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"I dreamt I was walkin' into World War 3 ..."

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It was just last May when Maud, Okla. native and Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson played a song – 1959’s “Fujiyama Mama” - at the “Music4Moore” fundraising event here at the Bricktown Events Center.

As I wrote at the time, Jackson’s performance struck me as awkward, but interesting. Introducing the song, she said it had been a big hit in Japan and was “surprised it wasn’t a bigger hit with American audiences.”

“Fujiyama Mama,” a slice of Atomic Age pop-a-billy, goes: “I’ve been to Nagasaki, Hiroshima too / the same I did to them baby, I can do to you” … “Well you can say I’m crazy, stone deaf and dumb / But I can cause destruction just like the atom bomb.”

Jackson’s performance was spot-on for the most part, and while I was in Bricktown earlier today for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, I synchronistically happened to glance over at Wanda Jackson Way, an alley named in her honor.

And then I noticed this, over at Salon just now: “17 songs for the coming nuclear apocalypse” featuring a lead photo of a young Bob Dylan blowing on his harmonica and info on his song “Talkin’ World War III Blues.”

The third song on Salon’s list of 17 is Jackson’s “Fujiyama Mama.” Others include “Dream Told By Moto” by the Minutemen, “Ask” by The Smiths, Sun Ra’s “Nuclear War,” “Breathing” by Kate Bush and the 1981 track from Prince titled “Ronnie Talk to Russia.” Wow! Feels like old times these days, doesn’t it? Did you see the new episode of The Americans, by the way?

Of course for several months I’ve been writing about 80’s pop songs and “nuclear errors.” That feeling of apocalyptic dread that seems to be growing by the day, particularly after tensions between the U.S. and Russia are at their highest since the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union.

One song not on the Salon “nuclear apocalypse” list is “Red Skies” by The Fixx. I first wrote about that in mid-December, accompanied by a screenshot from The Drudge Report featuring a reddish haze over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the headline “From Russia With Love.”

At the time, tensions between the U.S. and Russia were so-so. The Ukraine situation had yet to reach critical mass as it has this weekend.

And then on March 3, 2014, I had “Just look towards the west and find a friend.” Tensions were mounting between the West and Russia over Ukraine. Five days later, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 would vanish without a trace. That unsettling mystery, coupled with heightened concerns in Europe and around the world … well as Bob Dylan sang on that aforementioned song: “Some time ago a crazy dream came to me / I dreamt I was walkin’ into World War III.” A great (and ominous) track from 1963's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.

Sometimes bad dreams come true. Let’s hope this nightmare soon passes and we get through it all relatively unscathed. 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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