intended for this to be "deceptive," in terms of juxtaposing fire and sound with a soft, sweet tune. I can't remember that and many other things from 1979. Unlike your complex & well-formed compositions, songwriting for me (especially on the guitar) is haphazard. Usually words and melody happen at the same time, just after a progression arrives on the strings. But, I am glad, 30 years later, that we are not fretting over all out nuclear war like I was in 1979.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
composerclark said 2600 days ago (June 10th, 2010)
Reagan, missing jewelry; coincidence?
You say your wife's jewelry was stolen the day Reagan was elected; did you happen to notice any similarities between the missing jewelry and the jewelry Nancy Reagan was wearing at the inaugural ball? Just wondering...

Also, I just wanted to point out that my approach to composing is pretty haphazard as well; I rarely have a plan of any kind, and if I do it usually gets abandoned by about the fourth bar. I am a big fan of haphazard composing!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cori Ander said 2601 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
First of all
so nice to see you here! Secondly; so interesting to hear such an old recording of yours. Your voice has hardly changed att all since then. And you had your musical style of songwriting already by then. As well as your engagement for what is right.

The song brings us in a seductively poetic way into mans most ugly and fatal project. Showing us there is implications not only on earth but heavens.

Thank you Tom, and again. SO nice to see you here again!

sincerely
Johannes

PS Straight tens :)
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Tom Atwood said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Language
Johannes, I am always impressed by your use of English as a 2nd language - lyrical, clear, direct. Your description and analysis of this old song is impressive. In fact, I have never really stopped to analyze it in any way, especially in terms of the implications of nuclear war "not only on earth but heavens." Your description makes me sound like a better songwriter than I am! And you may not be able to hear how my voice has aged, but I can. I sound very young in this piece. I do remember the tuning of the guitar was very strange - each string a fifth above the one before it. I'm not sure I could play it now - or even figure out the exact tuning. (You probably could!)

Hope all is well with you, old friend.Thanks for the 10s.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
michaeljayklein said 2601 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Excellent
Like the best of good folk music, you tell your message simply but with a great deal of substance and impact in your words. Well done song and your performance of it is true and authentic--high marks for this Tom, and hope to hear more of your work soon!
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
Tom Atwood said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks MJK. I appreciate you taking a listen, and your kind words. If you want to hear more, go to my song page. I had a busy year here in 2005. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
jdholliday said 2601 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
I think
this is my first listen and time I've sen you on macjams, I'll be listening to more! This is a classic 70's folk song for sure, great message, great hook!
Check out my latest song called Please Help, Pride of NYC needs tracks!
Tom Atwood said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Classic 70s folk?
Thanks JD. Not sure if this is a classic, but I certainly listened to enough folk music in the 70s to be influenced by it. Nice to meet you!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
ziti said 2601 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
tom atwood!!!
wow...awesome to see you back here...will give this a listen in a bit!!!

best
z
Check out my latest song called The Viconian Cyclist
magnatone said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Fire and Sound
WOW - a new upload from the great Tom Atwood - what a gift to us! this is wonderful Tom, and it all sadly holds true 30+ years later. looking forward to the next - thank you!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
Tom Atwood said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
Great
Thanks Karen. It's been awhile since anyone referred to me as "the great." Like maybe never. So, thanks for that. Speaking of great, listening to your Glacier Ride, I can see how easy it would be for me to get sucked back into this site (and I mean that as a compliment!) Beautiful piece. Sounds like my generation. Like a language I understand.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
guitapick said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
We need...
...more dissent, now. This is a good start. I remember the Cold War, quite well. The air raid drills under our desks, in the halls, and/or in the basement.
Nice find, Tom.
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
Tom Atwood said 2600 days ago (June 9th, 2010)
basement
Thanks Pick. I was glad to find this recording, which I had put on a CD, in my basement, especially since I can no longer remember the tuning of the guitar or how to play the song!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Ed Hannifin said 2598 days ago (June 12th, 2010)
Tom!
It's very good to hear your voice again... I guess that's literal and metaphorical, but want to make clear that I really enjoy your singing voice... Which I think I first heard years ago on Jem's hymn....

This is an evocative song, and it seems to have evoked a lot of reminiscence in the responses.... For my part, I remember the days of the Soviets in Afghanistan, when it was so common to think and to say that they were being stupid, locked into a war that they couldn't win... And now my stepson is over there...

I also remember when nuclear war seemed the biggest thing to worry about. Now that worry is less, and yet peace still seems distant and difficult.

I like the form and traditional feel of the lyric...


Tom Atwood said 2597 days ago (June 13th, 2010)
Best to your stepson
Thanks Ed. The times are different, but as you say, peace still seems distant. Hope your stepson keeps safe.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Peter Greenstone said 2597 days ago (June 13th, 2010)
Mutually assured listening experience
Tom, I haven't been by MacJams in ages. Just got so caught up in other things. But I do get an email from MJ when you upload something new.

I really enjoy your old stuff that you dig out of the archives. This is a sullenly sweet and beautiful song about such a grave subject, but it moves me in just the right way. It's a gentle hand on the shoulder as we see it all burn down.

Beautiful "angels" harmony as they weep.
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
Tom Atwood said 2597 days ago (June 13th, 2010)
MALE
You win the prize for best comment title on this page, Peter. Like you, I am not here often, but I do get e-mails when someone I know who is left here uploads a song. Thanks for your comments. I'd like to re-record this song, but really can't remember the tuning, and I guess some songs are better left alone. This is like a historical piece now. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tom Atwood
Location:
send a note
I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Chat
Who's Online
158tune
Invisible Members: 1
Visitors: 106