Saturday, August 20, 2011

Enola Gay

Let me preface this entry by saying that I believe Harry Truman had no choice but to give the order to drop the bombs on Japan.  That's my opinion; we are all entitled to an opinion.  Those people intended to annihilate all of us or die trying.
Now I'll get on with my story.
I usually go to sleep listening to my Pandora radio.  I've created four stations, but I usually listen to the folk station.  Every once in awhile I'd hear someone I believed was Pete Seeger singing a song called "Enola Gay".  It's a war protest song, and it haunted me for weeks.  Finally I did a few searches online and found out it wasn't Pete Seeger at all; it was some guy named Utah Phillips.  
I do love discovering a new folk singer, even if he's dead by the time I find him.   
Here are the words to the song:

Enola Gay

(Utah Phillips)
Look out, look out from your schoolroom window! 
Look up, young children, from your play! 
Wave your hand at the shining airplane, 
Such a beautiful sight is Enola Gay. 
 High above the clouds in the sunlit silence, 
So peaceful here, I'd like to stay. 
There's many a pilot who'd swap his pension 
For a chance to fly Enola Gay. 

 What is that sound high above my city? 
I rush outside and search the sky. 
Now we are running to find the shelters, 
Hearing sirens start to cry. 
 What will I say when my children ask me, 
Where was I flying up on that day? 
With trembling voice I gave the order 
To the bombardier of Enola Gay. 

 Look out, look out from your schoolroom window; 
Look up, young children, from your play. 
Your bright young eyes will turn to ashes 
In the blinding light of Enola Gay. 
 I turn to see the fireball rising. 
"My God, My God," all I can say. 
I hear a voice within me crying, 
"My mother's name was Enola Gay." 

 Look out, look out from your schoolroom window; 
Look up, young children, from your play. 
Oh, when you see the warplanes flying, 
Each one is named Enola Gay.

But I really wanted to let you hear this Utah Phillips singing his song, and there wasn't any such video on Youtube.  So I made a pathetic attempt at finding pictures of the Hiroshima tragedy, making a slideshow, and adding vocals of the guy singing the song.  Lord only knows how many copyright violations I'm guilty of, but here it is.  If I get tossed in jail, please send me some postcards.


Margaret said...

Not sure how I feel about dropping the bomb, but I wasn't living then to judge, so I can't say for sure. Great idea!

Sister--Three said...

I am sure how I feel about dropping the bomb. Daddy was ON Iwo Jima. Japanese were dug into the volcanic caves all over the Island and deep in the night they came out and tried to kill my father. We took the Island and they took to the caves. After Truman took his action. Daddy came home and Sister Fleta was born in '48 and me in '54 and Helen in '54. I doubt my Dad would have ever came home if we acted as we did in Vietnam.

Harry said he slept fine after making his decision. I am because of his decision.

Sister--Three said...

Made myself a little younger. I was born in 1950.

patsy said...

I am sure that Daddy lived to be in his 70's because of Harry Truman who dropped the bomb.
A couple years ago I heard people talking about the bomb and how awful it was that we dropped that bomp and if I could have been in reach of thoese fools I would have slapped them for being stupid.
Harry said he slept well after dropping the bomb and we did too.

darev2005 said...

It's amazing when you think back on how crazy the ensuing decades were and that we survived it at all. It's easy to judge history when you weren't there and didn't have to make the decisions. If we had to invade Japan instead of dropping the bombs there would have been upwards of two million more dead Americans and the Japanese might not exist anymore at all.

terrylm said...

Thanks for finding and posting this. A moving song, and you've done it fine justice with your collection of images.