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Atomic Sermons

My brother introduced me to this extremely weird genre of music— Atomic Sermons, eerie midcentury religious responses to the looming threat of atomic power. In each of these bluegrass songs, the songwriter seems to grapple with integrating this astonishing new destructive force into their theology. Some associate atomic destruction with Judgment Day, asking for divine salvation ("That Great Atomic Power"). Others contest that atomic power is God-given to attain victory in His name. Others still are wary that man's invention of atomic power will give him a false sense of omnipotence ("There Is A Power Greater Than Atomic"). They have certainly not figured out where the atom bomb sits in their religious worldview, but it's fascinating to listen to them try.

For Christmas I recorded my brother a few covers of these songs, available to listen below.

Here is a great website with a searchable database of atomic-inspired music. Were you aware of The Spokesmen's optimistic 1965 response to "Eve of Destruction"— "Dawn of Correction"?