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Atomic Bomb Blues: Homer Harris (with Muddy Waters) [Recorded 1946]

This topical blues tune casts as its narrator a World War II soldier writing his sweetheart back home to tell her not to worry because "he's behind the atomic bomb." In other words, the Bomb has served as his savior from further combat. This song shares some similarities with themes found in some of the country Bomb songs in that the narrator has fear of the Bomb ("that awful atomic bomb"), but also reserves some vindictiveness for the defeated enemy ("And poor Tojo, had to find a place to hide").

Homer Harris, was born in Drew, Mississippi in 1916 and moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was 17 and found employment as a tire regroover. While in Memphis he met other blues artists and frequented the city's music clubs. In 1943 Harris moved to Chicago to make more money and opened his own tire regrooving shop. In 1946 Harris cut three sides for Columbia that featured some of the earliest recorded guitar playing by Muddy Waters including Atomic Bomb Blues a song he wrote and arranged. Harris stated in a 1994 Blues Before Sunrise broadcast interview that he thought Atomic Bomb could have been a hit.

Throughout his life Harris would run a series of businesses in Chicago area including a hardware store, a lamp store, a grocery store and a cleaners. When invited, Harris would also frequently sit in on various live blues performances in the Windy City.

Homer Harris died in Chicago in 2000.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Atomic Bomb Blues: Homer Harris (with Muddy Waters) [Recorded 1946]

It was early one morning, when all the good work was done
It was early one morning, when all the good work was done
And that big bird was loaded, with that awful atomic bomb

Wrote my baby, I was behind the risin' sun
Wrote my baby, I was behind the risin' sun
I told her, don't be uneasy, because I'm behind the atomic bomb

Nation after nation, was near and far away
Nation after nation, was near and far away
Well, they soon got the news, and there where they would stay

Over in east Japan, you know, they let down and cried
Over in east Japan, you know, they let down and cried
And poor Tojo, had to find a place to hide

Homer Harris (with Muddy Waters) [Recorded 1946]
Atomic Bomb Blues
(Homer Harris)
Columbia unissued
CK 46217

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