Trident, Trident what an insane idea
all for the sake of fear
We can't afford medication,
or proper education.
But we must pay, a million a day
So that Britain can disappear.
Trident, Trident, the whole thing has gone too far.
If we don't stop them
We're sure of Nuclear War.
Before they start attacking,
We'll have to send them packing,
And pull the chain, on all who gain
From the criminal arms bazaar.
A good candidate for the first protest song against nuclear
weapons is the American journalist Vernon Partlow’s Atomic
Blues or Talking Atomic Blues, written in 1945, published and
recorded in 1950 by Sam Hinton. During the Newport 1963 Folk
Festival Sam Hinton made a new recording of the song. In the autumn
of 1953 Atomic Blues was translated into Danish and performed by
actress and jazz singer Lise Ringheim (1926-1994), together with
composer Børge Roger-Henrichsen (1915-1989) in a Saturday
Martine for the Partisans for peace in the Hall of the Student
Union in Copenhagen. Atomic Blues was later published in the
magazine Dialog in November 1953.
According to Margaret Thatcher Foundation , Margaret Thatcher's
files as Prime Minister, 1981 'Finally, there is a revealing
political discussion of Trident dated 10 Feb 1981. The new Defence
Secretary, John Nott, notes his belief that fully two thirds of the
Conservative Party and the Cabinet itself were opposed to the
purchase of Trident and that "(e)ven the Chiefs of Staff were not
unanimous". Whether they favoured a cheaper system, or none at all,
is unclear, though comments elsewhere suggest that the real problem
for the politicians was uncertainty as to their ability to manage
public opinion with unilateralism rising in popularity. The Foreign
Secretary, Lord Carrington, responded bluntly to Nott's reflection:
"(He) said that he also was in no doubt about the decision. Failure
to acquire Trident would have left the French as the only nuclear
power in Europe. This would be intolerable."'
Margaret Thatcher Foundation: Margaret Thatcher's files as Prime
Minister, 1981, 2011.
[Also published in the Chant Down Greenham songbook and in
[Recorded in the Carry Greenham Home video 1983. Singer
Hear You can't kill the Spirit sung by Naomi Littlebear Morena.
Hear You can't kill the Spirit from single record.
Produced by Manchester Greenham Support Group [1983?]. Source:
Tape in the file of Ulla Moltved.
In the USA ... Naomi Littlebear Morena.
Spare Rib No. 142, May 1984 pp. 27-28.
Naomi Littlebear Morena, a Chicana feminist musician who wrote
the peace song 'You can't kill the spirit, she's like a mountain,
Old and strong, She lives on and on', is planning a European
concert tour in May/June 1984. She'd like to be put in contact with
local women's centres, women's peace groups, women's groups working
on racism and social justice, women's bands and theatre groups and
the like so she can arrange benefit concerts on her tour.
In an American interview with Janna MacAuslan, Naomi talked about
J: How did you discover that your song 'Like a Mountain' has been
adopted by the women at the Greenham Common peace camp in England
as a theme song or anthem?
N: Well, a friend of mine at work called me up and said she had
heard thousands of women singing 'Like a Mountain' on a radio
report about the peace camp. This was the time when 30,000 women
came to Greenham to surround the missile base. Gradually, after
that I kept getting more and more' people coming up to me with
information and I kept finding out more about it.
Betty McFarlane, a Portland peace activist, approached me with the
idea - of going to Greenham Common to sing my song with the women
there. She started a campaign to collect money to send me
J: How long do you plan to be in Europe? Will this be a concert
tour besides the Greenham Common visit?
N: The tentative plan is for at least one month. I think I'd like
to work with women's choral groups there and other women musicians
in Europe so they can participate in this exchange as well. It
would be nice to have a strong back-up of local women to present
the music. I want to have more intimate connection with the women
there than a mere concert situation allows for.
J: Beyond your musical endeavours I know that you are a writer and
a poet. Have you been publishing your writings lately?
N: Yeah.l've been working as co-editor of an issue of Calyx that
will be made up of writings of Native American and Latina/Chicana
women that will be coming out soon. I'm getting more in touch with
things I've never written about before - about the racist
experience and understanding how I've assimilated these experiences
into my personality. I've been writing quite a lot. These writings
will be in book form and hopefully will be finished in the fall of
1984. It will be about growing up in a racist society. It's more
narrative than any style of writing that I've done before. The only
books I've read lately are books by women of color. I've been real
inspired by the books black women writers have been comming out
with. I quess the inspiration has been growing from there.