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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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There's A Power Greater Than Atomic: The Buchanan Brothers [1947]

After The Buchanan Brothers scored a hit with their version of Fred Kirby's Atomic Power in 1946, two friends and co-workers of Kirby's decided to pen a sequel that paid particular attention to the just completed Bikini Atoll tests in the Pacific. Arval Hogan and Roy Grant, better known by their performing name of Whitey and Hogan, were so impressed by the fact that some of the ships at Bikini didn't sink that they decided to write a thematic follow-up to Kirby's earlier song. In a 1977 interview with Charles K. Wolfe, they recalled their inspiration:

"We just got to thinking about that big test out in the Pacific; those ships still standing after the blast, that's what gave us the idea," said Hogan. Grant added: "Just prior to that (test), Fred Kirby had written his song, 'Atomic Power,' so Hogan and myself, both being children of devoted Christians, the idea came to us one night going to a personal appearance. And I said 'Well, gee whiz, somewhere in the world there ought to be a power greater than atomic,' and we started putting two and two together and starting writing words that night and in a short while the song was completed. We didn't do anything with it until Fred's song started dying down…"

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
There's A Power Greater Than Atomic: The Buchanan Brothers [1947]

Man may talk about his power
And his will to have his way
How he can take the lives of men
And rule them all someday
There's one thing he's forgetting
In the great plan he just made
That God gave to him everything
And everything can take

Refrain: There's a power (power) greater than atomic
It's a power of the One that sits on high
If he strikes us (strikes us) with His mighty power
Not just some, but everyone must die

When this power that I tell of
Falls upon this sinful land
Every rock within the mountains
Will melt at His command
So when you're planning power
That will sweep away the sod
Don't forget there is no power
To equal that of God

Refrain

To the island of Bikini
Great men came and plans were laid
To prove to all the people
What a power He had made
But after it was over
Even through the blinding steam
The sea and sky unchanged should prove
That God is still supreme

Refrain

The Buchanan Brothers [1947]
There's A Power Greater Than Atomic
(Whitey-Hogan)
RCA Victor 20-2553

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