A Song A Day in May: 80s Nuclear War Anxiety

The Music I listened to and loved in the 80s had an influence on me, it’s undeniable. Along with the books I read, the television shows and movies I watched, the people I met, they all helped shape create the foundation of who I am today. Would I be me today if I hadn’t seen “The Day After” at a young age and had a near-obsession level of paranoia over my skin getting peeled off in a nuclear blast? Who’s to say? Did the artists of the music I listen to and their speaking out on political and social matters shape me? Absolutely.

I stumbled across Stereogum‘s list of 80s songs about nuclear war and it was nostalgia on full volume for me. Their list included songs I may not have realized at the time were as political as they were, but now with adult eyes and 30+ years of hindsight, I am grateful that they are. I hope you enjoy some of them as much as I do.

The Police – “When The World Is Running Down (You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around)” (1980)
A characteristic Police offering, this is a catchy and groove-driven track that’s also one of countless ’80s songs that isn’t necessarily about anything on the surface but is actually influenced by the darkness hanging over everything at the decade’s opening. It’s actually told from some kind of post-apocalyptic landscape, the narrator listing his possessions and always following them with a “same one I’ve had for years.” Because, you know, society ended.

SOURCE: Stereogum 80s Songs About Nuclear Anxiety

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