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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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(You Got To Pray To The Lord) When You See Those Flying Saucers: The Buchanan Brothers [1947]

One of the more curious by-products of the Cold War is the UFO fad that remains with us to this day. Indeed, the Bethlehem of the UFO conspiracy movement, Roswell, New Mexico is a minor tourist attraction. But this song interprets the flying saucers as a broad harbinger of the end of times, not specifically as vehicles piloted by aliens.

One the things that makes this track notable is the fact that the "flying saucers" have supplanted the atom bomb as a powerful, mysterious force. In this tune, the saucers are "more than atom bombs or falling stars." Is this because by 1947 the novelty of the Bomb had worn off and the unexplained phenomenon of UFO sightings became a better metaphor for songwriters?


LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
(You Got To Pray To The Lord) When You See Those Flying Saucers: The Buchanan Brothers [1947]

You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
It may be the coming of the Judgment Day
It’s a sign there’s no doubt of the trouble that’s about
So I say my friends you’d better start to pray

They’re a terrifying sight as they fly on day and night
It’s a warning that we’d better mend our ways
You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
It may be the coming of the Judgment Day

Many people think the saucers might be someone’s foolish dream
Or maybe they were sent down here from Mars
If you’ll just stop and think you’d realize just what it means
They’re more than atom bombs or falling stars

And though the war may be through there’s unrest and trouble brewin’
And those flying saucers may be just a sign
That if peace doesn’t come it will be the end of some
So repent today, you’re running out of time

When you see a saucer fly like a comet through the sky
You should realize the price you’ll have to pay
You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
It may be the coming of the Judgment Day

The Buchanan Brothers [1947]
(You Got To Pray To The Lord) When You See Those Flying Saucers
(Cy Coben-Charlie Green)
RCA Victor 20-2385


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